Monday, June 15, 2015

Jewel # 218 (June 12, 2015)

Alyssa with a star fish in the Bahamas
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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,

Star of the Sea

"The Lord is a great God. . . .  The sea is His, and He made it."
(Psalm 95:3,5)

Most people who live near the ocean have seen starfish dead on the beach.  Sometimes they are called sea stars.  These are sea animals in the same family as the sea cucumbers, sea lilies and sea urchins.  Most starfish have five arms that make them look like five-pointed stars.  However, there are many varieties.  One looks more like a pentagon because it has such short arms, and there are some that have as many as fifty arms.  The colours of starfish are usually red, brown or bright orange.

A very colourful one is the brittle star which moves rapidly through the water by thrashing its arms vigorously.  This variety got its name because its brittle arms are easily shattered by crabs and large fish that eat the broken pieces.

With few other exceptions, starfish appear to be stationary or just moving gently with the current.  But the Creator did not leave them without a means of travel.  The underside of each arm has many tube feet with a tiny suction disk on each foot.  The starfish uses its tube feet and suction disks to crawl over the ocean bottom or onto a rock or other firm surface.

It is with these sensitive arms and suction disks that starfish capture food.  When a shellfish is found, such as an oyster, mussel or clam, the suction disks of one arm attach firmly to one side of the shell, and those on another arm attach on the other side of the shell.  Then the contest begins.  The shellfish clamps its two shell halves tightly together while the starfish�s firmly attached suction disks apply continuous pressure as it pulls the shell halves apart.  The contest may last an hour or more before the shellfish usually loses the battle.  When the two sides of the shell finally open, the shellfish�s stomach slides over the shellfish�s soft body and slowly digests it.

Starfish can regenerate new arms when the old ones are broken off.  Even if a starfish is cut in two, each piece will grow into a new starfish.

These sea animals are among the lower forms of life, without the benefit of an intellect.  Starfish do not have brains. We do not expect them to be aware that a divine Creator rules over the sea and its inhabitants.  Our opening verse reminds us that this is so, and another Bible verse says,  �The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works� (Psalm 145:90.

We who have been given the ability to know of Him, His wonderful works and His great love to us are responsible to act on God�s Word which says, �O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!� (Psalm 107:8).
Have you ever done this?

Love you all,
Grandpa

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