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Creation Devotional April 20 - Botany

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


Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett

References for this devotional.


Creation Devotional March 22 - Botany

Daily Devotional – March 22



Mangrove trees live alongside the ocean where their roots are flooded by salty ocean water. You would not expect ants, which build their home underground, to build nests in such a wet location. Believe it or not, some ants (Polyrhachis sokolova) thrive within Australia’s mangrove swamps. They build their cities deep into the mud some 18 inches below a mangrove tree. Twice a day, at high tide, their city is flooded!


The ants have designed their mound with two entrances that collapse at high tide - plugging the entrances and ensuring the safety of the ants inside. When seawater does leak into the underground tunnels, the ants scurry around moving their eggs and brood to different galleries. The bell-shaped galleries ensure that air is trapped, saving the ants from drowning. When the water recedes at low tide, the ants repair their city and others hunt small crustaceans on the mud flats. Two times a day…seven days a week…365 days a year, the ants repair their entrances and go hunting! Why would ants choose to live in such a way? It would be much easier to build their city in a place not covered with seawater twice a day. They did not choose it. God designed them to survive and thrive in this location.


Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

~ Proverbs 6:6-8


Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett

References for this devotional.


Creation Devotional March 6 - Botany

Daily Devotional – March 6



Botanists have long been fascinated by the design of the giant Amazon water lily (Victoria amazonica) with its raised rim that surrounds floating leaves reaching eight feet in diameter. In fact, the lily’s floating leaves can easily support a full-grown adult lying on the thin leaf structure! The secret to the strength of these leaves is the well-engineered supporting veins on the underside of these floating marvels.


Before the very first World’s Fair, being held in London, England in 1851, the organizing committee announced a contest for the best and most original design for the Great Exhibition Hall. Architects and engineers from around the world sent in their designs. Yet, it was not a trained architect, but a botanist named Joseph Paxton, who won the contest. His “Crystal Palace” was to be constructed with 200,000 panes of glass, weighing an estimated one million pounds, supported by a thin iron framework. The entire building was to stand 108 feet tall and cover 18 acres. Experts declared that the foolish structure would collapse before being finished.


Paxton based the design of his building on the same design used to support the heavy leaves of the giant water lily. Not only were the experts wrong, but the beautiful glass building stood as a testimony to the genius of God’s design ability for the next 80 years before being destroyed by fire. Paxton realized that the giant water lily was well engineered; he just copied the greatest Engineer, God Himself.


Through wisdom is a house built.

~ Proverbs 24:3a


Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett

References for this devotional.


Creation Devotional February 24 - Botany

Daily Devotional – February 24




Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is second only to Isaac Newton as the greatest physicist who ever walked the Earth. Faraday was credited with the invention of electromagnetic induction, the electric motor, the electric transformer, the electric generator and made major contributions to our understanding of magnetism, polarized light, the liquefaction of gases, the development of rubber, optical glass, alloys of steel, electroplating, and artificial rubies. In addition, his greatest contribution to science was the development of field theory in physics. He is ranked by science historians as the greatest of all experimental physicists – adding a whole new vocabulary to modern science – anode, cathode, ion, electricity, electrode, anion, cation, magnetic field, lines of force, and electrolysis.


Faraday’s work so changed modern science that two basic units of physics were named in his honor – the faraday (a unit of electrical quantity) and the farad (a unit of capacitance). Yet, as much as Faraday contributed to scientific advancement – he drew more from his deeply held Christian faith. His actions were strongly guided by Biblical truths, and his Bible contained nearly 3000 meticulously written notations in the margins. His good friend John Tyndall wrote of Faraday, “I think that a good deal of Faraday’s week-long strength and persistency might be due to his Sunday exercises. He drinks from a fount on Sunday that refreshes his soul for the week.”


Just like Newton before him, Faraday drew strength and meaning from the reality that the universe displays order and meaning as a direct result of being created by God. It is not a meaningless assembly of atoms which created itself, but an orderly arrangement – designed by an incredible intelligence outside of the physical universe. This acknowledgement did not hinder the incredible discoveries of these great scientists, but provided the foundation which motivated them.


And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men

~ Colossians 3:23


Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett


Creation Devotional February 19 - Botany

People are fascinated by insect eating plants such as the Venus flytrap. Venus fly traps are designed to snap their leaves shut, trapping the insect inside. This provides the nutrients for the plant that the soil does not provide. Another mechanism of trapping insects is seen in the pitcher plants. Their leaf-like structures form a cavity that fills with liquid in which insects are attracted and then drown. The dissolved insects provide nutrients which the plants need.


The Borneo giant pitcher plant, Nepenthes rajah, is so large it can hold almost a gallon of liquid. With a reservoir so large, any nutrients from insects would be too diluted to do the plant much good. So biologists were curious how the Borneo’s giant pitcher plant got its nutrients. They discovered an amazing process whereby the plant lures rats and tree shrews with sweet nectar, not to eat them, but to feed them. During the day, the tree shrews come to lick the nectar from the rim and defecate into the plant. During the night, rats come to lick the sweet nectar and also use the pitcher plant as a toilet. The tree shrew/rat gets a valuable food source, nectar, while the pitcher plant gets to catch and absorb the “poop” from the shrew/rat, which supplies it with much-needed nitrogen. The plant needs the rat, and the rat needs the plant. Did this mutualism happen by accident and chance? When we see such a mutually beneficial design we know it points to a Designer.


And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it.

~ Luke 13:8


Creation Devotional January 20 - Botany

Daily Devotional - January 20




The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant that grows only in bogs located in a tiny part of the world covering about 700 miles along the coast of North and South Carolina. These humid, sunny bogs lack nutrients that the plant needs, so this plant traps and eats insects! These insects are like vitamin pills for the plant.


How does this plant trap and digest insects?

  • First, it has to get the insects to come to it, so it produces a sweet smelling aroma.
  • Second, it has to know the insect is there. As the insect moves around on the “open mouth”, it triggers two hairs inside of the plant’s leaves.
  • Third, the plant has to trap the insect. When these two hairs are triggered, the trap snaps shut faster than the blink of an eye. These leaves snap by changing from convex (outward –curving) to concave (inward –curving) - similar to the way a tennis ball cut in half can be quickly flipped inside out.
  • Fourth, the plant must “eat” the insect. Trapped inside the imprisoned leaves, the insect is digested in three to ten days – leaving nothing but its exoskeleton. Then the trap reopens – allowing the exoskeleton to be blown away in the breeze.

If you believe in evolution, this trap had to develop over eons of time and thousands of generations. How did the plant, which had no brains, know what aroma to make to lure the insect? How did the plant know to use two hairs to trigger it shut and not just one? How many times did the trap close needlessly until it realized it needed to evolve two hairs to trigger its trap? Once the insect captured, how did the plant know how to develop the correct digestive juices in correct quantity? If it made too much, it could digest itself. The Venus flytrap was made by the Creator from the beginning. He put together a way for this plant to get extra vitamins that the soil lacked. He made the Venus flytrap with the right aroma, the right trapping mechanism, the right amount of digestive juices and much more so that it could survive and thrive in a small niche in this world. A Venus flytrap testifies that there is a Venus flytrap maker, and that maker is God.


O give thanks unto the Lord…who giveth food to all flesh:  for his mercy endureth for ever.
~ Psalm 136:1,25


Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett

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