He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Argyroneta aquatica, the diving bell spider, is the only known species of spider to live nearly all of its life under water. It is such an amazing creature and it reveals the amazing intellect and creativity of the mind of the LORD. Furthermore, there is much we can learn about our relationship with God and our witness to this lost world if we just take a bit of a closer look at this tiny 8 legged critter. Take a few moments and consider the Lord’s handy work!
First, it is important to understand that this arachnid is like all others in that it breathes air and would drown in water. So how does it live underwater in what should be an inhabitable environment? Surrounding the spider are tiny hairs that are hydrophobic. Simply speaking, there is no attraction between the hairs and the water. This allows the hairs to seemingly repel the water and create small pockets of air around the spider. However, the spider must return to the surface to replenish its air supply at least once a day. If it does not, the oxygen would be depleted in the bubble and the spider would die. This world is just as inhabitable to spiritual life as the spiders would be without air from above; furthermore, Psalm 23 calls this world the valley of the shadow of death.
Christians should consider their prayer life when thinking on this spider’s actions. If we are to maintain an ongoing relationship with the Lord of Life that makes a difference to the world around us then we must stop daily and go “top side” to breathe in Heaven’s presence. Ironically, the Spirit of the LORD literally means the “breath” in both Greek and Hebrew. He is the breath of the Holy One. Living in this world below is just as deadly to our spiritual life as what would take place should the spider lose its “diving bell”. We must cultivate such a relationship with Christ that we literally take in His life giving power so that we can live as a topsider in an upside down world. As a man, this was Jesus’ secret to living a life that glorified Heaven! “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35
Many times this spider will work tirelessly to bring bubble after bubble down into the water and use webbing to assist in holding them in place. He changes the atmosphere. Have you ever been around a person who spends so much time in prayer that their very presence changes the atmosphere around you? This reminds me of the story of a region changing revival that broke out at Oriskany Creek, NY during the 2nd Great Awakening. The intercessors for Charles Finney, Daniel Nash being one of them, had been earnestly pleading to God for a change in the spiritual climate of the environs. As he entered the area where the prayer warriors were fast at work, Finney went to visit a cotton factory in nearby Whitesboro where his brother-in-law worked. Walking through one of the rooms where many women were sitting behind sewing machines, two ladies suddenly seemed very agitated at the presence of the evangelist. Soon, the ladies throughout the mill were sobbing under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The mill had to be shut down and an great revival ensued. Just the presence of Finney had changed the atmosphere. Prayerful believers had changed the atmosphere. Like the hairs on the spider that dispel water, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives should dispel the darkness around us and allow the presence of the Holy Savior to invade.
Then scientific name, Argyroneta Aquatica, carries an interesting meaning. Aquatica, of course, means water and reminds us of the spider’s habitat. Argryo is a form of the Greek word for silver while "neta" means spinner. This gives a rough translation to water silver spinner. Interestingly enough, silver is the metal in the Bible that is a type of redemption. For how much money was Jesus sold out for? It was for thirty pieces of silver--the price of redemption. Though the spider is actually a dull brown/grey color the presence of the body bubble causes it to have a shiny silver appearance. It is the air bubble that affects its appearance. Shouldn’t the presence of Heaven’s Redeemer also cause believers to shine brightly for His glory! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all were so filled with Heaven’s presence that all could see Christ in us, the hope of glory? Shine brightly for Him as He is Soon2Come!
PS--Did I mention that this spider catches fish?
"And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men."