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Why did God create dinosaurs ?
A Christmas Message
Why did God create dinosaurs, such little brains, many of them, with additional clustered nerve nodules far from the head, for better and swifter reaction.
One evidently had a brain the size of a kitten’s, yet was 80 feet long (including the subsidiary nerve centres for faster reaction than permitted if sending the message 80 feet both ways, to and from the brain!).
Another dinosaur has huge spikes by the head, one on the tail, teeth inches long; one has nostrils at the top of its head, allowing submergence when meat eaters sought it, with just a narrow flange showing above the water!
Why were these made ? Some ate plants, but it seems some ate plant-eating dinosaurs; they would provide a very large dinner for a very large animal. After the flood (Genesis 6), in which men did the most horribly creative evils, before near extinction (what power in the life accorded to man, that he could arise from such a catastrophe and yet breed up to 6 billion!), more creative opportunities appeared for man. Intelligence certainly helps!
When GOD the Creator, however, helps, there is hope.
Why then were dinosaurs ever created ?
It seems possible that the dinosaurs were created for a number of inventive, creative, technically demonstrative, teaching and reaching reasons*1. These massive creations teach you that folly plus power is not really very advantageous, though to this day many Communist and Islamic groups do not seem to realise this, that throwing your weight around is not going to work. This sort of thing has repercussions which the very wise Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, and many Islamic goads do not seem to be concerned about; but history is!
On this point (for which of us likes the bully, however he formulates himself and his ‘work’), God has much to say as in Isaiah 3:16ff., 10:33ff., 24:4ff., 31:1-11, Jeremiah 50:18-25, 31-35, 51:7-11,24-26, 34-37,49, 54-57; and again as in Nahum 3:1-7, Ezekiel 16:55-59, Zephaniah 3:11ff.. Both pride as such ( being unrealistic in its assessment of its own beauty and wonder) and as demonstrated in asinine cruelty and heartless insouciance, imperial grandeurs and plethoras of vanity: these are abased. Mountains will be abased and valleys exalted, as Handel’s Messiah so loudly reminds us, and with such brilliance of sound, from its text in Isaiah 40:4.
The especially small brains of many dinosaurs and their almost cartoon-style size in comparison with this, together with their masses of weaponry in its ‘magnificence’ : these lend themselves to tuition to the often abrasive and heedless spirit of man. In such things, many dinosaurs appear not least as a cryptic but mordant comedy, a biological skit on the errors of the thoughtless and the impregnable amongst man, summed up in some ways in the Titanic
Again, dinosaurs are a masterpiece of intricate, multi-formatted, fascinating architecture and modes of living. They parody size, the belittle greatness, they scoff at brainlessness and they show the wonders of mighty power, hopeless if (as may have happened) there is significant change (such as climate change, following the flood, perhaps). If lush vegetation ceases, what of the huge vegetarians, and of those who fed on them, carnivores!
These EVENTS are so like the WORDS as noted above, of the Bible, in its derogation of the pompous assertions and enterprises of self-regarding man (in empires or in individual instances as in Jeremiah 13:13-23).
Here then is a multiple series of lessons on greatness of size, power, armament and artillery provisions if you will, when the ‘artillery’ is on something so big, that it does not need a separate emplacement (as when the dinosaur’s vast tail at vast distance from its brain, is made so swiftly to cleave almost any flesh speedily, using the subordinate nerve centre!).
In Job 40ff., you have practical, direct evidence. God asks if certain vast creations have been considered, and they sound like dinosaurs, their power, their fearsomeness! They testify to the power of God, just as their cessation testifies to the uselessness of power without God, when the curse which came with man’s fall, took a severe, aggravated turn, in view of man’s systematic evils (Genesis 6). Man almost, and dinosaurs, it seems no less, both almost became extinct. The civilisations of man and the anatomical and neural, breathing and other marvels of dinosaurs seemed fearsome, if not awesome; but they went. Little was left. Dignity became destitution, grandeur became ruin, magnificence sought refuge in small places and pride of life became a name to be abhorred.
It needs to be realised that God is a good teacher, and there is none to equal Him; and that in some such ways as this He often teaches, using not blackboard, but history, whether of creations, like dinosaurs or nations, like ancient, fallen Babylon, like Nineveh and modern Germany. As to that, it also was hard on the heels of great power, racial power, evolutionary survival power, and had most impressive forces and weapons; but it failed. Its harassments stirred vast desire for liberty; its horrors stirred great will for goodness; its deprivations stimulated great appetite for normalcy and kindness.
Wisdom is needed, as well as intelligence; but above all, to be blessed of God, THIS is needed. In vain any protection without Him. To yield to Him, in repentance, is the beginning of wisdom. To find Him by faith brings you to the end of it: since this shows to you the Gospel of grace, and the wonder of love, the beauty of holiness and life eternal.
Dinosaurs and dictators alike have their place.
The first did not have the means to learn, but man does, from them; the second will not learn, as we see in Revelation 13, 17, 19, until they are judged, not by the flood, but by the Author both of man and of the flood, of the Gospel and of grace: the eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ as incarnated in the express image of God, crucified for our salvation and raised in authority for our deliverance.
Thus God in Him also displayed something. It was Himself; better than any photograph, likeness, or even book (though He has left an indelible and indubitable record – cf. SMR Appendix C and D ); for in Him was life, and the life was the light of man (John 1 cf. The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10).
Is it so surprising that God made His absolute revelation in the One who paid the absolute price
v to avoid devastation, as exemplified in the animal realm with dinosaurs, and in the flood almost entirely in man,
v and to allow dynamic with grace, goodness with truth, meaning with wisdom to find its transforming place in the often sad, sallow or sunken heart of man!
If He had not done so, while to be sure His written word is infinitely better than the best musings of man, yet there would not have been that practical and direct demonstration of Himself in the easiest of all possible ways for man to realise it: in the FORM of a man! So does Romans 8 put it, just as Philippians 2 gives background likewise for it.
More crucially, wisdom would have counseled man (as Job sought) to find a Redeemer to pay for his sins, pardon them, overcome them, and bring man into harmony with his Maker. But what good would that do, if there WAS NONE! Job KNEW that He was already alive, and we have seen it proved before our very faces (cf. SMR, TMR). Further, said Job, in the latter days this very Redeemer would stand upon this earth, and he would see Him with his own eyes, not through any other, or through substitution of any other. God for man: direct, attainable, available as Redeemer, this would surely come. It has come and its end will be in the beginning of His rule before the final tests concluded, this world is completely swept away, destroyed in ‘fervent heat’ as Peter, millenia before the bomb, put it.
We do not have to believe. Mankind did not have to repent before the flood. It is an option, to reject God, in terms of a graciously provided remedy, or in terms of commandments, broken. It is just that the former is the escape route. Reject that and you have NO ESCAPE (cf. Hebrews 2:1-3, 6:19).
That is always an option, whether failing to run from a charging bull, and smiling as he comes, or not bothering to manoeuvre. For life, however, it is not a good option.
Christmas Reflection and Message
Remember the dinosaurs, and learn. Remember the power of God, and do not oppose Him. Recall the love of God and find it, in Jesus Christ, where it comes as the first of all Christmas presents, and the meaning for any person on this earth. Indeed, consider the survey below (*1), and all the characterisations the Lord has given for this sinful world, in the very abilities and antics of animal life, and learn; for He has not in vain provided this array!
Man is no midget in a wilderness, but one so endowed that in his pathological passions, on the way to hell, thousands of his race can act as if they were maestros, mirrors of majesty, autonomous and never due for autopsy of their spiritual lives, judges never to be judged: inane actors, priding themselves on the power of God in making them, as if they were their own makers, strutting ensigns of folly, awaiting the darkness which belongs to their passions (cf. II Peter 2, Jude, Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:1-12).
Indeed, the very animals show to man his elective powers, able to insert himself and intrude his own being at will, into follies unspeakable. The facts are impressive and educative. They need to be rehearsed in the heart.
Man IS not an animal, any more than he IS an angel. He is ABLE to act to a point, like either.
He may act like a pig, a wild boar, a fox in its slithering cunning, a lion in its roaring majesty for a time (till a paw is broken). He has power to transform himself, within limits, in a whole multitude of hideous things, shrewdly selfish exhibits of divine mockery, exhibits of things good or bad, and hence IS NOT any one of them! An actor is no more Hamlet than Iago, Macbeth than King Lear: he CAN PLAY A PART. Such is the indubitable role of man. But what sort of a being is it which DOES so play. The imaginative capacity to fulfil some of the roles which in His divine judgment God has spread forth in the animal creation of a world statedly subjected to judgment already (Romans 8:17ff., 5:1-12) is that of a being none of the things he imitates, but capable of imitation, initiation into the horrid, or aspiration for the good.
Man is far beyond mere existence, as he finds his place and acts it, choosing and amusing, grasping or giving, like the soldier termites who fight off the enemies from the entry holes, dying while others block the holes to keep the rest safe. Man is in himself, not any one of these.
Man is a being responsible for his modes, moods, imitations, roles that he plays BY CHOICE. He is accountable. Nor is he angel: at his best, even redeemed, man is subject to rebuke and challenge, as was the case both with King David and Solomon; and though when redeemed, gloriously to be kept by the power of God to salvation reserved for him (I Peter 1:2ff.), he must seek purity as those on a sinking ship may clamour for air. He must not only repent of the sublimities presented in his very construction, for using them as if he had himself made them, without recourse to his Creator (cf. Ecclesiastes 11-12), but find the Redeemer, Jesus Christ who has penetrated this world like air in some rolling hulk of a ship, in which passengers are trapped.
The body may often deceive; the mind in its careering may delude; but the spirit of man needs the air and aroma of heaven, while on earth. Without it, pride or pollution, careering in selfish oblivion alike, routine instead of reality, these things make a mockery of the great things for which man is born, was made, and a burden of unpayable debt for the unredeemed.
Man needs more than 'religion', to get it. He needs God to have Him in His life, and strength and to acquaint him with truth, peace, joy, reality; and for this he needs the way to it. It is not in gold, not in self-acclamation, or degradation (Job 28). It is redemption in the Redeemer who indeed both has stood and will stand upon this earth. Then it is not man but God who takes a role: it is that of Saviour. He who is in the form of God, the Redeemer, from eternity (Philippians 2, John 8:58), becoming man has visited with more than a card, a photo or a action. He has both shown His face and had it smashed (Isaiah 52:12ff.), borne as predicted, the follies of sin for those who receive Him, and offered such a pardon to all. He must be sought, He must be found.
Wisdom like gold is found
where it is, and
is verified, validated and attested*2
not where it is merely imagined. The jaunts of
creation are but modes.
It is found in the Creator, the Redeemer who did not
stay to be found by telescope,
Past all the whirling of this world is the Teacher Himself, and past all imagination is His entry into this world, which Christmas memorialises and Easter specifies for its ends.
It is He, Jesus Christ, whose tenderness is as profound as His terse impacts in exposing evil, while man is dreaming or sleeping, when he should be awake or awakened. God HAS ACTED. Man must receive Him. Pity has presented itself; folly can curl up and die, or bellow and be belligerent, but it is nothing to the point: animals can do the same without acting!
This world is neither a bed for contemplation nor a route march for restless activism, always proceeding, never reaching rest and realisation.
It is a pilgrim path where much is to be learned, seen, done and received; but nothing as much as this salvation in the One who would bring a sword to Mary's soul (Luke 2:35), a solace to Mary Magdalene and a life restored to as many as received Him (John 1:12) as He IS and for what He has DONE! (Galatians 1, 3). The comedies of instruction in 'nature' as below, and the codes of morals in divinely given principles, these things speak differently, on the one hand to awaken, and on the other to chasten; but the salvation of our God is a grant.
You have to complete the application (Telstra's recent failure to present is an illustration at the commercial level); and its terms are REPENTANCE TO LIFE (Acts 11:18), RECEPTION of ROYALTY, of the Eternal Word of God, incarnate, Jesus Christ as the core and commander of one's life (Isaiah 55:4, Revelation 1:4-5), TRUST in Him, and in His truth the word of God, the Bible, as it is and not as it is remoulded by innovatory false prophets. Rely on Him, whose very body was resurrected in the power of God (Romans 1:4, I Corinthians 14:1-4, Luke 24), whose is all power in heaven and on earth. If, says Romans 10:9, you testify to this same Jesus Christ with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
It is not imagination which saves; it is fact, act, it is God who did it, and if you dream, so be it; and if you take the truth, it is then that slight difference, heaven not hell, truth and not self-induced dreaming, repentance and not instructing God with your latest ideas.
It is there; but there is NO OTHER: one Lord, one God, one faith (Ephesians 4:4). He does not suffer additions of idols, whether sect leaders, popes, assemblies of men, dictators or directors of any kind. Add to His word if you want Him to rebuke you and to be exposed as a liar (Proverbs 8:30).
Rather rely on Him alone, according to His word, which being His, is no addition. Rely on His salvation alone, for there is no other name, Church, prelate, philosopher, politician, system, NONE given to man UNDER HEAVEN by which he MUST be saved! (Acts 4:11-12). Applying, believe him, BELIEVING RECEIVE, RECEIVING REST AND RESTING ARISE TO LIFE, TO WORK FREELY, JUST AS YOU ARE SAVED FREELY (Romans 3:23-27, Ephesians 2:1-8).
It is then that a person becomes complete in Him (Colossians 2:8-10, 1:6), resting on the Rock (I Corinthians 10), who is sinless in His strength, glorious in His power, ready in His provisions. Then is the believer restored into the image as first created (Colossians 2:9-10, 4:12, 3:10), so that relish and rest, thrust and truth alike may assemble and disperse themselves into the redeemed heart, where love rules and mercy comes in and moves out like the soft breezes of Spring. Then they have a new launching pad for export to this world (cf. Matthew 28:19-20, John 7:37-38).
Therefore be valiant, be strong, rejoice always in the Lord, remembering this, that blessed are those who traveling through the valley of weeping, make it a spring (Psalm 84). Indeed the waters flow out (John 7:37-38), such is their abundance, and this again, that “each one appears before God in Zion.”
As to those who are Christians, remember this: You are not alone (John 14:16-18), but with you is He whose eyes go to and from throughout the whole earth to be strong on behalf of the one whose heart is loyal to Him (II Chronicles 16:9). In a little this challenge, or these chidings, these encouragements, these opportunities will yield to the glory of His divine presence and the ecstatic wonder of the resurrection at His return (I Thessalonians 4, Acts 1, Matthew 24, II Corinthians 4). It is so for the Christian. Wait for it, it will surely come. You have in Him the assurance of a dwelling made in heaven (II Corinthians 5, John 14:1ff.). He did not come to let you down, but to take you up.
In the meantime, trust in the Lord, delight yourself also in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:3-5); indeed commit your way to Him and it is He who will bring it to pas. REST in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him, whose pity is profound (Psalm 103), whose path is clear (Psalm 32) and whose will is the acme of delight both to find and to do: for it is HIS! (Ephesians 5:17, James 1).
Caresses and Caricatures in Creation:
Lessons to Learn
Dinosaurs are only one example of the sometimes pungent, at others inspiring actions of God in His biological and naturally oriented ‘speech’ to man. He instructs through what He does as well as through what He says (cf. Psalm 19). We are capable of learning and He provides the lessons. Often, and the educational term is heuristic, it is best to learn by finding out, rather than by straight direction. Consider some of the fascinating cases in view, in sight, to take to the heart. Indeed the Bible often proposes that one do just that, and one of the most interesting is the reference in Job to the ostrich: “God has deprived her of wisdom.” It cites the respect in which this is so: it is in leaving its eggs on the ground, free for damage and exposed. “She treats them as if they were not hers.”
In other words, God the Creator makes many things and they include specific and impactive elements that display His educational purpose. Things may be compared to principles and to each other, and various creatures show features for consideration, for contemplation; indeed we are INVITED by the Lord to consider such things. The way a snake moves on a rock, an eagle disports itself in the air, that of a ship in the water and the way of a man with a damsel. In each case there is something elicitive, notable, instructive (Proverbs 30).
Then there is the donkey with its braying-saying, wilfulness and waywardness, a political caricature; the horse with its faithfulness, able to be an intimate companion in the chase, whether of wind-rushing, earth-consuming speed, or of an enemy; the dog with its understanding and large-heartedness, susceptible to command and receptive of affection - a warmth and a vigilance alike its attributes when well-regarded; the snake with its cunning, deceptive lurking, hiding and sliding into sudden forays, slithering like men of ill-purpose and small heart.
The ant it is further case for comment, and so comes the advice to the sluggard, to “go to the ant!” (Proverbs 6:6). The use of PLAGUES in Egypt expressly to exhibit the folly of Egypt and its multi-deity configurations and naturalistic devotions (Exodus 14:1ff., 9:16), and their lack of any real power in the presence of the God of creation and information itself, is a major referent. To HAVE plagues, you have to have the MEANS.
These, in the book of Exodus (cf. Downfall from Defamation Ch. 4, The Grating Grandeur … Ch. 4, The Plagues of Egypt, Glory, Vainglory … Ch. 7), are seen to include locusts, flies and weather conditions, frogs and befoulment of waters. Not only did these refer to the naturalistic gods being openly ridiculed and scorned (Dig Deeper … Ch. 3, *2A), but to the wisdom of God in making means for the instruction of man. They had to be proficient for the purpose of pain and confusion, to teach the folly of their way and the falsity of their confidence.
Many seem to want to close their eyes to the wisdom of God, to the plight of man as an estranged but magnificently formed and formulated, forged and functional being, whose very gifts that can ennoble, enable disciplines and case studies that he might learn. Look for example at the array.
There is the pig with its gutsiness, if one might so use the term, his gourmand style envelopment of food, a clear rebuke to the stomach-ridden; the wolf with his way of working by teams, to bring down the mighty, saliva drooling as he envisages ruin to those whom he pursues, an emblem of the vicious endowed with teeth, among man and the nations. Consider the ant and its amazing industry, self-sacrifice as soldier ants die outside the camp, to protect those in it, doors being closed. Look at the mosquito with its staggeringly refined surgical instruments and sensors, its ability for aerial agility and evasion; do this and marvel. There is an ability for man in his pride to find from very little things, his match, when his insolence merely insults God and debases his own enduement.
There is on the one hand, a system of sin-rebuke, mind-education and on the other, of salvation. God has provided it all, and it is for man to use his gifts and not wander; but best of all, it is for God who has acted, to enable redemption which makes for joy in lessons, jubilation in life and peace in heart.
As shown in detail, for example in:
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
who answers riddles and where He is, darkness departs.