About the Salmon

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee." Job 12:88Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. (Job 12:8).
Job was rightly impressed with the fact that all things on earth, as well as the fish in the waters, should speak of God's ways to everyone who will listen.
The story of the salmon is an interesting one. Its eggs are laid in the gravel bed of a cold mountain stream. When the egg hatches, the little salmon lives a few days on the yolk sac to which it is attached. It finally frees itself from this sac and leaves its gravel bed to make a home in the stream. In Alaska mosquitoes breed in great numbers. Their larvae, which the fish finds in nearby pools, become its principal food.
After six months to a year in these waters, an inner urge causes it to move toward the ocean. With hundreds and sometimes thousands of others, it begins its long trip to the ocean, swimming backwards wherever the stream is swift or cascades and waterfalls are present. By swimming backwards, facing upstream, it can control its movements and avoids drowning in the swift currents. How does it know enough to do this? God has given it that knowledge!
Following its long swim downstream the young salmon leaves the fresh water and enters the salt water of the ocean. Few other species of fish can adapt to such a change. No one is sure where it spends the next four or five years of its life, but we may be sure that God "In whose hand is the soul [or life] of every living thing" (Job 12:1010In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:10)), is watching over it. The mature salmon, some weighing as much as a hundred pounds, turns back toward the fresh water returning to the spot where it first entered the ocean. It travels up this stream all the way to its exact birthplace. Enroute it must jump waterfalls ten feet high or higher, shelf by shelf, but always presses on. Large numbers, males and females together, make the journey, each leaving the group when it comes to the little stream where it first came to life.
At its final destination the female, with a swoop of her strong tail, makes a trench in the gravel bed. There she lays thousands of eggs, fertilized by the male. Then both of them, having finished their work, float down the current and will die somewhere along the way. They have literally given their lives to provide life for others. This causes us to think of the One who gave His life that others might have eternal life. What have you thought of Him? "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
Men marvel at the ways of this spectacular fish. God created it this way in the beginning, and ever since it has obediently followed God's purposes. God desires obedience in us, too, with His sure promise: "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Prov. 3:66In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6).