Malaysian ants internally combust under threat, causing their bodies to explode. They wait until their enemies are close enough to die before detonating. A sea cucumber can literally take on different body states – from hard to liquid – in order to defend itself because of a type of collagen that enables the skin to absorb or excrete water which effectively enables its body to change from a liquid to a solid.
The bombardier beetle sprays boiling hot and chemically toxic bodily fluids in the direction of any would-be predator. Opossums playing dead actually slip into a semi-comatose state, thus removing any excitement of the kill for a predator.
Amazing, the different ways God equipped his creations to defend themselves. What about humans? How do we defend ourselves aside from weapons of course? Did God create us with defense mechanisms? Sure we have teeth and nails but those were created for other purposes like eating and scratching.
According to Sigmund Freud, defense mechanisms are thought to safeguard the mind against feelings and thoughts that are too difficult for the conscious mind to cope with. In some instances, defense mechanisms are thought to keep inappropriate or unwanted thoughts and impulses from entering the conscious mind.
Emotional defense mechanisms like denial, withdraw, and avoidance are exhibited frequently in the lives of people around us. But what does the Bible say about our defense mechanisms or our conscious mind?
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
“My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.” Psalms 7:10 (KJV)
It would appear that the state of our heart and thoughts are somewhat connected to God's protection. Speaking of protection, what does the Bible say about it?
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
“God, my strength, I am looking to you, because God is my defender. My God loves me,and he goes in front of me. He will help me defeat my enemies.” Psalm 59:9-10 (NIV)
So perhaps the reason we aren’t equipped with claws, musk sacks, or poison glands is because God created us to Trust HIM to be our defender and our protector*.
Many creatures display their defense mechanisms when threatened, before any physical contact is even made. Aren’t we kind of like that to? We withdraw, avoid or slip into denial the instance we are threatened emotionally.
If we believe the Bible is true and the word and heart of our Creator, then it would seem turning the offender over to Him would be the easiest way to achieve protection. Turning our thoughts over to the One who goes in front of us and keeping both He and His Commandments in our hearts can only give us more leverage in the battle.
Point to Ponder: Is there a battle you keep fighting over and over? Do you feel like you are losing? What about trying to ‘allow’ your Creator to defend you? What steps can you take now to shift the balance of the battle onto God our Protector?
* (disclaimer: I am in no way saying forms of physical or emotional abuse should be endured silently. If you or someone you know is in physical or emotional danger, tell a pastor or counselor immediately.)