|Volume 24 Number 1 January 2022
“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9 NKJV). God, through the prophet Ezekiel, confirmed that in the creation of the world, He created the rivers of the earth to bring forth many different types of fish. Let’s look at one of these marvels of creation – the water monkey.
The common name water monkey has been given to the silver arowana because it is a very capable jumper. It can leap out of the water in the rivers where it lives to catch insects on plants above the water and even birds that fly low over the river or are perched on low hanging limbs. Other arowana have been caught with bats, mice and snakes in their stomachs, but its normal diet is small fish, insects and other floating or swimming animals. Sometimes the arowana is called the dragon fish. As it reaches its adult size, which can be 2-3 feet, the large armor-like scales reflect red, blue and green colors from lights that shine on it. The dragon fish also has two small barbels or whiskers on its lower lip, giving them a very ancient dragon-like appearance. The barbels allow the arowana essentially to see in total darkness by feeling the water around it. In addition, God also created them with very keen vision to see both above and below the water in search of their prey.
The silver arowana lives in both black and white-water rivers in South American countries. Black-water rivers have wood and leaves floating in them that make the water soft and acidic. A white-water river is pale muddy, milky or coffee-like colors, due to the countryside through which it travels. Both river habitats have unique chemistry, sediments and water colors, but the arowana can live in both types of rivers.
God created the arowana with unique mouth structures. Its mouth is very much like a drawbridge with three mouth parts that open quickly and suck in its prey. Inside of this odd mouth is a bony tongue that appears to be used for holding its prey. The tongue is actually a toothed bone on the floor of the mouth; this tongue has teeth that bite against teeth on the roof of the mouth.
The arowana besides having gills is also an air breather. It can obtain oxygen from air by sucking it into its swim bladder, which is lined with capillaries like lung tissue. This allows it to gulp air and then absorb it into the blood.
The arowana are mouth brooders, taking several hundred eggs into the mouth after fertilization. There, they are held and protected; subsequently, the fry can swim in and out for protection from larger fish. Zoologists consider the arowana to be living fossils, since many fossils have been found of this fish that are indistinguishable from the living fish.
The mighty Creator created a fish with a variety of features that cause men to marvel. Let us always praise God for what He has done.
Christ Our Savior
The world yearly considers our Savior in relative calm as a harmless, speechless and swaddled baby boy – the silent purveyor of peace in a world of pain and hopelessness. Admittedly, it is thrilling to reflect upon the miracle of Christ’s physical birth by the virgin Mary. We find ourselves blushing with her as she humbly struggles with the prospect of motherhood. We can almost hear the awe-inspiring words of the angels that announced His birth. We can feel the anxiety of Joseph and Mary as they fled to Egypt for refuge. We can rejoice with the prophets of old as the plan of God unfolded in unimaginable splendor. Yet, these events are merely a ripple in the pond of God’s mercies when compared with the gift of eternal life – a wonderful and glorious life that follows in the wake of Christ’s triumph over death.
Our hope does not rest in the simple facts of Christ’s birth in the humble surroundings of Bethlehem. Rather, our hope rests in the Christ who became the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18). This contrast in vision seems to be foolishness in the eyes of the world (1 Corinthians 1:20-25), but it has a wondrous attraction to those who cherish the true gift of God’s love (John 3:16).
In Christ’s death is the celebration of life, for through the broken body and our Lord’s shed blood came the new covenant (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). The celebration of our own new birth follows baptism as we are raised from the dead by the glory of the Father to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). The finale is held in earnest as we lay claim to eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us never fall into the ritualistic observances of a world that does not know Christ (John 15:18-20). Rather, let us continue in our celebration of life through Christ’s death; we have a constant reminder of His victory over death, which stands as proof of our own victory that will shortly come to pass. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32 NKJV).