The Hedgehog

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
"I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm." Jer. 27:5
Although the hedgehog is well-known in many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, it is not native to North America. This peculiar little animal is less than a foot long and looks somewhat like a porcupine.
As it is one of the weaker animals that would be hunted and killed by larger animals, God has given the hedgehog a very effective defense against its enemies. From its neck to its short, stubby tail, it is covered along its back and sides with sharp, stiff spines, sticking out in every direction. When in danger, the hedgehog tucks its head into its chest and rolls itself into a spiny ball and is safe from its enemies. If it hadn't done this right the very first time, it would have been quickly killed. God gave it that protective knowledge when it was born.
Although this animal sometimes lives in harsh surroundings, it knows how to make a comfortable nest of woven moss, grass and leaves that is waterproof even in heavy rains. Sometimes it will burrow into a rabbit's runway and make its home there or burrow under the roots of a tree where it is safe with a good strong roof over it. It has sharp claws on powerful front feet which enable it to dig quickly, not only in making its home, but also in finding grubs, slugs, worms and insects that make up part of its diet.
The hedgehog is helpful to man in at least one way—it is a natural enemy of snakes, especially poisonous ones. The hedgehog quickly seizes the snake by its tail and then curls up into its spiny-ball defense with the snake's tail in its mouth. The angry snake strikes against the prickly spines again and again, until it almost hacks itself to pieces. The hedgehog then finishes it off and makes a meal of the snake.
Do you think the hedgehog gave itself such a protective armor or taught itself how to catch snakes without being harmed? No, God, who cares for all His creatures, provided it with its unusual survival features. "In whose hand [the hand of God] is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).
This verse reminds us that, while God cares for every creature, He considers mankind separate from all others. He does, indeed, care for such an unusual little animal as the hedgehog, but it is important to realize He has a special interest in every human being and wants each one, through faith in Christ, to be His child. He tells us: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee" (Jer. 31:3).