Reflection on the Story of Wolves and the Deer
Maybe you have ever heard a story like this:
In the Kaibab Forest, there was a herd of deer, and also a pack of fierce wolves which always sought opportunities to kill the deer. The locals were full of pity for the deer, so they often took guns for hunting wolves. As time went by, the wolves got fewer and fewer, for which people hugged themselves with delight. However, several years later, the amount of deer grew dramatically. All the green plants, including the saplings and tender branches, were eaten up by the herds of deer. At that time, people came to realize that it was the wolves they hunted that effectively controlled the quantity of deer and also maintained the normal life of the forest and the herd.
People had never fancied that the wolves killed by them were actually the “benefactors” of the forest and the herd. The wolves ate some deer, which kept the herd of deer from excessive development, and also protected the forest from being overconsumed. Meanwhile, what the wolves ate were most sick deer, which relieved the threat of infectious disease among the deer. On the contrary, once the deer which people intentionally protected, reproduced too many, they would become the chief culprits which destroyed the forest and ruined themselves.
When I heard this story for the first time, I felt very astonished and puzzled: The local residents in Kaibab were kind to protect the herd of deer, but brought the disaster to the herd and the forest unexpectedly. Meanwhile, the greedy and cruel wolves meritoriously protected the herd and forest. If the local residents in Kaibab had known the severity that shooting wolves would destroy the whole forest, they wouldn’t have done such things which destroyed their home. Wolf eating deer and deer grazing, what is the unknown mystery in this ordinary and unremarkable law on earth? Who realizes this mystery? Presumably only the Master, who appointed the law to all things knows that most.
God says, “God also controls the balance of all kinds of animals. How is this balance controlled? It’s similar to plants—He manages their balance and determines their numbers based on their ability to reproduce, their quantity and rate of reproduction and the roles they play among the animals. For example, lions eat zebras, so if the number of lions exceeded the number of zebras, what would the fate of the zebras be? They would become extinct. And if the quantity of reproduction of zebras was far less than that of lions, what would their fate be? They would also become extinct. So, the number of zebras must be far greater than the number of lions. This is because zebras don’t only exist for themselves; they also exist for the lions. You could also say that every zebra is one part of the zebras, but it is also the food in a lion’s mouth. Lions’ speed of reproduction can never outstrip that of the zebras, so their numbers can never be greater than the zebras’ numbers. Only in this way can the lions’ food source be guaranteed. Even though lions are natural enemies of zebras, people frequently see them leisurely resting within the same area. Zebras will never be reduced in number or go extinct because the lions hunt and eat them, and lions will never increase their numbers because of their status as “king.” This balance is something that God established long ago. That is, God established laws of balance between all animals so that they can achieve balance, and this is something that mankind is able to see.” God’s word provides the best explanation of the story about the wolves and the deer. When God created all kinds of animals, He had determined their laws of existence so that they can reproduce and multiply in keeping within these scopes and laws.
That people could see with their naked eyes was that the cruel wolves all day long eyed the deer covetously with the intention to devour them; therefore, in the eyes of people, if they hadn’t kill the wolves, the herds would not have survived in the forest but would have been eliminated by wolves and become extinct sooner or later. But in fact, no matter how the wolves preyed on the deer, deer wouldn’t be hunted to reduction or even extinction, nor would the wolf pack expand its own number by preying on the deer. This is because when God created all kinds of animals, He had long established the balance among the animals with careful considerations of their ability to reproduce, their quantity and frequency of reproduction and the roles they play. Some people may ask what the Creator made such careful plans for? I found the answer in God’s word. God says, “When God created all things, He used all sorts of methods and ways to balance them, to balance the living conditions for the mountains and lakes, to balance the living conditions for the plants and all kinds of animals, birds, insects—His goal was to allow all kinds of living beings to live and multiply within the laws that He had established. All beings cannot go outside of these laws and they cannot be broken. Only within this type of basic environment can humans safely survive and multiply, generation after generation. If any living creature goes beyond the quantity or scope established by God, or if it exceeds the growth rate, frequency, or number under His rule, mankind’s environment for survival would suffer varying degrees of destruction. And at the same time, mankind’s survival would be threatened.”
All things throughout the whole earth are meticulously arranged and balanced by the Creator, which makes all the living things reproduce and live within the laws established by God. All of these are for the sake of guarantee of the safety of us humans, which enables us to live peacefully on earth and protect us from the threats and attacks of disasters. Every law among nature, which is seemingly ordinary and insignificant, shows the authority of the Creator, and moreover, reflects the great love of the Creator for us humans. However, people didn’t come before God, neither understanding God’s will, nor knowing the law for God’s dominion over all things; only relying on the phenomenon seen by physical eyes and on their good intentions, people used the method of killing wolves by shooting in order to protect the herd of deer. Unexpectedly, it went against the law that God has set for all beings, and brought disaster to the forest, the wolves, the herd and people instead. From this can be seen that if we don’t come before God, nor do we know God’s sovereignty, we will do the foolish things which will eventually bring about catastrophes. Only if we come before the Creator, to understand God’s work and will, and to know God’s disposition and what He has and is, won’t we act according to our logical thinking, imaginations or conceptions; instead, we will be able to in everything take God’s words as our principles of actions, to act in harmony with God’s will and attain fearing God and shunning evil, thereby defusing such a crisis and avoiding the repeat of tragedy of the Kaibab Forest, and we humans can live in the God’s protection and blessings.