The Barbary Ape

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It's fun to watch monkeys in the zoo, especially when they do tricks their trainers have taught them. Even King Solomon found them interesting and brought some to Jerusalem, probably as part of his zoo.
There are many species of monkeys and apes in God's creation, and He has supplied everything they need. Since they do look a little like humans, some people think that humans and monkeys are related, but the Bible assures us this is not so. There are many differences, both in body structure and intelligence. Apes and monkeys are part of the animal creation. Man was formed separately and is distinct and superior to all other created things. The Bible says, "God created man in His [God's] own image" (Gen. 1:2727So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)).
The Barbary ape is actually a monkey rather than an ape. It is a native of Africa but is also a famous resident of the Rock of Gibraltar where it was found when the British came there in 1704. These apes live in large colonies of several dozen, with a powerful male as their leader. He is responsible for the behavior of those in his colony, although the young ones being full of play and mischief are given lots of freedom. Babies are lovingly nursed by their mothers and cling to their mothers' fur for the first few weeks of life. They eventually grow to be about three feet tall. They have excellent memories and are always curious about anything new or strange.
Like most monkeys, the Barbary ape is a great climber and very acrobatic even though it has no tail. Most of its time is spent searching for food, which includes fruit, leaves, roots, seeds, locusts and lizards. Its sense of smell is poor, but its sight and hearing are excellent.
Barbary apes live where there are many dangerous scorpions that have deadly, poisonous stingers in their tails. But this ape has no fear of them. When a scorpion is spotted, the ape quickly pounces on it in just the right way. Then the tail with its poisonous stinger is twisted off, and the ape has a scorpion dinner. How long do you think it took these apes to learn this trick? Actually, they did not need to learn it, because God gave them that ability when He created them.
We are impressed with God's watchful care over these interesting apes. But the psalmist was thinking of something even more impressive when he exclaimed, "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" (Psa. 139:1717How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17)). Have you thought of God's loving care in providing a Savior for you? He invites you to come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that you might have your sins forgiven and have everlasting life.