Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

May 15, 2014

Lessons to learn from nature

I was doing a little painting this past week and included a couple of eagles in the work. It got me to thinking about lessons we can learn from nature and this week I want to mention a couple of observations from the scriptures concerning birds. At least four birds mentioned in the Bible come to mind immediately.  There are many more, but these four uniquely different birds each have significance in the Word.

The common sparrow was used in Jesus’ sermon's to express the value He places on us. “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.”  We have great value in His eyes. He thinks on each one of us as though we were His one and only concern.

The dove or turtle dove is mentioned many times throughout the scriptures.  It was used in several offerings the Lord required of the Israelites, particularly for the poor who could not afford to sacrifice a lamb or calf. God honored that gift from a poor person the same as He did from those who could afford to sacrifice a much more valuable animal. He looks at our hearts when we bring our offerings to Him. It is not so much the amount or time or talent as it is about a heart that is wholly His.  The bride — representing the Bride of Christ in the Song of Solomon — is called a dove. Many qualities of a dove can be an example to us of how we should be toward the Lord.  One example is the dove's eye. The dove's eye is set and can only look in one direction at a time. That is how we are to be with the Lord — eyes only for Him, focused on Him, waiting for His directions.

Most of us have negative thoughts when it comes to the raven, a scavenger bird that also seems to find its way into witchcraft and satanism. And yet, the Lord used a raven to feed the prophet who was running from the wicked queen Jezebel. God can use the most negative situation we can imagine to bring life and nourishment to those who are His. Again, Jesus mentions the raven in a similar context to the sparrow, promising to provide our needs, just like He does for the raven, and then reminding His audience of how much more value they were to the Father than a raven.

The last bird I want to comment on is the eagle.  The eagle is also mentioned many times throughout the scriptures.  It is a bird with very keen eyesight. God has given us as believers that same ability to see things (insights, discernment, etc) that others cannot see. One of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah 40:28-31. “Have you never heard or understood?  Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth?  He never grows faint or weary.  No one can measure the depths of His understanding.  He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.  Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.”

What an incredible promise. As we wait upon Him, He will lift us up, empower us and strengthen us, to accomplish great things for His kingdom.  The eagle uses the wind to take him to heights most other birds would never go.

  In fact, in stormy weather, it is those very winds of adversity that carry the eagle far above the storm.

The next time you see one of our feathered friends, let it remind you of just how much the Lord cares for you.

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