It was the grandfather of Charles, Erasmus Darwin, who coined the phrase (at least as far as I can tell.) How else could a child of the enlightenment make sense of the natural world around him? I find this principle to hold true, but certainly not in the way he intended. I started reading through the book of Isaiah again a few mornings ago. I had this very phrase, “Eat or be eaten,” written in the margin in reference to verses 19 and 20 of chapter one. The LORD speaks to Israel through Isaiah and says, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword…”
Yahweh tells His people that there are really only two choices, eat or be eaten. Listen to Me and feed upon my Words or listen to competing voices and be devoured in the process. It is an astounding statement to the people. It is even more astounding when I see it at work in my own life. I don’t exactly know why I tend to see sin as a passive participant in daily life. To my shame, I often treat it as an object to be taken out and put away as needed rather than the devouring serpent that it is. I, too, am confronted by these two choices. Either willingly and obediently hear His voice and be satisfied or excuse myself from the table and be consumed by my own sin.
The Christian life is not a buffet but a banquet. I am either at the Lord’s table or I am the one on the table of the Enemy. Scripture tells us that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. There is a big difference between the fox saying to the lamb, “I’d love the pleasure of having you for dinner,” and the shepherd saying the same thing. The frustrating part is that I still find myself at times knocking on Mr. Fox’s door with a stupid grin on my face.