Daily Devotional

For Sep 17, 2014 ← Return

A Tall Statement

Average reading time is about 2 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Among the land animals, giraffes stand head and shoulders above the rest, towering up to 18 feet above the grasslands of Africa. Giraffes are herbivores, and their extended necks combined with an 18-inch-long tongue allow them to reach the tasty leaves high in the tall, thorny acacia trees. Although the giraffe’s neck is about seven feet long, it contains the same number of vertebrae as a mouse (seven). Of course, each vertebra is greatly elongated.

The giraffe’s circulatory system is specially adapted to its long neck. It has elastic blood vessels in the neck and head to handle changes in blood pressure due to head swings. This is why a giraffe’s heart must weigh a whopping 24 pounds to pump the blood to such a high altitude!

The name “giraffe” probably comes from the Arabic word zarafa, which means “one who walks swiftly.” With each step a giraffe travels about 15 feet. They are also fast runners and can reach speeds faster than a horse, over 35 mph. Though male giraffes will often “neck wrestle” to establish dominance, they are generally passive, non-territorial, and sociable. They live in loose, open herds grazing peacefully with zebra, wildebeest, and antelope.

Giraffes are the most vulnerable when drinking, because they must spread their front legs far apart in an awkward stance to get their heads low enough to reach the water. Fortunately giraffes can go without water even longer than a camel.

The first giraffe ever seen in the West was brought to Rome about 46 B.C. by none other than Julius Caesar. When giraffes first entered Rome, because they were as big as camels with spots like leopards they were thought to be the result a freakish breeding of the two animals. Although we know the giraffe is not a combination of these two animals, the scientific name camelopardalis stuck.

We may laugh at the gullible Romans who believed you could combine a camel with a leopard and get a giraffe, but a bigger question is: “How can someone be half God and half man?” The Jews thought this impossible. In fact, at Christ’s trial the high priest was so angry after Jesus spoke about His divinity that he tore his clothes. “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” (Mark 14:63, 64). They condemned Jesus to death.

What do you think of the Man who claimed to be God?

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
- Mark 14:61

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