who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ (Job 35:11 ESV)
Recently.a friend was telling me about a bird that has been singing every night. He said that it begins around 3 AM and continues for hours. He was frustrated by the bird’s behavior. After discussing it, we came to the conclusion that it is a Northern Mockingbird. They have one with a nest in their yard.
We used to have one that had a nest in the bush outside our bedroom window when we lived in south Florida. Whenever the babies were born, our Mockingbird started its “songs in the night.” The songs are pleasant, but in the middle of the night, the urge to throw a pillow out the window sounds tempting.
Northern Mockingbirds are members of the Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers Family. They are the only Mockingbird in North America and are the state bird in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, and formerly the state bird of South Carolina. They are omnivore, meaning it eats fruits and insects.
The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized mimid that has long legs and tail. Both males and females look alike. Its upper parts are colored gray, while its underparts have a white or whitish-gray color. It has parallel wing bars on the half of the wings connected near the white patch giving it a distinctive appearance in flight. The iris is usually a light green-yellow or a yellow, but there have been instances of an orange color. The bill is black with a brownish black appearance at the base. The juvenile appearance is marked by its streaks on its back, distinguished spots and streaks on its chest, and a gray or grayish-green iris. Northern Mockingbirds measure from 8.1 to 11.0 in (20.5 to 28 cm) including a tail almost as long as its body.
Although many species of bird imitate the vocalizations of other birds, the Northern Mockingbird is the best known in North America for doing so. It imitates not only birds, but also other animals and mechanical sounds such as car alarms. As convincing as these imitations may be to humans, they often fail to fool other birds. (Wikipedia with editing)
What is interesting about the Bible verse above is that the verse has been used many times before, but I have not used the previous verse. Here are the two verses together.
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night, Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:10-11 NKJV)
God our Maker and the Lord our Savior gives us songs in the night when all is well. Apparently, the Mockingbird is happy or joyful as he sings his songs in the night. We can learn from the songster of the night.
Looking at other verses, what can cause us to not have songs in the night?
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. (Psalms 42:8 NKJV)
Are we praying and staying in communication with the Lord? When sin creeps in, the songs stop ringing out.
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:29 ESV)
When we have Communion, our pastor always asks us to make sure our fellowship with the Lord and others is clear. When all is straightened out, then we can have our “feast” (communion) with a clear forgiven spirit.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, (Acts 16:25 ESV)
Even when circumstances are not what we would like are we still “praying and singing hymns to God”?
Why we should sing night or day:
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17 NKJV)
- Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers Family
- Northern Mockingbird – Kids’ Inquiry of Diverse Species
- Northern Mockingbird – What Bird
- Northern Mockingbird – National Geographic
- Northern Mockingbird – Wikipedia
- Northern Mockingbird – National Wildlife Foundation
- More Orni-Theology articles