What is the biblical significance of the story title "Do Seek Their Meat From God" by G.D. Roberts? How can the invocation of God be seen as ironic?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Biblical allusion within this story's title refers to Psalm 104, verse 21: "The young lions roar after their prey And seek their food from God."  The purpose of this psalm is really to praise God for his creation of the beauty and wonder of the Earth: the sun knows when and where to set, the mountains knew when to rise, and the valleys know when to sink; the grass grows to feed the cattle, the ground produces food for us so that we may plant and grow more food, and so forth.  Ultimately, then, it is God that has supplied the young lions with the prey they seek in order to satisfy their hunger.  The lions are not malicious or evilthey are merely carrying out the job God created for them in the manner in which God must want it done.

We might see the invocation of God as ironic because the wild animals in the psalm as well as the story do not know God exists; they do not understand the belief that their instincts are created by something outside of themselves or even that it is instinct that compels them to seek food and search out their prey.  They only know that they must eat and that they have to feed and protect their young, just as the man in the story feels compelled to protect his son.  For them, there is no concept of God, so it might seem ironic to invoke him in the story's title.