Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jewel # 75 (Dec 21, 2010)

To my dear grandchildren

The World's Largest Snakes

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life."
(John 3:14-15)

Of the world's more than 2,500 kinds of snakes, the largest are anacondas and boa constrictors, living in the swamps and tropical forests of South and Central America, and pythons found in southeastern Asia, Africa and India.

The twelve foot boa constrictor is smaller than the thirty to forty-foot anaconda and python.  All kill their prey by coiling around the animal's body and constricting it to death, and then swallowing it whole.  They do not actually"eat" their food, but draw their hinged mouths over it, and their fangs then pull it into their bodies an inch or two at a time.  After a big meal, the snakes may not eat again for three or four months.

The long, flat head of these snakes has no ears.  Vibrations and a keen sense of smell, received partially through a flicking tongue, make them aware of what is nearby.  They never stop growing, although their skins do.  Twice a year a new skin replaces the tight old one, which is rubbed off - a startling thing to come upon lying on the ground.

Anacondas and boas give birth to live babies, but pythons lay eggs that are incubated by the mother coiling around them.  Either way, as many as six dozen (70+) babies, as long as two feet at birth, immediately know how to squeeze small victims to death.

The boas spend a great deal of time in water, often with only a small part of their heads showing, waiting for animals to come near.  At other times they climb trees to rob birds' nests or stretch out on a low limb to dart down and catch animals passing below.  Pythons have similar habits, sometimes tangling with tigers or other big animals.  Once they get their coils around their prey, they are almost sure to win these battles.  But these victims are too large to eat, and these contests only happen when, for some reason, they attack one another

These reptiles have a place and purpose in God's creation, but most people find them repulsive, especially when remembering that in the Bible Satan is called"that old serpent, which is the Devil" (Revelation 20:2).

When the Israelites spoke against God in the wilderness  (Numbers 21:4-9), He sent fiery serpents among them and many died.  But the Lord did provide a way of escape.  He told Moses to place a brass serpent on a pole, and any who simply looked on it were healed.  This is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who later died for sinners on Calvary's cross, with the wonderful promise that"whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Have you confessed that you are a sinner and looked in faith to Jesus to save you?

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