A Whale of a Thanksgiving

For my sermon at TDF on Thanksgiving weekend of 2010,I want to point out Psalm 148:7, which says: Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths.

This verse came to mind recently while reading something about giant Blue Whales. These creatures are too big for captivity, but whale-watching expeditions sometimes spot them. According to oceanographers, there are perhaps 10,000 giant Blue Whales left in world’s seas. They are on the endangered species list.

  • Blue Whales are the largest animals on earth.
  • They are even larger than the largest dinosaurs were.
  • They are the largest known creatures to ever inhabit the earth.
  • A Blue Whale can weigh 150 tons and stretch out 100 feet long.
  • The largest one ever recorded weighed 200 tons.
  • An average-sized Blue Whale is about the size of 23 giant elephants put together.
  • One giant Blue Whale as big as a Boeing jet.
  • Their hearts are the size of small cars.
  • Their tongue weighs as much an as a grown elephant.
  • Fifty people could stand on the tongue of a Blue Whale.
  • They eat about 5 tons of fish every day.
  • When they swim through the ocean, they just open their mouths wide and take in as much as 50 tons of water in a single gulp—along with thousands of small fish.
  • They love shrimp.

Since whales are mammals, they give birth to their young, and that’s where it really gets interesting. A baby Blue Whale will drink about 50 gallons of mother’s milk a day; and during the first several weeks of life, he or she will gain about 10 pounds an hour. And you thought your baby was growing up fast!

I don’t know how anyone can study a marvel like the Blue Whale without praising God for His creative genius.

But here’s what I really want to point out. One of the most interesting observations scientists have made about Blue Whales has to do with their singing. They fill the ocean with their songs, just as the birds fill the air with their songs. I watched a video of a scientist who had eavesdropped on Blue Whales singing off the coast of New York City. He described the excitement of hearing them through his sonar equipment. Blue whales have a unique series of very low, very long notes they sing, and their voice reverberates mysteriously through the ocean. When they sing, their song is far louder in terms of decibels than a jetliner taking off, and it can carry 500 miles through the sea.

Now, it’s unlikely the Psalmist ever saw a Blue Whale, but as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he called on all of creation—including the great sea creatures—to sing and to praise the name of the Lord.

Scientists studying the subject of music in the natural world tell us that approximately 5,400 known species of animals can sing. God created this universe with the capacity for song, from the tiny cricket outside your window to the massive Blue Whale off the coast of California; all the world is full of music.

No wonder Psalm 92 says: “I it good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, O Most High, to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.”

Is there a hymn in your heart today?

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