The Birds of the Bible
The study of how frequently and how numerous birds are mentioned in the Bible is a very fascinating as well as a very rewarding undertaking. Jesus, the Master of analogous teaching, often used birds to illustrate a point and to increase the understanding of his listeners. Solomon, who possessed a wealth of knowledge concerning all living creatures, used birds in many of his proverbs.
Birds are mentioned in 45 of the 66 books of the Bible. Approximately 50 different species of birds are mentioned in the Bible. There are about 400 different kinds of birds in Palestine and of the 400 species 26 are found only in Palestine.
The first mention of birds in the Bible is in Genesis 1:20 where God says: “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
The last mention of birds in the Bible is in Revelation 18:2, where Babylon is referred to as a “cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” To name a few of the birds mentioned in the Bible we have the Bitten, Cock, Crane, Dove, Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, Hen, Nighthawk, Ostrich, Owl, Partridge, Peacock, Quail, Rave, Sparrow, Stork, Swallow, Swan, Turtledove and the Vulture.
It is interesting to note that on many occasions, birds were used to render some specific service for God or for God’s people. During the days of Noah, when the rain ceased a raven was sent to determine whether or not the waters had abated and the land was sufficiently dry.
A raven was also used to bring food to the prophet, Elijah when he was hiding at the brook which is called Cherith. Quails were sent by God to be consumed as food when the Israelites were wandering through the wilderness. Turtledoves were used by the Israelites to serve as sacrifices to God. A rooster was used by Jesus to remind Simon Peter that he had denied Him three times.
There are 3 birds which can be used to symbolize the Trinity, or as we usually say, The Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
In the book of Deuteronomy the Eagle is used as a symbol of God. The writer says, “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young; spreadeth abroad her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him and there no strange God with him.” (Deut. 32:11)
The eagle is compared to God for many reasons. First, the eagle is one of the largest birds to be found in the world. Secondly, the eagle is the strongest and most powerful bird in the world. Thirdly, the eagle is one of the swiftest birds in the world. Then the eagle flies higher than most other birds, he has the keenest eye sight of any bird and he probably has the longest life span of any bird.
The most striking characteristic of an eagle which can be compared to God is the care and concern which eagles have for their young. I don’t have to tell you that as children of God we know that we have somebody who cares about us. Sometimes we try to achieve our goals without sufficient know how. Sometimes we try to fly before we are ready. But God just like an eagle sees that we’re falling and out of His care and concern for us, He swoops down. Then He spreads His wings of love and takes us back into His nest of grace and mercy.
O’ take a lesson from the eagle. If we would be as concerned about our children as God is concerned about us and the eagle is concerned for her young, the world would be a much better place. We would have a better society.
Then Jesus compares Himself to a Hen. For a hen is definitely a good parent. One day as Jesus stood upon the city of Jerusalem, He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together as a “hen” doth gather her brood under her wings and ye would not.” (Luke 13:34)
As Jesus thought about how much He had to offer and how His own people spent their time plotting against Him instead of listening to Him, it caused Him to be very sorrowful.
Just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings and protects them from all harm, Jesus offered the same protection for His people, but instead of responding favorably, they spent their time plotting to do away with him.
Finally, the Dove is used to symbolize the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was baptized of John in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and the voice of God was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
And as I think about the dove, I recall that on one occasion, Christ told His disciples to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
You see, Doves are harmless birds and as Christians we ought to be harmless. We ought not to carry ourselves in such a way that folk will be afraid to approach us and speak to us. We ought not to have such a haughty attitude that folk will be afraid to correct us when we do wrong.
We ought to be harmless as doves. We ought to be kind, courteous, congenial, gentle, sweet and loving. Yes, we need to take a lesson from the dove.
One day, David the psalmist spoke of a dove. You see, it seemed as though his enemies were closing in on him. It seemed like he had been running for a long time and his strength had all but given out. So he said, “Oh, that I had wings like dove; for then would I fly away and be at rest.” Psalm 55:6
My Brothers and Sisters, he seems to be saying:
“If I only had the wings of that harmless bird which is likened unto the Holy Spirit, I would raise those wings and get away from all the troubles and cares of this mean and evil world.”
I believe I know just how David felt for sometimes I get depressed.
Sometimes I get weary.
Sometimes I get discouraged.
Sometimes I get all frustrated.
It seems as though my enemies never let up. They’re constantly on my trail. And being only human, sometimes I get tired, weak, and worn and I want to give up and I say like David, “Oh that I had wings like a dove for then would I fly away and be at rest.”
But then it dawns upon me that if I just hold out a little bit longer and if I just keep on toiling a few more days, a few more months, and a few more years.
I’m going to get a pair of wings anyhow. This is what the songwriter had in mind when he said:
Some Glad Morning When This Life Is Over
I’ll Fly Away
To A Home on God’s Celestial Shore
I’ll Fly Away
When I Die, Hallelujah, By and By
I’ll Fly Away
This is Rev Dr. Wm. Rocky Brown, 3rd letting you know that GOD and I Love you, and we approve this message because we want to motivate your mind, body & soul. So be happy and enjoy the blessings of The LORD today my friend! Please subscribe to my website to receive these messages daily at http://www.yourspiritualmotivation.com.