Monday, February 22, 2016

Jewel # 241 (February 21, 2016)

"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,

Lions of the Sea

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. . . . 
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof.” 
(1 Chronicles 16:31-32)

A visitor approaching San Miguel Island, 50 miles off the coast of California, might wonder at the noise he hears even when a mile away.  He would soon discover the source—a colony of California sea lions, part of the 35,000 sea lions that make the Channel Islands National Park their summer home.  Large bulls, six to seven feet long and weighing 650 pounds or more, roar during their waking hours to warn rival males to stay away.  Cows join in the noise but with a softer bark.  Even the pups add their bleating to the deafening noise.  It is no place for a seaside picnic.

There are about 90,000 sea lions in the pacific Ocean; most live along the California coast, but many also live on the coast of Japan.  These sea mammals have streamlined bodies with smooth, round heads and can swim up to 15 miles per hour.  The Creator gave them brown, warm fur to insulate them from cold and heat.  Their bodies also have thick blubber for two reasons—as added insulation against the cold and as an energy source when food is not available.

In some ways sea lions are similar to walruses, but they don’t have the walruses tusks and tough whiskers.  They share the same food preferences of shrimp, shellfish, squid and many kinds of fish.  They are excellent swimmers and divers and can stay under water for 30 minutes.  In this, too, the Lord God provided for them by giving them ears and nostrils which automatically close when submerged.

Fights between the bulls are frequent as they compete to get and protect territory on the beach.  These are frightful to witness as sharp teeth make bloody wounds.  However, their thick blubber usually protects them from serious injury.

Pups are born on land.  Immediately after birth, the mother and her single pup “talk” constantly to each other.  They become so well acquainted with each other’s voice that, in spite of all the bellowing and roaring noise, they can identify one another when they become separated.  Pups quickly take to the water where they love to play.  In captivity, they can be trained and quickly learn tricks.

Many sea lions living in obscure places are never seen by people, but there is One whose eye is always on them:  “He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven" (Job 28:24).  The Bible also tells us, “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men” (Psalm 11:4).  No matter how hidden you might be, the Lord’s eyes always see you.  

What does He see when His eyes rest on you?

I love you all,
Grandpa          

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