September 4, 2013
That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:15
Other than scientists, there are no people on the South Farallon Islands, which are 27 miles west of San Francisco.
That's good because the South Farallon Islands are filled with mice. That's right, mice, a lot of mice, about 500 mice per acre. There are so many mice some scientists say that when they go for a walk, it looks as if the ground in front of them seems to be moving. There are so many mice the other species on the island are being threatened.
This leads us to the question, how do you control -- or get rid of -- that many mice? In a 650-page report the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has investigated 49 different suggestions that have been made concerning mice eradication. When all is said and done, there are only two practical solutions: let the mice go and don't worry about them or carpet bomb the island with poison.
While the first suggestion may seem unacceptable, the second suggestion is also objectionable. The first protest comes from the animal rights people who find the idea of poisoning any of God's little critters to be abhorrent. The second stumbling block comes from the EPA, which notes that many of the really good poisons are banned, and the others will cause problems for the other birds and animals on the island.
Even though I don't think much about mice, I found the story to be interesting theologically. You see, this world is swarming with people who are sinners. With His holy and natural distaste for sin, the Lord -- like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- should have been left with two choices:
1. erase all life and begin again, or
2. ignore us, let us fend for ourselves, and see us all end up in hell.
Now there are those who might say God tried the first method when He sent the flood. That, of course, is not strictly true. The Lord left a number of breeding pairs of people on the earth and any student of people -- or mice -- will tell you that the original problem will soon be duplicated.
As I said, God had two choices ... or should have had two choices. Instead of picking one of those choices, the Lord came up with another way: a third and better way. In His love He sent His only Son into this world to become one of us. Jesus lived with us; He ate with us, and He gave His life so all who believed on Him might be saved. In short, with our sins washed away, we were no longer distasteful to God. We were forgiven and adopted into the family of faith.
Now I can't tell you what will happen to the mice of the South Farallon Islands. A decision will be made about their future before the end of the year. But I can tell you a decision has been made on us. The Bible tells us that whoever believes in Jesus should not perish, but have eternal life (see John 3:16).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is no logical reason You would not exterminate Your disobedient rebels. Even so, in Your grace You have given us a means of salvation. May I rejoice that, because of Jesus, I am saved. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries