To my dear grandchildren,
The Polar Bear
"Who is like unto the Lord our God, who [dwells] on high, who [humbles] Himself to behold the things . . . in the earth!" (Psalm 113:5-6)
The white, cold, lonely world of the Arctic is the polar bear's home. The Lord God shelters the polar bear from the cold with a thick layer of fat underneath long, shaggy fur. Its fur has insulating air spaces between the hairs. This impressive animal is about five feet high at its shoulders, seven feet or more long, and may weigh 1000 pounds. It is extremely strong and can pull a 500 pound seal out of the water with just one paw.
God has prepared it well for its surroundings. When the sun shines on snow and ice, Eskimos have to take special care to avoid painful snow-blindness. But the polar bear has been given three eyelids and a special membrane to protect its eyes. Then too, this big fellow easily crosses ice floes and travels over ice and snow with little effort. It would be difficult to walk on such slippery surfaces if the bear were not equipped with a covering of tough hair on the bottom of its feet that gives it a good grip. God has given it partially webbed feet and specially jointed legs that help make it a very good swimmer.
While its sight and hearing are poor, the polar bear's sense of smell is keen and will alert it to prey as much as twenty miles away. It lives in an icy den where the female gives birth late in winter to two or three cubs, which are about the size of chipmunks. Two months after they are born, she takes them out of the den and begins their two-year training.
Polar bears eat mostly seals. The bear lies on the thick ice, waiting for a seal to pop up at its breathing hole. Sometimes the bear will quietly swim to the edge of the ice where a seal is sunning and catch it. Besides seals, polar bears eat salmon, foxes, birds and occasionally a reindeer. Trappers have to keep a wary eye open when one is around, since they will kill sled dogs and steal animals from traps.
It seems cruel that the polar bear must kill so ruthlessly. It was not like this in the beginning. Sin brought this change into the world. However, there is a time coming when "the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isaiah 11:7).
But before that peaceful time comes, God is going to bring punishment on this sinful world and all those who have refused the gift of salvation He is offering. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour who died to bear that punishment in your place, if you will only accept His invitation to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). Will you accept His invitation today?