Friday, May 23, 2014

Jewel # 175 (May 23, 2014)


“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

“God created great whales, and every living creature . . . which the 
waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind.”
(Genesis 1:21)

Some humpback whales are 39-52 feet long and can weigh up to 40 tons.   They may be identified by their characteristic hump-like roll of fat on their backs.  These whales are extremely strong, with large flippers 12-13 feet long, and huge, flat tails controlling their motions.  They can swim 25 miles per hour and at times dive nearly a mile below the surface.  They are also considered playful animals, as they are known for breaching (leaping into the air and landing with a great splash) and slapping the water with their tails and flippers.  

Although they seem gentle and playful, they can be dangerous too.  Anyone closing on a mother with her calf will find her quite ready to smash their small boat with a slap of her tail.

Looking down on one of these whales from above, its black back is not easy to distinguish from the dark water, and looking up from underneath, its white underparts blend with the sky.  These safeguards are provisions of the Creator, helping to protect them from their enemies - mainly whale hunters from above and sharks and killer whales from below.

Of all mammals, whales are most completely at home in water, although they have to come up to the surface for air from time to time.  Rising to the surface, they blow out stale air from their lungs through “blowholes” on their backs.  These look like water spouts, shooting up 12 feet into the air.  Actually, it is their hot moist breath condensing as it hits the colder air above the water.

Humpbacks are in all oceans, but the greatest numbers are in the Pacific Ocean.  Many of these spend winters in the cold waters of Alaska and the Bering Sea where food is plentiful.  Their thick coat of blubber keeps them warm in these cold waters.  In spring they migrate, some to Mexico and some to Hawaii (distances of about 6000 miles).  Both places provide tropical waters where the females give birth to their calves, and shortly thereafter all return north.  In the Atlantic Ocean, similar migrations are made from northern Canadian waters to warm southern areas.  These migrations can be seen by people along those shores, just as they can be seen along the West Coast shores.

We may wonder how these large creatures know when it is time to leave for the southern waters and how they find their way over such great distances.  Like all creatures that migrate, they follow God-given instincts that guide and instruct them.

How much more important it is for us to know the way to heaven, for we can never get there by our own efforts.  The only way is by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  

Are you trusting in Him?

(To be continued in the next issue)

Love you all,

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