Our World (Answers for Kids)
Tom and Jenny in the bluebell wood
Tom and Jenny had gone to the wood behind Mr Field’s house while he inspected his nesting boxes. They always picked bluebells for their Grandma’s birthday. Other people gave her ‘posh’ flowers, but she liked the wild ones best. They were gathering some violets and a few primroses, when Jenny made a discovery.
‘These primroses are of two sorts,’ she cried. ‘If you look in, some have a pinhead in the middle and some a bunch of fingers!’
‘Good observation!’ praised Mr Field. ‘Plants prefer the pollen from another flower on their stigmas, because that usually makes stronger seeds. So a primrose cannot pollinate itself.’
He opened one of each sort.
‘The pin-eyed ones have pollen sacs below the stigma, so self-pollination is impossible. The fingered—thrum-eyed—ones have tiny grooves in their stigmas so their big pollen grains fall off, and only the small pollen from the pin-eyed flowers will fit.’ ‘What a clever idea, and we know Whose idea, don’t we?’ said Tom.
‘There are funny green flowers here, something like the big, white lilies in church at Easter,’ called Jenny. ‘They are Wild Arums; they catch little flies,’ said Mr Skep.
‘How?’ Mr Field carefully opened one.
‘The purple stick in the middle is the spadix. It smells like rotting meat, so those little black flies come for dinner. It is warm and dry inside. They push past those hairs at the narrow part, but they can’t get back out again. The first reddish ring is of male flowers, which only have pollen.’
‘The little balls below have the stigmas to catch pollen which then grows down towards the developing seedboxes. The stigmas are sticky, and if the flies have already been in an Arum, they are covered in pollen. As they crawl around, the nectaries give out the sweet juice they like. It may be two days later, when all the stigmas have withered, that the stamens drop their pollen over the little flies. Then the hairs wither, and they can fly out.’
‘So they are fly prisons!’ said Jenny. ‘Poor little flies!’ ‘It sounds more like a good hotel to me,’ said Tom. ‘Food, warmth, and shelter if it rains! Look—a fly has just come out of that Arum and gone straight into this one. They must like it.’
‘Yes,’ said Mr Skep, ‘this is another example of insects and flowers helping each other. The flowers had to be created the way they are, or it just wouldn’t work.’
‘We keep finding that God must have made things, don’t we?’ said Tom. ‘Let’s take one to Grandma, though I expect she knows the story.’ She did, but she loved hearing it from Tom and Jenny.
Tom and Jenny will be back in our next issue.
Noah believed what God said!
When Noah built the ark he needed a lot of faith. He had never seen a flood, or even any rain! We read in the Bible: ‘By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. (Hebrews 11:7. See also Genesis 2: 5-6)
In the world of Noah’s time people were very wicked. Only Noah lived God’s way. God hates the sin that spoils His world, and sin must be punished. Of course, if the people of Noah’s time had been sorry for their sin God would have forgiven them. We read that God waited patiently In the days of Noah while the ark was being built.’ (II Peter 3: 20). For years Noah and his family were building the ark, and during that time Noah would have told the people around him of God’s warning. But they would not listen. They probably made jokes: ‘How are you going to get your big boat to the sea, Noah?’ ‘What’s all this nonsense about floods and rain?’
Noah stood firm. He believed what God said, built the ark and went on board with his family and the animals. And as the door of the ark closed there was still no sign of rain, not even a drop! How the people outside must have laughed. How long would Noah stay inside before realising what a fool he was? But soon the rain began to fall. Heavier and heavier it came. It seemed as though oceans of water were falling from the sky. Soon the whole world was flooded.
God provided an ark for Noah, to save him from His Judgment on a wicked world. And God has provided a way for us to escape His Judgment. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for us and ‘whoever believes In Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (St. John 3: 16).
Jesus promised to come to earth again, to Judge the world and take those who love Him to be with Him for ever. He said that when He returns the world will be like it was in Noah’s time. There will be a lot of wickedness, and many people will not believe God’s word. They will say: ‘Where is this "coming" he promised?’ (2 Peter 3: 4). But God wants us to have a faith like Noah, and believe that what He says is true. God always means what He says, and if we trust Him we are safe for ever!
The First Rainbow
As the clouds broke after the Flood, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky—the first rainbow anyone had ever seen! And God told Noah that it stood for a special promise: never again would there be a flood to cover the whole world. There have been many smaller floods since then, but never a world-wide flood. Whenever you see a rainbow after a storm, remember that God always keeps His promises!