Working the Plan

You may not know it, but Wile E. Coyote is in the Bible. He has a different name there, but it pretty much has to be the same guy. You read the text in question and you’ll see.

Wile-E-Coyote-movieIn case you lived a deprived childhood and did not get to watch Roadrunner cartoons, then you might not know about Wile E. Coyote. Generally our man–or rather our coyote–Wile E. does not speak, although in some examples, mostly when he is chasing Bugs Bunny rather the the Roadrunner, he does speak, in a voice that might have served as the model for Jeremy Irons’ Scar in The Lion King. In those cases, he typically declares himself a “Super Genius.”

The main modus operandi for Wile E. is to employ ever more elaborate schemes to outpace the ferociously quick bird. As often as not, he purchases some marvelous item from Acme Company, who seem to specialize in mail-order of large rockets, cannons, and other improbable speed-enhancing items. While each scheme looks sure to succeed, it most often ends with Wile E. falling over the edge of a ridiculously high desert mesa, several hundred feet according to standard physics equations.

Recently, I shared some thoughts on the folly of Saul and his jealousy toward David. This begins in 1 Samuel 18. In the course of just that single chapter, Saul tries to pin David to the wall with a spear not once but twice. (Honestly, would you still be in the room after the first spear came your way?) Saul then sent David out as a military leader, probably hoping David would be killed. Instead, he simply becomes more famous and popular. Then Saul offered David a marriage to one of his daughters, only to renege on the offer.

Finally, when another daughter falls in love with David–and who wouldn’t?–Saul tries to use this to get David killed again. He asks only for a particularly grisly bride price, 100 Philistine foreskins, sure that certainly at least one of the highly motivated Philistines will get the upper hand. Instead David comes back with double the order.

Like the Super Genius Coyote, Saul keeps leaning on his own understanding. In his defense, Solomon wouldn’t pen Proverbs 3:5 for another two generations, but you have think that Saul could have figured this thing out.

What can we learn from this? It’s not that coyotes should try to eat slower prey. Instead, it’s something more about envy. Jealousy and envy are bad enough, but they’re things that most humans cannot completely escape. What we can escape is to follow up on those emotions with foolish plot after foolish plot designed to get what we want rather than to trust in the Lord with all our heart.