Why Sharks at the Aquarium Don’t Eat the Fish They’re Swimming With (And How We Could Learn the Same Lesson)

Yesterday my family went to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks to have a little fun and time off for Spring Break.  We had a great time and especially enjoyed the huge exhibit of sharks.  They have a glass walkway that tunnels through the exhibit so that sharks swim above and beside you.  It just so happened that while we there, we got to see them feed the sharks.  As I watched these amazing creatures eat, I was reminded of something that occurred at another aquarium last year.

On our way to a convention in Orlando, FL, we stopped at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which is famous for housing whale sharks.  They have the largest tank I have ever seen with every kind of fish and many dangerous types of sharks.  As we stood there watching the animals, one of my children asked, “Dad, what keeps those sharks from eating all the other fish and each other?”  I started to respond with the typical Dad-like “Well, you see son, these sharks…” but then it hit me- that’s a really good question.  Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it before.  Come to think of it, in all of the zoos and aquariums I have been in, I have never once seen a shark attack and eat another fish in the tank.  So, why do the sharks behave so well?

We asked a worker at the aquarium and he responded, “That’s easy.  The sharks are so well fed they don’t want to eat the other fish.”  Sharks are fed a consistent, steady diet of food that keeps them satisfied and refraining from undesired behavior in the tank (i.e. eating the other fish).

It dawned on me what a tremendous lesson this is for us.  I wonder if much of our undesired behavior would be eliminated if we had a steady diet of the Word of God in our lives?  I wonder if we would stop attacking people, treating them rudely, selfishly, and scornfully if we were well fed on the truth and wisdom of the Word?  Sadly, far too many Christians do this to one another in the church.  Many churches, if they were aquariums, would have only a handful of sharks because they ate all the other fish!  Imagine the horror if you took your small child to the aquarium to see the sharks violently chase down and devour all the cute little “Nemo” fish?  Now, imagine what people on the outside of church think when they look in and see the believers arguing and tearing each other to shreds.  They want no part of that.

Friends, make a commitment to incorporate a daily time in God’s Word in your schedule.  If we feast on Scripture- to truly study it and contemplate how can we apply it in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can only imagine how it would change our appetites.  Our appetite for worldly and fleshly things would be diminished.  Our appetite to injure others with our words and actions would decrease.  Our behavior in the “aquarium” of life would be much more God-pleasing if we were consistently in the Word.


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8 Responses to “Why Sharks at the Aquarium Don’t Eat the Fish They’re Swimming With (And How We Could Learn the Same Lesson)”

  1. Good lesson Professor, I too have been to Jenks and wondered the same thing only didnt ask. The analysis of the church is right on! the way we act sometimes it is a wonder that anyone would want to be a part of it. A true reality check for me… Blessings Bro

  2. THis is SO TRUE. Without the daily dose of the Word, I am as likely to think and then do aweful things as anybody. God’s Spirit feeds mine through His Word, but I have to choose to partake. He will not forcefeed me.
    Love Ya man, and we miss you.

  3. honestly your opinions are completely biased. Have you ever seen an atheist go kill people because of their beliefs? No, you haven’t. The only people you see killing each other is in the “word of god” in their own religeon. really the only thing religion has brought us is wars and suffering because of disputes on who has the better imaginary friend.

    • History is replete with examples of atheists who have killed because of their beliefs- Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung just to name a few. So, your argument here is untenable. Yes, there have been plenty of people in the name of God who have done terrible things. These are misguided people who do not rightly understand God and His Word. Remember that many of the good things in our society- hospitals, nursing homes, universities, etc. all came into existence because of the direct influence of Christianity.

  4. As is stated in the bible, Jesus is the Word of God. So lets nót take the bible for our daily meal, but let us together seek Jesus in our lives as the true Word of God.
    The bible (just like the koran) can be used in too many bad ways to justify bad choices en wrong behaviour… I am convinced that the value of the bible is highly overrated over the years.
    That is why the bible should not be our daily bread, but Jesus should!
    kind regards,
    D. Butcher

  5. Congratulations! This blog post is a textbook example of false analogy!

  6. wow. This was amazing, I absolutely love this analogy.