Monday, December 06, 2010

Jewel # 74 (Dec 6, 2010)

To my dear grandchildren,

A Harbor Seal's Brush With Disaster

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is an inlet of the ocean dividing Canada from the State of Washington.  Passengers on two ships in this inlet were able to view a life-and-death drama between a pod of Orcas, which are killer whales, and a harbor seal.
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Earlier in the day, twelve passengers and a boat pilot set out in a large, inflatable boat, called a Zodiac boat, from the Canadian side on a whale watching tour.  They got to see more than they expected when they finally located a pod of the black and white Orcas by their tall dorsal fins.  These killer whales had spotted a lone harbor seal and were chasing it.
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In the open water, the seal didn't have much chance of escaping the whales.  Orcas are 30 feet long, and seals are 5 to 6 feet long. Orcas weigh 16,000 pounds, and seals weigh 300 pounds.  Orcas swim at a top speed of 30 miles per hour, and a harbor seal's top speed is 13 miles per hour.  The Orcas certainly had a big advantage over the seal; however, the Orcas were chasing a very resourceful seal!
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With the Orcas close behind, the seal realized it needed a refuge or a hiding place, and it needed it fast!  The seal swam towards the inflatable boat at full speed, leaped out of the water and onto the rounded end of the Zodiac boat.  It then squirmed down onto the deck.  The passengers backed away from the seal, giving it plenty of space.  The whales circled the area for a short while, and then their dorsal fins disappeared, as they appeared to swim away.  After twenty minutes, the seal must have felt that it was safe to shimmy over the side of the boat and reenter the water.
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But it wasn't.  The Orcas reappeared, and this time they cut off the seal's path back to the Zodiac boat.  Another boat had slowed to a stop to watch the whales.  This boat was the Victoria Clipper, a high-speed ferry boat that carried hundreds of passengers.  The sides of this boat were high and made out of metal.  Even as the seal swam for the ferry boat, with the Orcas close behind, there was no chance the seal could jump over its sides to get away from the whales.
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The Victoria Clipper is powered by two turbo jet engines.  As the ship sat still in the water, these engines were only partially under-water.  To the seal, they were perfect little caves of refuge.  The seal jumped out of the water and pulled itself up onto one of the jet engines.
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Again, the seal had escaped the whales.  This time they lost interest and swam off in search of easier prey.  After waiting a while, the seal slipped back into the water and swam off.
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When the Orcas first began chasing the seal, it knew it was in trouble and had to find a hiding place and find it fast!  It found safety in two unusual places and lived to see another day.  A long time ago, King David wrote about God:  "Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from  trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:7).  For all of our troubles, God is a sure refuge or hiding place.  This is especially true for our problem of sin.
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Over two thousand years ago, God provided a place of safety for sinners when  His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died on the cross.  "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).  Sin is hateful in the sight of God, and since He is holy and a God of justice, He cannot let it go unpunished.  Those who never repent and come to the Saviour in this life will be lost forever in the darkness and terrors of hell.  To make a way of escape for sinners, the Lord Jesus came to earth and died in our place.  He is the Son of God, and because of the sacrifice  He made at Calvary, all who believe on Him receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.  God hates our sin, but He loves sinners and has done every thing possible so we might be saved.
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There is no other way to be saved from the punishment we deserve for our sins but through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.  Those who come to Him find the one hiding place that will keep them safe for time and eternity.   "A man shall be as a hiding place" (Isaiah 32:2), and that man is Christ Jesus.  Will you accept Him as your place of safety - your hiding place?     

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