The little bantam hen had laid her clutch of fourteen eggs in a nest she had hidden under a bent piece of corrugated tin that had blown from the roof of a shed. She had incubated the eggs faithfully and they were beginning to pip when, in the early morning of the twenty-first day, a marauding skunk discovered her, killed her and dined on the tiny body. When the dog from the farmhouse fifty yards away began barking, the skunk hurried away leaving the remains of the little hen behind. The weather was warm enough that eight of the strongest of the tiny chicks struggled from their shells, but without a mother to brood them, the baby chicks scattered and by the end of their first day, they too were dead. And thus was demonstrated the answer to the age old riddle, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
For those who are slow on the uptake, what was demonstrated was, first of all that in order for fertile eggs to exist, it took a mama chicken and a daddy chicken. It also is obvious that without the instinctive mothering of a zealous and dedicated hen, the little chicks could never survive. But not only is the riddle of chickens and eggs solved, a powerful lesson is provided for us humans – we who are supposed to be much smarter than our fellow creatures who are lower on the intelligence scale. Sometimes our behavior leaves this in doubt.
Even a swift glance at Genesis tells us that God intended little children to have a mother and a daddy. The baby human is even more helpless than a baby chick. It takes a mother and father, nurturing and teaching, to provide the kind of ideal home that God wants children to have. Genesis 1:27 says, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Genesis 2:24 tells us, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.” That first home had two parents and Christ pointed to it as what God wanted in His discourse in the first part of Matthew 19.
As in so many other areas, in matters of the home, our generation has presumed to have found a better way than Gods. Marriage, the “cleaving” commitment, is going by the wayside in favor of casual acts of procreation that result in a one parent home at best and a no parent home at worst. Even where there are nominally two parents, responsible nurturing is often absent due to selfish parents doing their own thing.
One riddle is solved, and another, even more serious arises: Which comes first, the crime and turmoil we see about us? Or the lack of responsible parenting that produces a flaunting of authority?
A principle that is taught and illustrated throughout the Bible is that when God’s way is cast aside, there are always serious results – always. Periodically, we humans, to borrow a phrase from my Granny, get on our high horse. Not long after, we are struck down to the dust of humility. Confusion and trouble result. If you don’t believe me, ask the people of Babel.