Whales and Dolphins

  • Dec. 8, 2015
  • #8767

God is glorified by his creatures frolicking and playing, rejoicing in Him and his wonderful creation.

Whales and Dolphins

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a lesson from whales and dolphins.

Although I have lived just miles from the Pacific Ocean for many years now, I have never seen a whale. It is on my bucket list though! And I am particularly interested in observing whales breaching – I'm sure you’ve seen photos or videos of whales that all of a sudden rise up out of the water, twist in mid-air, and then smack back down on the water, causing waves everywhere.

It’s a fascinating thing to see, at least on a video. And you will be interested to know that such behavior of whales is described in the scriptures in a most unusual manner. The description is found in Psalm 104, verses 25 to 26. It says, “There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number, living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.” Okay, real quickly, a leviathan is another word for a whale. And isn’t it interesting that God says that He formed the whale to frolic in the ocean. Now, the word “frolic” might not strike you as unusual at all. In one sense, it is not. The Hebrew word used here for “frolic” though occurs thirty-six times in the Old Testament. Usually it is translated as to “rejoice,” or to “laugh,” or “celebrate.” In these and all other instances of this word’s use, it implies a conscious activity of celebration.

So, the leviathan – the whale – was made by God to demonstrate God’s glory by actively and consciously enjoying His good creation. Like the Psalm says, “There is the sea, vast and spacious and there the leviathan which you formed to frolic there.” In other words, God formed the whale to have fun in the ocean; to enjoy itself. My husband Ken knows all about this when he goes ocean fishing. He loves to come home and tell me how, when the boat speeds through the water, the dolphins love surfing the waves off the bow. Ken tells me he’s seen sometimes 5 or 6 wild dolphins having so much fun criss-crossing in front of the bow of the boat as if in a race. Ken says, “Honestly, they are really having fun!”

And to me, that is so wonderful, because too often we buy into the mechanistic view of nature about an animal’s behavior. Like, the gray whale must be breaching in order to shake off parasites or to establish some supremacy in the pod of other whales. Or dolphins are only speeding alongside a boat in order to compete in the rank of all things oceanic. The whale and the dolphin must be exercising their evolutionary advantage. They are, after all, merely biological machines. But Psalm 104 paints a different picture entirely.

In that Psalm, we see the whale as designed by God to not only enjoy Him, but to enjoy the creation into which God put it and to frolic and to have fun, to boot! Oh, friend, we need to appreciate that all of creation – whales and dolphins included – all of it celebrates the glory of God. And it is God's intention that His creation “declares His glory” (as it says in Psalm 19). Even the “great sea creatures and all ocean depths” praise the Lord, and they do so with joyful celebration! They praise the Lord by frolicking; by rejoicing; by laughing, as it were, and enjoying how God made them. So, today, let’s take a hint from the whales and dolphins. Let’s praise God by enjoying how He has made us, and let’s have a lot of fun doing it.

Photo: Scienceburger.com

© Joni and Friends

 

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