Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 22 Number 5 May 2020
Page 11

A Wise Son Versus a Foolish Son

Aaron Cozort

Aaron CozortEvery righteous father looks for opportunities to direct his children down the path of righteousness. He sees them growing up and imagines that one day they will walk a path of faithful obedience to the Lord. His heart rejoices each time that a child makes a choice displaying an inward man of thoughtfulness, godliness, love and righteousness. These things and many more point to the growth of a child who will be wise.

In Proverbs, there is one thing intended by the word “wise.” It is being “obedient to God.” Proverbs 9:10 reads, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (NKJV). If wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, one will never reach true wisdom while being in opposition to the Lord.

James further illustrates this.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)

The proof of wisdom is the implementation of righteous behavior. One might parade himself as a wise person, but inwardly he  is only “wise” in unrighteousness. Note that even James describes this wicked behavior as a sort of wisdom, but one that does not originate with God and brings no good. In all reality, this “wisdom” is the true foolishness that Solomon wanted his son to know would lead to the grief of his mother.

When a godly mother realizes that her son is full of envy, self-seeking, sensuality and only those things that are concerns of this physical world, the weight on her heart is indescribable. Throughout her days, her mind seeks out the words to say to turn her son’s direction around, and day after day, she knows that ultimately that is a choice only he will be able to make for himself.

Solomon again admonished, “The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall. He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.” Are you a son or a daughter of righteous parents? Which path have you chosen? If you are bringing grief to your mother, will you decide to turn to wisdom today and begin to bear the fruit of righteousness? “A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1).

The Elephant-Nose Fish

Dave Everson

Dave EversonIn the creation of the fish, God showed a great deal of innovation in giving them amazing abilities. The fish that we will look at in this article is the elephant-nose fish, which has a unique ability to detect electrical fields that are very faint and even use those fields for talking. Let’s look at this amazing fish.

The elephant-nose fish (or more properly the freshwater elephant-nose fish), are freshwater fish native to Africa. It is a large family with around 200 members in the species. These fish are also known for having a large brain size and unusually high intelligence that seems to give it special talents. The elephant-nose fish is a diverse family, with a wide range of different sizes and shapes. The smallest adults of this group are just 2 inches in length while the largest reach up to almost 5 feet long.

All of them do, however, have a number of unique features in common. First, the cerebellum is greatly enlarged, giving them a brain to body size ratio similar to that of people. This is likely to be related to the interpretation of bio-electrical signals that living things give off. Some of the species possess modifications of the mouthparts to facilitate feeding upon small invertebrates buried in muddy bottoms of streams. The shape and structure of these mouthparts are part of what leads to the popular name of elephant-nose fish. The extensions to the mouthparts usually consist of a fleshy elongation attached to the lower jaw. They are flexible, equipped with touch and possibly taste sensors. Their mouths are non-movable, and their head (including the eyes) and belly are covered by a thin layer of skin that is perforated with small pores leading to electroreceptors. These receptors are electric organs and are able to generate weak electrical fields that allow the fish to sense their environment in muddy water and even in total darkness.

All electric fish in the world can be classified into two types: pulse fish or wave fish. Pulse-type discharges are characterized by long intervals between the electrical discharges, whereas wave-type discharges occur when the interval between consecutive pulses is so brief that the discharges fuse together to form a wave. The elephant-nose fish finds its bearings by means of weak electrical fields. Scientists from the University of Bonn have now been able to show how well this works. In complete darkness, the animals can even distinguish the material of objects at a distance or dead organisms from living ones. Yet, its characteristically shaped chin does not work like a particularly sensitive nose. Instead, it contains more than 500 electrical sensors with which it senses its surroundings. The chin of an elephant-nose fish is basically its eye and its tail is the corresponding flashlight. In specially adapted muscle cells, it produces regular electrical pulses of a few volts. At 80 times per second, the fish switches this little battery on and off. “At the same time it measures the electrical field which builds up around it via sensors in the skin,” explains Professor von der Emde. Nearby objects distort the field so that the fish obtains an image of its surroundings, which is a surprisingly complex image. It can use these senses to distinguish living things from dying or dead organisms without touching them. The electrical field image even tells it what material of which the object in question is made. The image will appear very bright for metal and duller for non-conductors, and it can even measure distances to a precision of several millimeters.

However, the elephant fish has perhaps one of the most unusual methods to communicate using this electricity. As the elephant-nose fish uses electroreception to sense its environment, it can also generate an electrical charge and uses it like sonar to find its way around and communicate. Each of these fish produce a different current electrical field. They can all feel each other’s currents to be able to tell who is around them. They can also determine sex and social status—all with this electricity. The males will also serenade females with lower frequency humming. It’s a fish that sings an electrical song.

So, indeed, God has marvelously created the elephant-nose fish to show His power and majesty. May we ever praise Him for what He has done in the world around us.

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