To my dear grandchildren
Don't Argue With a Jaguar
"Every beast of the forest is Mine. . . . And the wild beasts of the field are Mine."
A jaguar can easily be mistaken for a leopard since the brownish-yellow fur of each, covered with black spots, is so similar. But there are some differences. The adult jaguar is larger, and many of the circular spots covering its body have a darker black spot in the center, while those of the leopard are solid. Some South American jaguars are almost coal black.
The jaguar, up to 8 feet long including its 2 1/2-foot tail, may weigh up to 290 pounds. The huge mouth in its large head has strong, sharp teeth and a long tongue covered with tiny rasps that help get the last bite of flesh off the bones of its victims. Out of that mouth also comes a frightening roar. This ferocious cat is the most feared animal in Mexico, Central and South America.
Huge, well-padded paws have fearsome claws that, like a house cat's, remain hidden in the toes but are extended as fierce weapons when fighting or catching prey. However, in spite of this fearful feature, it is a handsome animal with small, erect ears, beautiful eyes and large shoulders.
The jaguar is not afraid of water, jumping into a stream or pond to catch its prey, which might be a fish, turtle or even a small crocodile. Normally it stalks the animals in high grass or brush - seeing, but not being seen - silently creeping closer and then suddenly pouncing on its victim - a deer, peccary, armadillo, tapir or other animal. Its muscular legs and large shoulders provide plenty of strength to drag even a heavy victim a mile or so away, where it may hide a part of the kill to eat another day.
A jaguar prefers to live alone except when raising its family of two or three cubs. It often travels many miles a day hunting for food. When not on the move, it likes to stretch out on a tree limb or a smooth shaded rock. Being master of the rain-forest, it has no fear of attack except by hunters.
The Bible does not mention the jaguar, but the Lord, wanting His people to change their bad ways, said, "Their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me. . . . As a leopard by the way will I observe them" (Hosea 13:6-7). This means that while they forgot Him, yet like an unseen leopard (or like our unseen jaguar), He was watching everything they did. Farther on in the chapter He adds, "In Me is thine help" (vs. 9).
Have you forgotten Him and are you careless in your ways? Oh, how lovingly He invites you to confess it to Him and accept Him as your Saviour before it is too late! If you have not done this, won't you do it right now while there is still time?