Friday, August 29, 2014

Jewel # 185 (Aug. 29, 2014)

“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

The Barbary Ape

“The eyes of all wait upon Thee. . . . Thou openest Thine hand,
and satisfies the desire of every living thing.”
(Psalm 145:15-16)

Its fun to watch monkeys in the zoo, especially when they do tricks their trainers have taught them.  Even King Solomon found them interesting and brought some to Jerusalem, probably as part of his zoo.

There are many species of monkeys and apes in God’s creation, and He has supplied everything they need.  Since they do look a little like humans, some people think that humans and monkeys are related, but the Bible assures us this is not so.  There are many differences, both in body structure and intelligence.  Apes  and monkeys are part of the animal creation.  Man was formed separately and is distinct and superior to all other created things. The Bible says, “God created man in His [God’s] own image” (Genesis 1:27) .

The Barbary Ape is actually a monkey rather than an ape.  It is a native of Africa but is also a famous resident of the Rock of Gibraltar where it was found when the British came there in 1704.  These apes live in large colonies of several dozen, with a powerful male as their leader.  He is responsible for the behaviour of those in his colony, although the young ones being full of play and mischief are given lots of freedom.  Babies are lovingly nursed by their mothers and cling to their mother’s fur for the first few weeks of life.  They eventually grow to be about three feet tall.  They have excellent memories and are always curious about anything new or strange.

Like most monkeys, the Barbary ape is a great climber and very acrobatic even though it has no tail.  Most of its time is spent searching for food, which includes fruit, leaves, roots, seeds, locusts and lizards.  Its sense of smell is poor, but its sight and hearing are excellent.

Barbary apes live where there are many dangerous scorpions that have deadly, poisonous stingers in their tails.  But this ape has no fear of them. When a scorpion is spotted, the ape quickly pounces on it in just the right way.  Then the tail with its poisonous stinger is twisted off, and the ape has a scorpion dinner.  How long do you think it took these apes to learn this trick?  Actually, they did not need to learn it, because God gave them that ability when He created them.

We are impressed with God’s  watchful care over these interesting apes.  But the psalmist was thinking of something even more impressive when he exclaimed, “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17). 

Have you thought of God’s loving care in providing a Saviour for you?  He invites you to come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that you might have your sins forgiven and have everlasting life.

Love you all,
Grandpa    

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jewel # 184 (Aug 10, 2014)


To my dear grandchildren,

Man’s Friend - the Horse

“In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses,
HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.”
(Zechariah 14:20)

Isn’t it amazing that some large animals like horses, which can weigh 2000 pounds or more, can be taught to obey a boy or girl weighing less than 100 pounds?  God arranged this in creation and declared in Genesis 1:26 that man should dominate all living creatures.

Centuries ago men discovered that a horse’s mouth could be used to control it.  Between its front and back teeth is an open space.  A metal bar, called a bit, is placed there and a bridle is attached to it.  This is then used to direct the horse wherever the rider wants it to go.  

King David in the Bible wrote about horses: “Be ye not as the horse . . . whose mouth must be held in with a bit and bridle” (Psalm 32:9).  This advice warns us not to resist God or He may have to turn us in the right direction by some stronger action.

A horse keeps its “baby teeth” until it is five years old, and then new, strong teeth replace them.  But over the years these wear down, so an experienced horseman can tell a horse’s age by counting its teeth and looking at their condition.

Have you noticed that horse’s eyes are situated more on each side of its head than in front like yours?  The Creator gave it this extra safety precaution so it can see to each side.  They have larger eyes than that any other land animal.

A horse’s entire body helps it to receive sounds.  Besides its ears, its hooves sense sound and pass it on through its bones and nerves.  A horse has sharp hearing and can move its ears to catch sounds from almost any direction.  Its ears are also a clue to its disposition.  Straight foreword - it is interested and usually friendly.  Laid back - look out!  It may be angry or annoyed.

God gave the legs and feet of a horse a special design.  As a horse runs, its foot hits the ground with a powerful force.  An elastic ligament above the hoof stretches out so the full force of the animal’s great weight does not hurt the lower part of the leg.  This feature prevents the leg bones from breaking and becoming useless and allows it to gallop and jump without harm.  Yet a horse can sleep standing upright.  Its legs are provided with “lock-joints” which remain firm and straight even though the horse is sound asleep.

These wonderful animals did not develop their unusual abilities by themselves.  Everything about them shows the wisdom of the Creator when He placed them among earth’s animals.

The psalmist said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God" (Psalm 20:7), and “Blessed is the man that trusts in Him” (Psalm 34:8).  

Are you trusting in earthly things or are you trusting in God?

Love you all,
Grandpa
         

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Jewel # 183 (Aug 2, 2014)

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“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,

The Ever-Present Cockroach

“His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings.
There is no darkness . . . where they may hide themselves.”
(Job 34:21-22)

There are 3500 species of cockroaches, about a dozen of which are in Canada and the United States.  They are found in the kitchens, bathrooms and cupboards of rich and poor alike and also in restaurants, grocery stores and food storage places.  The largest is four inches long and the smallest is one-eighth of an inch long, and lives in the tropics.  They dislike bright light and usually come out only at night.  You might catch a glimpse of them as they scurry to hide when a light is turned on.

Cockroaches, closely related to grasshoppers and crickets, are mostly black or brown.  These unpleasant pests are well equipped for survival.  Their strong legs are covered with bristles and their jaws have sharp cutting blades capable of handling tough items, including food scraps, paper, cloth, glue, soap, leather and even electric cords.  

Before feeding, they use their antennae and special feelers to “inspect” the food to determine if it is safe to eat.  Through this “inspection,” they sometimes avoid poisons intended for them.  Spraying with insecticide in their concealed hideouts does not do much good either.  The pressure-sensitive hairs on their bodies also inform them when danger is near, sending them running away in a fraction of a second.  Even their endurance is remarkable.  

Tests have shown they can survive a month without water and three months without food!  Cockroaches can survive underwater for a half hour.   No wonder they are hard to get rid of!

Preferring warm, dirty, damp places, they are frequently surrounded by filth, which they eat and which clings to their legs.  They sometimes are transported to other places when they hide in paper bags and cartons and they are known to carry disease.  However, they are industrious in grooming themselves by brushing their bodies with their legs.

We are not told why the Creator included the cockroach when He brought so many insects into the world.  Perhaps one purpose is to impress on us that the world has been spoiled by sin and to remind us of Satan who also “grooms” himself to appear sometimes as “an angel of light.”  But in spite of this deceit, the devil is man’s worst enemy.

The Apostle Paul was aware of Satan’s evil activity and that those who do not turn away from his influence will, in a coming time, be under God’s solemn judgement.  “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of this body of . . . death?”, he cried.  Finding the answer, he happily responded, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25).

Have you also accepted Christ as your Saviour so that you can now give thanks unto the Father “who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Colossians 1:13)?

I love you all,
Grandpa