It was their 30th anniversary. 30 years of television genius. No, I am not referring to Animaniacs, though a case could be made for that too. I am referring to Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK. Oh yeah. Now, we cut the cable cord a while back but I work around 3 TV sets in the hotel lobby and I tried to make sure one of the channels was set to the shows that showed these wonderful predators. And there are always reruns.
So I got to wondering if sharks ever make an appearance in Scripture. The direct answer is no. However, there are a few sea creatures that many connect to sharks. We have the Leviathan – that unusual and uncertain sea creature. I kind of think that is more of a Megalodon (just in time for Steve Austin’s movie Meg).
Some connect the ‘great fish’ that ate Jonah might have been a shark. Maybe. I’ll ask him when I see him in heaven.
So, no … no sharks in specifically mentioned in the Bible.
But I read an interesting concept of sharks, specifically sharks in captivity. This was mentioned in a John Maxwell book, Developing the Leaders Around You, and repeated on several sermon sites as an undocumented illustration, but I have yet to find research behind it. But it is a great illustration. So let me just copy it straight from bible.org (a great resource for those online students of the Word.)
“I met a young man not long ago who dives for exotic fish for aquariums. He said one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.
That also happens to some Christians. I’ve seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. But if you put them into a larger arena—into the whole creation—only then can they become great.”
Maxwell continues the principle by saying leaders may stay small if they stay confined by small environments. But leaders can be catalyst of change … redefining and expanding the environment.
So … be the change. Don’t be confined and thus stunt your growth. Dream big, attempt big, and be amazed at the wonderful things God can and will do in and through you.
So ends today’s lesson from a shark. Get out and grow big!