Thursday, July 09, 2015

Jewel # 219 (July 4, 2015)

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“And 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 Cock-of-the-Rock

“Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, 
and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?”
(Job 35:11)

The pigeon-sized cock-of-the-rock makes its home in the Amazon region north of Brazil.  The outstanding colour of the male is orange-red, its head topped with a helmet-like orange crest.  Wing feathers are contrasting dark brown and blue — all making this bird very beautiful.

In contrast, young chicks are anything but beautiful, with their fuzzy black hair, bare legs and wings looking like a coarse comb.  But in a year’s time, they have the same plumage as the adults.

Because of the male’s fighting attitude toward any other bird that approaches its nesting area, it is well named cock-of-the-rock.  This fighting attitude makes them quick to challenge one another, especially when one trespasses into another’s territory or when they are both trying to win the same female at an event called a lek. 

At the time of the lek, several male and female birds gather together in a clearing.  The females are off to one side while the males, one by one, approach with their pretty feathers fluffed out, dancing with steps and hops and fluffing out their pretty light-blue wings below the orange body feathers.

The females then make their choice of a mate, and they go their way to find a place to build a nest of mud and sticks among the trees or perhaps on top of a rocky ledge.  But the female, whose feathers are plain brown, often builds the nest by herself and incubates the eggs and raises her young without any help.  Meanwhile, the father bird is enjoying a care-free life, showing off his feathers as he flies through the forest.  What a selfish fellow!

Males in combat lock powerful talons together, jab at each other with their wings and may lock beaks.  These matches may last two or three hours, and if neither can claim himself a winner, they seem to agree to rest a while before fighting again until one is defeated.  When not fighting, they still threaten each other with harsh calls and noisy wing-flapping.

We may be sure that when these beautiful birds were created, they were not proud and vicious as they are now.  When God created them, along with the other birds on the fifth day of His creation, the Bible states, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:21).  What happened to change them?  It was sin coming into the world through Satan, and he has never changed from his evil ways.  The Bible warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary [enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [destroy]” (1 Peter 5:8).

We can only resist Satan and his evil ways by putting our trust in the Lord Jesus and asking Him to lead us in His ways.

Have you done this?

Love you all, 
Grandpa  

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