Why Did God Make Flies

by The Old Scott

Have you ever wondered why God made flies? That's the first question about God's creation that I asked, as a farm boy. Those flies were so pesky and so unshoo-able! My God-loving mother and my Sunday school teachers assured me that our Creator was a loving God-so why would He create flies to pester us?

Since that long-ago day, many similar questions have occurred to me, and I've also found some answers-not to all my questions, but enough to convince me that there are answers, whether I learn them or not.

If you'd really like to know why God made flies, you'll want some day to thank a French naturalist named Jean Henri Fabre, who discovered that flies are a vital part of God's rubbish removal system.

After watching fat blue-bottle flies lay their eggs in the bodies of dead birds, he made an experiment: He searched out the bodies of several dead birds, and divided them into two groups.  One group he left out on his laboratory table, with the windows open. The other group he wrapped in newspaper, so flies couldn't get at them.

Sure enough, the flies found the corpses, and laid eggs in the ones not covered with paper.  Two processes began to occur: the fly eggs hatched into larva, which grew fat on the flesh of the birds; and those bodies began to rot.

Neither process was initiated in the protected bodies. They simply dried out. Their chemicals and nutrients were not released to the earth, to be used again.

Of course flies aren't the only-nor even the most important-way God provided to dispose of dead animals. He also made many carrion-eating animalsand uncountable zillions of friendly bacteria to break down what's left.

God even made burying beetles: insect undertakers, which literally bury carcasses of small birds and animals. Underground, the beetles prepare the dead flesh to be food for their young-and again the valuable chemicals are made available for reuse.

Here's another problem, and God's solution: Very few animals eat dung, while all create it. What would the world be like with constantly-growing mountains and plateaus of manure? Well, our heavenly Father took care of that problem, too. Dung beetles are part of His solution. A fresh cow patty may look and smell awful to you, but to dung beetles it is God's provision for their next generation. A pair of dung beetles will carve out and shape into a ball enough of the patty to give their children a good start in life. Then they will roll it to a hole they previously dug in the ground, calling on other beetles for help with the task if needed. Once underground, the ball of dung becomes a warm haven and ready lunch for the eggs placed inside.

These are only a few examples of the ways God has provided to recycle natural garbage. They are evidences of the wonderful way all Nature functions together as a smoothly-running machine, with no parts either missing or extra.

The more we know about our world, the more awesome it seems-and much more so the mighty God who created it.  Aren't you glad He loves us?


The Wonders of Instinct, Jean Henri Fabre, Century Co., NY, 1918, pp.106-108.

Insects of the World, Walter Linsermaier, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1972, p. 153.

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