Words and Birds of Encouragement: Reverse the Curse

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Healthy male House Finch; Clarke County, Georgia. April, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1-3

Coronavirus is a curse. All viruses that bring sickness and death are a result of the curse. And that curse pronounced in Genesis 3 didn’t affect man alone, but “this thing all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers.” I’ve seen the curse of disease first-hand as a House Finch confusedly flew through my backyard unable to find the feeder.

House Finch Eye Disease infection.

But God promises a reverse of the curse and a restoration of paradise! One day, we will walk along the river among the fruiting trees. We, and all the other creatures, bird and beast alike, will be free of disease. Without a coronavirus face mask to block our view, we will adoringly look upon the Lamb seated upon the throne!

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Birds of the Bible – As the Bird…So Are We

Lee feeding Wood Stork at Lake Morton by Dan Jan 2011

Lee feeding Wood Stork at Lake Morton by Dan Jan 2011

While watching the birds at my feeders and reflecting on what I had just read in my devotions, I started thinking about how the truths of God’s Word applies to the birds and to me. There are differences of course, but there are many similarities. Those are the ones this article is about.

To begin, we are both created. The Lord created the birds and He created humans. We both have bodies and spirits, but humans were given a soul and were created in His Image.

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV)

There is a difference between us:

All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. (1 Corinthians 15:39 NKJV)

Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) with young by Ian

Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) with young by Ian

Then the Lord commanded them to be “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill.” Both were told to reproduce with the difference being that man was given dominion over the critters.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. …And God saw that it was good.(Genesis 1:22-23, 25 NKJV)

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV)

Cedar Waxwing Eating by Steve Slayton

Cedar Waxwing Eating by Steve Slayton

God gave both the birds and man (humans) every green herb to eat.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food“; and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30 NKJV)

Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis) by Dario Sanches

Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis) by Dario Sanches

We were both created “very good.”

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 NKJV)

Then Adam and Eve disobeyed God and both the birds and myself were placed under a curse. Neither of us enjoy the fellowship and peace that was there in the Garden of Eden. My personal belief is that the animals and birds were very tame, that Adam could call or speak to them and they would come without hesitation. But now, they are afraid of us, and we (humans) need a Savior. (The Gospel Message)

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. (Genesis 9:2 NKJV)

We all belong to the Lord:

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. (Psalms 50:11-12 NKJV)

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba) With Fish by AestheticPhotos

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba) With Fish by AestheticPhotos

We and the birds are provided for:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-26 NKJV)

God has given each kind of bird different beaks, feet, appetites, habitats, and places to dwell. The Lord has given those of us who have accepted Him as Savior different abilities, gifts, talents, places to live (like missionaries) and jobs to do. He has given both a variety that makes them and us very interesting to behold.

There are more things that could be mentioned, but for now, Praise the Lord that He cares about both the birds and us!