Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jewel # 252 (June 23, 2016)

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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 World’s Laziest Animal

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
(Proverbs 18:9

The sloth lives in the tropics of Central and South America and is among the strangest of all animals.  A full-grown sloth is about two feet long and has almost no tail or ears.  Its hair is long and coarse, but its face is bare.  It has a blunt nose on a head that doesn’t seem to have any neck.  Some species can turn their heads almost completely around without moving their bodies, which suits this sluggish creature just fine since it will sometimes stay in the same spot all day.

No wonder the Bible doesn’t have anything good to say about the sloth.  In fact, our opening verse indicates that it is shameful for people to be like these lazy creatures.  Another verse cautions, “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15). 

Perhaps the Creator allowed the sloth to have its lazy habits to give us an example of what is not pleasing to Him.  Instead of being slothful, we are instructed, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might"  (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  

The sloth lives among the trees of the tropics where it hangs upside down most of the time, using it three sharp claws on each foot to securely grip a branch.  After sleeping this way, it is quite content to spend its waking hours in the same position, slowly munching leaves, buds and young twigs within its reach.  

Because it seldom moves, it is well hidden from its enemies.  The sloth occasionally comes down to the ground where it moves clumsily about, but very soon it climbs back up the tree to its lazy way of life.

Unlike most other animals, the sloth doesn’t bother to groom itself.  As a result, its hair becomes the home of numerous bugs, ticks and moths, and some sloths even have a growth of green algae on their hair.  This certainly is not an animal you would want to touch or have for a pet!

This creature is an illustration of how bad habits and laziness are used by Satan to produce the ugly stains of sin that leave their mark on many people.  But, thank the Lord, all who come to the Lord Jesus Christ can be washed clean from their sins.  

In 1 John 1:7,9 we read this wonderful message: “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”    

Certainly the sloth is a sad example of laziness.  How much better it is to please the Lord by obeying His request: “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23). 

Love you all.
Grandpa

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