He feeds the Birds

I have a special fondness for birds. I enjoy seeing them fly, darting from tree to tree, soaring and wheeling about, riding the winds in joyous freedom. One of the reasons why I enjoyed living and growing up in the country-side was the vast assortment of birds that visited our bird table and bird bath every day. And it’s fun to watch them splash in a puddle or pool of water, bathing themselves and carefully preening

their feathers.

I regularly had two feeders and a drinking bowl in my back garden, and the birds soon discovered that this was a safe haven. Besides sparrows, tits, robins, blackbirds, and other small songbirds, I’ve seen crows, magpies, pigeons, and even pheasants in my back gardens. Sometimes there will be several different kinds of birds there – all at the same time.

I love to watch them – and so does my neighbours cat. She sits by the shed door and stares up at the birds. She gets so intense that her whiskers twitch! Now and then, a bird will land on the ground near the door, and her eyes get so big that I sometimes fear that her natural feline instincts might overpower her usually friendly disposition.

I especially enjoy listening to the birds. More than any other creature, it seems to me they have learned to serve the Lord with gladness: and come before his presence with singing as the psalmist says in Psalm 100:2. I used to keep Budgies and Canaries and they greeted every day with a hearty song, even though they never got beyond their cages to soar in the trees?

When God created the fowl of the air on the fifth day of creation, He gave them a song. And virtually all types of birds make some kind of joyful noise – it seems like they’re always praising the Lord. I’ve seen them after a winter snowstorm, sitting on top of the feeders, thankfully chirping and singing because the food is there. Jesus once referred to the sparrows, which many consider an ordinary little bird with no apparent value. But He, who values all His creatures, said not one of them falls to the ground without his noticing! – Matthew 10:29.

My Sermon today entitled


is a attempt to help us focus on what I am calling

Lessons from the Birds!

There is so much we can learn from our fine feathered friends.

The Bible is filled with references to birds as symbols of what we humans ought to be or what we can do with God’s help.

Genesis 8 tells us that when Noah’s ark landed on solid ground after the great flood, Noah sent out a Dove to see if the land was habitable. The Dove found no place to light, to rest, and returned to the ark. A week later, Noah sent the Dove out again and it returned in the evening with an olive branch in its beak. So Noah knew it would soon be safe to go out into the unknown.

Of course, it is no accident that the Dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit who wings His way over the abyss of man’s sinful past, bridged by the sacrificial ark of the cross of Christ, and leads all who will follow step by step into the Father’s new beginning.

Of course we need to remember that the Holy Spirit is not a “bird” – He is a person, and while the Dove speaks volumes about the purity and peace of the Spirit, God wants the Person of the Holy Spirit to become our indwelling partner. God wants to work and walk with us every single day. Only when the Spirit lives within can we truly have a song in the heart.

Then, God used a common barnyard Rooster to deal with the heart of Peter during the last days of Jesus’ life. After Peter had boasted that he would stay close to the Lord no matter what happened or whoever turned against Him; Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him before the cock crowed the next morning.

The gospels tell the awful story of how Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, then taken before Caiaphas the high priest to be sentenced to death. Warming himself by the fire at the edge of the angry mob, Peter was asked not once, nor twice, but three times if he knew or was a companion to this man Jesus? Once, twice, three times and with swearing, Peter denied knowing the Lord! And at that darkest hour, just before the dawn, a rooster crowed! Instantly Peter remembered his prideful boast and Jesus’ prophetic words… and he went out

and wept bitterly. Of course, we know Peter repented and went on to become a leading Apostle in proclaiming the message of the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s death and Resurrection all across the then known world.

But while we know that God feeds the Birds, he also uses the

birds to feed us? I am partial to fried chicken … and turkey is not just for Christmas in my Kitchen, but you will recall that story from Exodus 16 which we read earlier in today’s service of how God used birds to answer the prayers of the Children of Israel. After wandering in the wilderness for many years and being fed on manna, the people cried out for meat. God caused convoys of quail to come near their camp until there was plenty to feed all the people. They had their bread, -Manna in the Mornings

and meat, – Quails in the Evenings. God is Good!

I’m certainly not an ornithological expert, but I’ve often been

impressed about the strong parental instinct birds seem to have. It’s fascinating to watch them building a nest, gathering twigs, straw, string, and feathers to fashion a fragile, but sturdy place, to lay their eggs. In some species, both father and mother bird take turns sitting on the nest, keeping the eggs safe and warm. And once the little ones come out of the eggs, the parents feed the young until they grow large enough to fly away.

I’ve seen mother birds fiercely attack other birds, even animals, that prowled too close to their nest. In many instances, the parent seems willing to give their own life to protect the young.

During the time these birds are being incubated, then fed and cared for until they can fly away, nothing seems more important to the mother bird. Her babies seem to be the centre of her life and the sole reason for her existence.

Nowadays, (in our human nests and homes) necessity sometimes forces both parents to work outside the home. Still, I can’t help feeling there are lessons that today’s fathers and mothers can learn about parenting from the example of the birds. Most of all, we must understand how precious are the lives of our children, worth any sacrifice to protect and nurture them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The most important present, the most valuable treasure any parent can give its child, is the “gift of time”. Spend time with your children, don’t allow the TV or sporting activities to replace the attention and affection they crave. One young man recently before the courts on a criminal charge, told the judge “I want you to send me to prison, at least there I might find a man to love me, for I have never known a fathers love”. Tragically there are too many “single-parent” families and our children are growing up without the balance of love they need, both physically and

psychologically. Every Child needs a Mom and a Dad.

You should remember that the next time you feel like packing your bags and walking out on them. Problems are never solved or settled by walking or running away from them.

I’m impressed too with the instinct of birds to be good, faithful partners. I’ve heard that some species, including the turtle dove, mate once for a lifetime. Once a male and female come together, they stay with their mate and remain faithful to each other until separated by death…. faithful unto the end.

One hopes that these beautiful creatures could teach the men and women of today these lessons of fidelity and faithfulness. In a society where there are more divorces being granted than new marriages performed, surely we need to turn again to the example of these beautiful creatures for instruction in living

together Married, as God intended.

Listen, my friend, to the voices of the little birds, and hear God speaking to you today. Observe the life-style and the joy of these beautiful creatures and learn afresh of God’s plan for your life.

Ecclesiastes 10:v20 says, “For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”

As you know, an important part of this ministry’s outreach

now is transmitting The Sanctuary worldwide; Using high speed broadband via fibre-optic cables and satellites we can beam our signal from this studio every day to both a local and international coverage area reaching a potential listening audience of thousands of people.

Did you know that, in the communications industry, the slang

term for an orbiting communications satellite is… a bird! “We’ll beam this up to ‘the bird,'” they say, “and let it relay the signal around the world!”

So the words of Solomon have become another fulfilled prophecy! For today a “bird” does indeed carry the voice of the gospel, and “that which hath wings” is proclaiming the matter of God’s Word to the far corners of the earth.

What an exciting day in which to be alive!

A while ago when I was in the United States, I noticed that on the top of most poles where the American flag flies there often is the image of an eagle, symbol of strength and majesty. The Bible tells us that if we wait upon the Lord, He will give us strength to overcome every difficulty and to mount up on

wings, as the eagle; Isaiah 40:31.

The Eagle is one from which I believe there is so much for the believer to learn. Did you know that when the young eagles are ready to fly and leave the nest, that the parent bird stirs up the nest making it most uncomfortable for the young to rest in it? The Bible says:

“As an eagle stireth up its nest, Over its young ones fluttereth, Spreadeth its wings, taketh them, Beareth them on its pinions”; Deut 32:11

God too, will sometimes stir up our circumstances when he wants us to fly, or to move on with our lives. How easy it is to become comfortable – even within the Church and to take our “ease in Zion”. Many, if not most of our problems we recon to be the work of Satan, but sometime God may be behind our troubles. God may be stirring up our nest, pushing us out, because it could be our time to fly?

God Himself is likened to the Eagle – Jer 49:22 & Ezek 10:14

tells us that “He sets His throne on High and has his eye on every sparrow.” The Eagle has an amazing optical ability, from

a great height it can see the smallest field-mouse.

God sees it all too, there is nothing that can be or could be ever hidden from his omniscience; he is all seeing and all knowing.

Many foolishly believe that they can hide things from God. While we may hide our past sins, failures and mistakes from others, and hide our present misdemeanours from them too,

we can hide Nothing from God.

So lets move on … Luke’s Gospel records what the Lord said about the common crow. “Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” Luke 12:24.

I began today with this thought that God Feeds the Birds, and so he does, even in the extreme colds and frosts of winter, somehow or other most birds seem to survive against all the odds. Some of Gods other little creatures will hide or stash away nuts and berries for their winter feasts, but not the birds, they do not gather into barns, yet the Lord provides for them.

This message is at the very heart of today’s sermon. GOD PROVIDES. I believe that the Bible shows “hard times” ahead for all of us. Christian Scholars and Theologians across the world all agree that right now it would appear that we are in the period of time which the Bible refers to, and Jesus himself called “The beginnings of Sorrows” (Mark 13:8) A period or prelude to the Tribulation which in itself will prelude the Great Tribulation. (Mark 13:24)

Nowhere in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, is there any mention of the possibility that God will ever abandon His own Children; in fact the contrary is proven again and again.

Even to the complaining and disgruntled Israelites wandering in the wilderness, God provided bread and meat every day to those six hundred thousand fighting men, not to mention the old, the women and the children? Exodus 12:37

The story of the feeding of the 5000 in the Gospels is also proof (if proof were needed) that God is concerned about our physical hunger, as well as our spiritual health. God often gets a “Bad Press” from those who would blame him for the starvation and lack that covers much of the world; but God has graciously and generously provided us with more than enough. It is mans own selfish greed, that makes us hold on and hoard up for profit and political end. God have mercy on us!

God is concerned about His Children and knows the fear that has found rest in many of their hearts in these dark and difficult days. But remember, “He feeds the Birds”. God has already in place a provision for us, it will not be accessed easily, and I believe will require much faith, but provision has already been made. The Prophet Habakkuk could say…

“that I might rest in the day of trouble: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy

in the God of my salvation.” Hab: 3: 16-18

In the valley of the shadow of death, there must be a light otherwise there could not be a shadow, and every child of God knows that Jesus is the light there. God will provide.

The Old Testament tells of the Prophet Elijah being sent into the wilderness to wait beside the brook Cherith. At this time he was hiding from the wicked King Ahab. Twice a day the Lord sent Ravens to deliver his food; And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening – every day. 1 Kings 17:6.

Imagine depending on crows to deliver your breakfast and your supper! I’m not sure I’d want to trust them with my food.

But Elijah did…and he never went hungry.

Now this final word

Sometimes we seem to think that such wonderful things happened long ago, but that they do not happen anymore. But

in this we are mistaken. God still cares for His people. He is always near, when they need Him, and remember God will provide, for He feeds the Birds.

David Brainerd was a famous missionary who went to the North American Indians to preach the Gospel. As a result of his labours, many of those Indians found their Saviour. Brainerd was a man of prayer. In his diary {or journals} he tells of his experiences on his many travels. And he often mentions how

the Lord heard and answered his prayers.

One day, on one of his many journeys to visit an Indian tribe, he was overtaken by a severe storm. He looked for a place of shelter and eventually found one in the hollow log of a very large tree. While there, he prayed for the Indians and also that the Lord would take care of him and his needs.

When meal time came, he was hungry, but there was

nothing to eat.

After some time praying, He noticed a squirrel approaching the tree. The squirrel chattered a while, and when the little animal disappeared, Brainerd noticed that he had left a few nuts behind. The missionary gladly ate those nuts – there was nothing else.

Three days the storm continued, and for three days Brainerd remained sheltered in that hollowed out log. Each day the same squirrel came and deposited some nuts at the entrance. David Brainerd never doubted that the Lord had sent that squirrel?

Yes God will Provide, and He who feeds the Birds will feed you … so fear not, no worries. God Bless You