Sunday, June 02, 2013

Jewel # 139 (June 2, 2013)

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To my dear grandchildren


The Ungainly Hyena

"Neither is there any creature that is not visible in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." 
(Hebrews 4:13)

There are many hyenas throughout Africa.  The largest is the one with the fiendish howl that sounds like a hysterical human laugh.  It is known as the spotted or laughing hyena.  It is about 6 feet long and weighs around 150 pounds.

The hyena is an unattractive animal, having yellowish-brown, coarse hair with black spots.  Its short head with big, erect ears is large in proportion to its body.  Its long, thick neck, muscular shoulders and long, muscular front legs make the front of its body larger and much stronger than the back, which tapers down on shorter hind legs to a stubby tail

Other species of hyenas include the brown and the striped hyenas.  Both are somewhat smaller than the spotted.  Aside from their differences in appearance, they all have much in common.  No other animal on earth has such powerful jaws and strong teeth that can quickly tear flesh and crush bones.  They can crush bones as thick as baseball bats as easily as you would break a stick of peppermint candy.  They are all scavengers, and their food preference is a dead animal that has started to decay.  If they find jackals, cheetahs or other small predators eating an animal they have killed, the hyenas will chase them away and steal the carcass.  However, they will not attempt to chase away lions, because the lions would kill them instead.

In the hottest season, which often reaches 120 degrees in the shade most of the big game migrates elsewhere, so the hyenas have to be satisfied with catching hares, rodents, snakes and birds.  During such dry spells with no water around, the only moisture they usually get is from their freshly killed prey.  Sometimes, however, they find a patch of wild melons to quench their thirst.  Some may question what purpose hyenas serve in God's creation.  Like the vultures that often quarrel with them over a dead animal, they perform an important service in disposing of decaying flesh that spreads disease.  This is part of God's way in having His creation take care of a serious problem.

However, the services of hyenas will not always be needed.  Speaking of a future time, the Bible says, "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind" (Isaiah 65:17).  This refers to the coming time after those who are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have been taken to heaven, and judgment later falls on the rest of the world.  Following those events, the world will be made perfect again, and no sin shall exist.  Will you be among those in heaven looking down on this lovely and peaceful scene?

Love you all,
Grandpa      

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