Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces. Proverbs 30:24-28 ESV
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground. Psalm 104:24-30 ESV
The rock badger is also called the rock hyrax. It lives in Africa and the Middle East, and although it looks like a rodent, it actually isn’t. Rock hyraxes are related to elephants and manatees, and they have tusks just like an elephant does, longer and sharper in the male than in the female. Rock hyraxes spend most of their time sunbathing, or else piling on top of each other. They do these things to stay warm, because their body temperature doesn’t stay as stable as it does for some other mammals. Rock hyraxes make noises and sing just as birds do, and you can tell what region a rock hyrax comes from by the noises it makes. They eat plants and live in colonies of up to 80. Rock hyraxes live on rock formations or even sheer cliff sides, finding places to live in small crevasses. They have padded, sweaty feet that work like suction cups on the rocks.
The rock hyrax is one of many examples of the wonder and wisdom of God’s creation. God made a world full of incredible creatures for us to enjoy and to learn about. When we see how beautifully designed his creatures are, we can see the wisdom of the God who made all of them and watches over them. He keeps them alive and gives them the food they need to eat. He gives them babies so that there will be new life and so that the wonder of his creation will continue.
When we look at the glory of God’s creation, we can also see that something has gone wrong. God’s creatures die, or have diseases, or become extinct. There are floods and droughts and fires and other disasters that cause a lot of harm. The Bible says that when God hides his face, his creatures have troubles, and when he takes away their breath, they die. This happens because of sin. When people rebelled against God and turned away from him, his whole creation was hurt.
God hasn’t left everything to death and destruction. He cares about his whole creation, and especially about people who were made is his own image. God sent Jesus to bring us back to God with his death and resurrection, and in Jesus we have new life in God. Someday God will make everything new in a paradise without sickness or pain or death, and all of his creatures will know the whole wonder of his wisdom and love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making so many wonderful creatures and for caring for them all. Thank you for making us and for sending Jesus to die for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.