As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
The common deer (Cervus elaphus) often appears in the Bible as an illustration.
Pregnant female deer instinctively separate themselves from the herd to give birth. When the fawns are born in the secluded high-altitude grasslands, their skin is mottled with bright specks, which, by making it more difficult for predators to see them, helps them to hide in the vegetation. The mothers will return to this same secluded spot after feeding in order to suckle the fawns, which never stray from this refuge when they are left alone. This behaviour saves the lives of many young deer, because if they were with the rest of the herd they would be easy pickings for their predators.
We were fortunate enough to discover this solitary fawn, photographed from a distance in the Parque Nacional de Cabañeros (Ciudad Real, Spain). How do hinds know what they have to do to protect their young? Who taught them?
The common deer (Cervus elaphus) often appears in the Bible as an illustration. Though there are currently none remaining in the Holy Land, they were present there when the books of the Bible were written. For this reason, some of the authors of the Old Testament books were familiar with them, and could draw attention to their agility and lightness of foot (Song of Songs 2: 8-9; Isaiah 35:6); the firmness of their hoofs (Psalm 18:33; Habakkuk 3:19); their affection and gracefulness (Proverbs 5:19); and their practice of hiding their young from danger (Job 39:1).
What the poet is highlighting in this last passage in Job is the wisdom of God in creating and sustaining the world. And passages like this one raise questions in our minds: can human beings regulate or determine the behaviour of these animals? Could Job have explained the nature of such phenomena without invoking a wise and intelligent God?
Now there are many who believe that nature created itself without the need for a supernatural designer. However, from the days of Job right up to the present day, there have been millions of us who believe that this is impossible, because out of nothing, nothing comes, however you crunch the maths and the physics.