Daily Devotional – April 20
Have you considered the sawfly larva’s ingenious defense system? This North American and European pest lives in conifers. Conifers aren’t bothered by too many insect pests. That’s because the oils that give pine trees that nice pine scent are poisonous to insects – including the sawfly. Yet, the sawfly larva eats these poisonous pine needles without dying. How does it survive?
As a sawfly larva munches on the poisonous pine needles, he does not digest them immediately. The sawfly larva separates the poisonous oils in the pine needles from the nutritious pulp. These poisonous oils are then stored in two special sacs in his mouth which are lined with a “poison-proof” material. These poisonous oils can then be used as the larva’s defense mechanism. When a bird or spider attacks, the foul-smelling oils are discharged - frightening the enemy away.
How could this complicated defense/storage system have developed gradually over time? How did the sawfly know to build two sacs and line them with a poison-proof coating so that he would not be killed by the poisons? How did the sawfly know this foul-smelling poisonous oil would repel birds and spiders? The sawfly did not know; God knew. God protects even the smallest of His creatures.
Deliver me from mine enemies….
~ Psalm 59:1
Daily Devotional – April 19
The world’s first artificial stomach was recently developed in Britain at a cost of $1.8 million dollars. It even vomits! The shiny, high-tech box is made of plastics and metal and is built to withstand the corrosive acids and enzymes found inside a real stomach. The two-part model is just a little larger than a desktop computer. Food, stomach acids, and digestive enzymes are poured into the stomach, which mixes them in the first chamber. The artificial stomach attempts to copy real muscle contractions to mix everything up. Software regulates how long food remains in the chamber. Yet, scientists really don’t know how well this lab bench simulator stomach replicates the real thing. A scientist involved with this project admits, “Our knowledge of what actually happens in the gut is still very rudimentary.”
Nevertheless, food companies are interested; one company wants to test its biscuits to see when a particular nutrient is released, and another is interested in how quickly glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. Even though this stomach took millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to design and build, it still cannot accomplish what our own stomach can do. If it took intelligence to make this artificial stomach, imagine the immense intelligence it took to make our own stomach! Evolutionists would have us believe that our stomach happened by accident and chance. Did this artificial stomach, which is not even as good as our own stomach, happen by accident and chance? I just can’t stomach that idea! When we see a stomach, we know there must be a stomachmaker and that stomach-maker is God!
And Jesus said, “Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly...”
~ Matthew 15:16-17
Daily Devotional – April 18
Mankind has often pondered the question, “What comes after this life?” Do we just simply cease to exist and return to the dust of the earth? Or is there more to our existence than our physical bodies? The Bible is clear that we will be held accountable for our lives after death, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). It also states, “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 emp. added) and “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) We will face a holy and just God after death, and this is indeed a scary reality for those who have not accepted the forgiveness offered through the sacrificial death of Jesus. Yet, how do we know there will be a life after death? One answer comes in the most unlikely of places – the book of Job. Before his trials, Job was blessed with wealth, health, and happiness. He had 7 sons, 3 daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 pairs of oxen, and 500 donkeys (Job 1:2-3). Stricken by disaster, which few men have endured before or since, Job lost everything. He was urged by his wife and closest friends to blame either God or his own sins for his problems - yet Job steadfastly refused to do either. Blaming God would defame the character of God, and Job knew he had not sinned in a way that should have brought such misery upon his life. Yet, it never entered Job’s mind to deny the very existence of God. Job begged to know why such agony had fallen upon him and in the end, God rebuked his antagonists while rewarding Job’s steadfast faithfulness by doubling his losses with 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 pairs of oxen, 1000 donkeys, 7 more sons and 3 more daughters (Job 42:12-13). Compare the original list with the final list. Notice that the Lord doubled all of Job’s possessions …except for his children. Why? Because death does not end our existence. Job’s original 7 children did not cease to exist; they had simply stepped through the door we call death and would see Job again (if they were judged righteous). So in reality, by giving Job another 10 children, the Lord also doubled his children. Had he been given 20 more children, it would have been as if the original 10 had ceased to exist, and this is not the case!
He had also seven sons and three daughters.
~ Job 42:13
Daily Devotional – April 17
Did you know that there is a direct connection between bats and the Ebola virus? News reports of the Ebola virus never seem to address the source of the virus. People in the tropical regions where fruit bats live often sell these bats at market for consumption. These bats have been found to serve as natural reservoirs of the Ebola virus. In the Western culture, the eating of bats has never been considered appropriate, but why? Perhaps because both the USA and Western European cultures were established on Judeo-Christian principles.
Bats are listed among food to be avoided and considered as detestable as rats in our culture. Thus, we are spared from many diseases rampant elsewhere. When reading the Scriptures, we find many of our practices (like washing our hands under running water and not touching a dead body), originated from the Bible long before germs were understood. Our forefathers believed God and incorporated many practices from the Bible into their everyday lives, and these practices have been passed down to us. Did our forefathers know the consequences of eating bats? No. But our heavenly Father knew and wanted to protect us.
And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, …and the bat.
~ Leviticus 11:13-19
Daily Devotional – April 16
By studying the effects of recent volcanic eruptions, we can better understand what happened during the Flood of Noah. On April 5, and again on April 10 of 1815, Mount Tambora, the highest peak on a South Pacific Island, literally blew its top - sending a stream of ash upward over 25 miles into the earth’s atmosphere. An ash cloud the size of Australia blackened the sky, dropping ash over 6 feet deep on surrounding islands and creating floating fields of pumice that traveled over 2000 miles. Iceberg-sized chunks of pumice created hazards for ships for years afterwards. Explosive percussions of the mountain’s collapse could be heard on other South Pacific islands located over 1000 miles away as the top two thousand feet of the mountain disappeared in a fiery detonation. This powerful eruption killed over twelve thousand natives who died instantly from the explosion and subsequent tsunamis.
Ultimately though, far more people around the world died, as this one volcano affected the history of our entire planet. Fine volcanic ash from Tambora was ejected far into the earth’s upper atmosphere where it affected weather patterns around the earth for the next year or more. Fiery red and purple sunsets were visible around the globe for several years. In Europe and North America, there were severe storms, excessive rain, and snow that fell far into the summer months of 1816, causing crop failures, food shortages, famine, riots, and political unrest. Mass migrations in search for food occurred as people traveled from Europe to America, and out of New England to the Midwest.
Religious revivals broke out across America as stable communities were transformed into groups of wandering beggars and the worst typhus epidemic in history broke out. 1816 became known as “the year without summer,” and this one volcano changed the history of both individual families and our entire planet in profound ways that are still being studied.
Now imagine the impact of thousands of volcanic eruptions during the Flood of Noah’s time, which were hundreds of times more powerful than this one volcano, accompanied by a world-covering flood that lasted for over a year. Volcanic reverberations would have continued for decades during and after the Flood of Noah. Weather patterns would have been affected for centuries as the world was plunged into an extended Ice Age. The Flood of Noah’s day had a profound effect on our planet. That is why every human culture has a remembrance of this Flood in their ancient traditions.
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
~ Psalm 104:32
Daily Devotional – April 15
Ancient sailors spin yarns of mermaids, sea monsters, giant octopuses, sunken cities, and flying squid. The mermaid stories are based on fanciful storytelling; however, the stories of flying squid, sunken cities, and giant octopuses have turned out to be absolutely true!
As a matter of fact, squid have now been documented to soar as high as 20 feet above the ocean surface on flights of over 180 feet. So how do animals with no wings and bodies designed to swim manage to soar above the water’s surface? And more to the point, why would a squid bother to fly?
Each flight has three distinct phases:
- A sudden contraction of the squid’s body shoots water out of its funnel shaped rear end in a jet stream and propels them it the air.
- During flight, the squid spreads out his front fins like wings and arranges his rear tentacles in a fanlike pattern (not unlike the tail fins of a plane). This aerodynamic position allows him to glide long distances after the jet propulsion stops.
- He folds his fins and tentacles back against his body to end his glide with a controlled dive in order to minimize the impact and maximize the forward movement as he reenters the water.
Researchers have discovered that a squid’s jet propulsion moves it three times farther in air than the same exertion in the water. Thus by “flying,” a squid can travel much longer distances using far less energy. Evolutionists believe that squids evolved this ability to “fly” over millions of years, yet in the fossil record we see squids are squids (even though evolutionists have taught us the fossil ancestors are over 200 million years old).
The creativity and design of the squid’s jet propulsion testifies to the creativity and intelligence of its designer, not evolutionary development.
For God is king of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
~ Psalm 47:7
Daily Devotional – April 14
When living creatures look exactly like their fossil counterparts, they have been called “living fossils.” There are actually thousands of examples of fossils (many believed by evolutionists to be hundreds of millions of years old) that are identical to modern counterparts. For example:
- Bacteria fossils are found identical to bacteria today. This means that some bacteria stayed the same while other bacteria mutated and turned into human beings?
- Sponge fossils have been found identical to sponges today. So, some sponges stayed sponges while others turned into other complex sea life such as whales?
- Starfish fossils are identical to starfish today. So, some starfish stayed starfish while other starfish turned into sharks, tuna, and octopuses?
The list goes on and on. The only reason these fossils exist is because they were buried during Noah’s Flood. The similar creatures alive today are not “living fossils”; they are just the same kind of creatures that survived the Flood.
Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
~ Psalm 145:16
Daily Devotional – April 13
What is the secret to an owl’s ability to rotate its head 270 degrees? Why are there not thousands of dead owls on the forest floor after having experienced a stroke from rapidly twisting their heads? Sudden head movements in humans--like whiplash--can cause the fragile blood vessel lining to stretch and tear, producing clots that break off, causing a deadly stroke.
Biologists have discovered many features allowing owls to turn their heads almost completely around. First of all, owls have 14 vertebrae in their necks whereas humans only have seven. In addition:
- The blood vessels at the base of the neck get larger as they get closer to the brain. This acts as a reservoir that continues feeding the brain when the twisting neck slows the blood supply.
- The owl’s neck bones have holes 10 times the diameter of the artery traveling through it. This extra space allows for greater flexibility and movement of the artery. In humans, the holes are the size of the artery.
- The vertebral artery enters the neck higher up than in other birds, creating slack, so the artery is not twisted shut as the neck turns.
- Owls have small vessels connecting both the carotid and neck bone arteries; humans do not. During neck rotation, if one of the vessels becomes blocked, the others can still let the blood flow uninterrupted.
All these unique features had to be there from the beginning; otherwise, the forest floor would be littered with dead owls. God uniquely created owls from the very beginning.
Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders:
~ Psalm 77:13b-14a
Daily Devotional – April 12
What if….you took 40 different people….from all different walks of life, social status, and vocations…living on three different continents…separated by thousands of years….writing in different moods (from sorrow to joy)… writing in three different languages….and writing about diverse topics. Would you expect to have a unified, harmonious story? Or would the result be a disjointed jumble of different ideas?
The Bible was written
- By 40 different authors: shepherds, kings, soldiers, religious leaders, common men, statesmen, doctors, government officials
- In different places: palaces, towns, large cities, deserts
- At different times: times of war and peace, of prosperity and need
- In different moods: joy and sorrow, fear and security
- On three different continents: in Africa (Egypt), Europe (Italy), and Asia (Turkey)
- In three different languages: Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic
- About many topics: the nature of God, moral issues, religious ceremonies, history, science, documentation of facts
- In multiple styles: poetry, songs, historical accounts, sermons, advice, personal letters, prophetic utterances, lineages, royal edicts, allegory
- Over a 1500 year period
Yet, these 66 books share a common storyline - creation, fall, redemption - God’s love for us and His means of salvation to all who repent of their sins and follow Him with all their heart, soul and mind. This golden thread weaves its way throughout the Bible. It is the unified, harmonious story of God’s Word. In all 66 books, there are no historical errors or internal contradictions. The Bible is no ordinary book; it is the inspired Word of God!
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…
~ 2 Timothy 3:16a
Daily Devotional – April 11
When an adult California ground squirrel discovers a rattlesnake lurking nearby, it often harasses it. In this area, baby ground squirrels make up 69% of the rattlesnakes’ diet. Therefore, the adult ground squirrel harasses the rattlesnake by dashing around it, nipping at its tail, kicking sand on it and waving his tail at it. The rattlesnake is not as fast or agile as the ground squirrel. If bitten, the ground squirrel doesn’t die because adult squirrels have proteins in their blood to neutralize the rattlesnake venom. Baby California ground squirrels, however, have not yet developed enough proteins to neutralize the poison. The ground squirrel will even taunt the rattlesnake by shunting extra blood to its tail, so it will heat up. Rattlesnakes can see heat (infra-red) and, therefore, lunges for the extra hot tail. Eventually the rattlesnake becomes frustrated and retreats. Interestingly, ground squirrels also harass gopher snakes – 50% of the gopher snakes’ diet also is baby ground squirrels. Gopher snakes, however, do not see heat, so the ground squirrel does not shunt extra blood to its tail when fighting with this kind of snake. How does a ground squirrel know that a rattlesnake can see heat and a gopher snake cannot? God knew the California ground squirrel would need this for its offspring’s defense, so He designed it to discern the difference.
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
~ Psalm 104: 24