The lionfish may look beautiful in a reef, but it can also be harmful to people and other animals.

The lionfish may look beautiful in a reef, but it can also be harmful to people and other animals.

Lionfish naturally live in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. But now there are populations in the Atlantic Ocean too.

Lionfish naturally live in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. But now there are populations in the Atlantic Ocean too.

A hurricane destroyed an aquarium. A few lionfish escaped—and those have multiplied greatly in the wild.

A hurricane destroyed an aquarium. A few lionfish escaped—and those have multiplied greatly in the wild.

The lionfish’s long spines contain venom. They help the lionfish defend itself against predators.

The lionfish’s long spines contain venom. They help the lionfish defend itself against predators.

Don’t Be Deceived

Posted: November 1, 2020

In the case of the species Pterois, or lionfish, looks are definitely deceiving. These fish are stunningly beautiful. They boast colorful. eye-catching stripes and enormous spines. But lionfish have huge appetites and poisonous fins. They prey on all kinds of other fish. They are not fearful of predators. How can something so beautiful be so dangerous?

Lionfish live on the edges of coral reefs, in lagoons, and on rocky surfaces in the ocean. They’re native to the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. But in recent years, they’ve been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean. And their numbers there are growing. Scientists wonder how so many have made it across the globe.

Some think Hurricane Andrew helped them. In 1992, when the hurricane hit, it destroyed a Florida aquarium. The hurricane released six lionfish into the Atlantic Ocean. Just six! But lionfish families grow quickly. They reproduce monthly. They can live for 15 years. Every year more and more lionfish take over reefs. They are aggressive. They hurt other fish. Lionfish are even harmful to humans. Their beautiful colors are flashy warnings: “Stay away!”

What looks lovely isn’t always. In 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, Paul reminds believers to pay attention. He warns about people who falsely disguise themselves as followers of Christ. They may look like Christians, but looks can be deceiving. In verse 14, Paul says that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Sin might sometimes seem good to our eyes. But God’s Word is clear: Sin is ugly, destructive, and harmful. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit shows us the difference between true good and evil disguised as good.

God created the lionfish. He gave it stripes and a strong personality. When sin entered the world, the beautiful lionfish became harmful. God promises one day to make His creation beautiful again––on the inside AND out!