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A Whale of a Call

by Robert Berendt
Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash
 

My wife and were able to make a trip to Maui in Hawaii. It had been over 20 years since I had enjoyed such a visit. We had time to relax and enjoy a variety of things, including whale watching.

To see an 80,000 pound whale rise out of the sea until almost all of its body is arching through the air leaves me in awe. Sometimes only the head comes up out of the water up to eye level – just as though the whale is taking a peek at us spectators on our small boats. Always there are gasps of awe and amazement as a whale performs for us. These are the humpback whales and, although not the largest whale, they are magnificent.

In Genesis 1:21 we read that God created great whales. It struck me that these enormous creatures are completely at His command – as are all other creatures. Whales do not know why they migrate for thousands of miles to calve and mate off the island of Maui. In Job 41:1, God asks, “Can you draw out leviathan with a hook?” In verse 3 He asks, “Will he speak soft words to you?”

Although theologians argue over what creature God is referring to here, it is clear that the greatest creatures on earth respond to God’s commands. God controls them. He indeed does have a spiritual hook that draws these huge whales to Maui each year. Furthermore, these huge creatures make soft sounds that we cannot understand and often cannot hear. God hears their songs and soft messages, because he made these huge creatures do just that! Whales are known to “sing” underwater. (A recent program on the Discovery Channel showed great elephants, who roar and trumpet mightily, can also communicate to their young in “soft words.”) The words of the song “How Great Thou Art” come to mind.

Man cannot program Canada geese to head north or south at prescribed times. He cannot program salmon to come back to the streams of their birth to spawn and die. Man in his limited way should observe these wonders and know that God is! Job was awestruck with what God showed him. When he took time to ponder and observe and then to really appreciate the presence of God, Job was humbled. Our responsibility within this great creation – to dress it and keep it – is much more meaningful when we appreciate the greatness of the creation and, in turn, the Creator.

Humans are able to kill and destroy, and they are able to nurture and enhance this wonderful world. Sadly, our record has been one mostly of destruction. God wants us to take full responsibility for His creation. He put humans here to learn the benefits of taking care of it. Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 tell us we have the power to subdue and control every living thing on earth, but God expects us to treat this responsibility with love and appreciation for all He has created. When we learn to love and care for creation, we will become much more like-minded with God the Creator. That is His full intention. Paul writes of God’s plan in Romans 8:16- 17: “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and join theirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” He says in verse 29 that humans are to be conformed to the image of His Son, and Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is the express image of the Father. What an incredible future God intends for mankind. Psalm 37:9 boldly states that “those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

Right now the earth belongs to God. He hears the sounds of His creatures and He rejoices in their response to His call. How can we not appreciate our calling? Animals don’t stop to think about what they are doing, they just do it because they were programmed to be that way by the Creator. Only man is allowed to choose, to think, to ponder and to determine his way – up to a point. It is incredible that humans try to explain the marvels we observe, through the impossible path of evolution. That path obscures the purpose for our existence, and belittles the responsibility we ought to show.

Seeing an 80,000 pound creature joyfully respond to what God has called it to do helps me stand in awe of His majesty and greatness. Like Job, there are times when the best thing to do is just put your hand over your mouth and watch. God is our Father and He wants to share all He has with His children. He will first make sure those children have learned to love His creation and take care of it according to His way.

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