Thursday, October 8, 2009

His Eye is on the Sparrow

His Eye is on the Sparrow
by Judy Vandiver

Today’s Bible study centers on the next four verses in Genesis 1. Go ahead – read them – then we can discuss what happened.

Genesis 1:20-23
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. (NIV)

Did you sense how awesome God is? If not, maybe you read the verses too fast. Go back. Read them again. Slower.

“And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures.’” The dictionary defines the word teem to mean “to become filled to overflowing, to be present in large quantities.” He didn’t make a few fish,  - a gold fish, a guppy, and a whale, then stop. He made thousands of different species. The life forms that have been identified as living in the oceans and seas is more than 230,000 kinds. And scientist are finding new species every week.

One report states that 103 new species were found in 2004 and a typical week identifies two or more new aquatic life forms. Last Saturday, CNN reported that last year more than 28 new species of fish were found in one area of Southeast Asia. That’s just in one area of the world. When I think of the number of living creatures God created to populate the seas, it boggles my mind.

 Did you know that fish:

  • have a respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, excretory system, sensory and nervous system, sensory organs, muscular system, reproductive system, and immune system?
  • exhibit behaviors associated with fear and pain?
  • fish have been observed rocking their babies?
  • have brains divided into several regions or lobes?

Guess who did all that? Okay, you don’t have to guess. It’s written in the Scriptures for us. God did that. Isn’t He awesome? (Awesome means terrific and extraordinary.)

My mind was trying to picture all the fish God created, then I realized, the verse didn’t say he created “fish.” It said he created “living creatures.” There are many living creatures of the sea that are not considered fish. Alligators, manatees, dolphins, whales, and turtles are among that group.

Scientists believe that by 2010, they may have correctly identified more than 2 million different species of marine life. No wonder the Bible tell us, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 NIV.) Surely, it would take that long to dream of, design, and create that many animals.

“And let the birds fly above the earth.” There are over 9,900 known species of birds. Did you know:

  • a bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while resting and up to 1000 beats per minute while flying?
  • hummingbirds eat about every ten minutes, slurping down twice their body weight in nectar every day? (And yet, they stay so petite. How do they do that?)
  • some  birds have three eyelids?
  • in order to scare away predators, Giant petrels, a type of seabird, throw up all over the intruder?
  • the Arctic Tern, which is a small bird, can fly a round trip from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back? This can be as long as twenty thousand miles per year.
  • pigeons can see ultraviolet lights?
  • that emus mating call sounds like the beating of distant drums? (I once had an emu in love with me – no joke!)

A little side note here. Last weekend my husband volunteered us to babysit both our son’s dog and our daughter’s dog – same weekend. They really were well-behaved animals, but I was glad when Sunday evening arrived and my house became animal free again. That’s why I’m thinking that after God made the numerous sea creatures and the thousands of different kinds of birds, He would have thought that was enough. No. He blessed them. He told them to go multiply. Fill up the earth.  

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.” He wasn’t through yet. Tomorrow would be his best day yet.

To Ponder On:

  1. Go outside today – maybe your back yard or a park -  and look into the sky. I want you to tell the first bird that flies over, “Hey, you. Did you know that God designed and created you? (If the neighbors don’t have you escorted off by men in white suits proceed to the next “to ponder on.” )
  2. If you haven’t scared all the birds away, sit and watch one or two for a while. Even the common pigeon is not so common. See how many different kinds of birds you spot before the hurried world calls you back.
  3. Find a copy of the song, His Eye is on the Sparrow, and sing it at the top of your lungs. (If you need to, you can come back inside for this one.) Here’s a link where you can listen to the song:
  4. Memorize Matthew 10:29-31. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
  5.  Read Psalm 8. Paraphrase it back to God.
copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver 

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