Birds of the Bible – Raven II

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

The first Birds of the Bible – Raven article covered many aspects of the Raven. It was written in February of 2008 when I first started writing about the Birds of the Bible. There is always more to learn about birds or the Lord for that matter. We never “arrive” in our learning.

Some verses about the Raven that are interesting have to do with the Lord or God providing for them.

Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. (Job 38:41 KJV)

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. (Psalms 147:9 KJV)

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 KJV)

With all the providing by the LORD God for the Raven, He (LORD God) then uses the Ravens to feed Elijah during a drought. Elijah was told to go to the brook Cherith and there he would be fed. Notice that the ravens came twice a day and brought “bread and flesh.”

Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. (1 Kings 17:3-6 KJV)

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Here are some interesting remarks from commentators about this:
Wesley – 1Ki 17:4,6 “God is said to command both brute creatures, and senseless things; when he causeth them to do the things which he intends to effect by them. The ravens – Which he chuseth for this work; to shew his care and power in providing for the prophet by those creatures, which are noted for their greediness, that by this strange experiment he might be taught to trust God in those many and great difficulties to which he was to be exposed. God could have sent angels to minister to him. But he chose winged messengers of another kind to shew he can serve his own purposes as effectually, by the meanest creatures as by the mightiest. Ravens neglect their own young, and do not feed them: yet when God pleaseth, they shall feed his prophet.”
“And flesh – Not raw, but boiled by the ministry of some angel or man, and left in some place ’till the ravens came for it: in all which, there is nothing incredible, considering the power and providence of God.”

K&D – “Through this miracle, which unbelievers reject, because they do not acknowledge a living God, by whom, as the Creator and Lord of all creatures, even the voracious ravens are made subservient to His plans of salvation, Elijah was not only cut off from (interaction) with men, who might have betrayed his place of abode to the king, but was mightily strengthened himself, through the confidence inspired in the almighty assistance of his God, for his approaching contests with the worshippers of idols, and for the privations and sufferings which awaited him in the fulfilment of his vocation.”

 

Common Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

Matthew Henry – “Elijah was commanded to hide himself. If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to go: when we cannot be useful, we must be patient; and when we cannot work for God, we must sit still quietly for him. The ravens were appointed to bring him meat, and did so. Let those who have but from hand to mouth, learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day, in the day. God could have sent angels to minister to him; but he chose to show that he can serve his own purposes by the meanest creatures, as effectually as by the mightiest. Elijah seems to have continued thus above a year. The natural supply of water, which came by common providence, failed; but the miraculous supply of food, made sure to him by promise, failed not. If the heavens fail, the earth fails of course; such are all our creature-comforts: we lose them when we most need them, like brooks in summer. But there is a river which makes glad the city of God, that never runs dry, a well of water that springs up to eternal life. Lord, give us that living water!”

Gill – “…it seems better to interpret them of ravens, as we do, these creatures delighting to be in solitary places, in valleys, and by brooks; nor need it be any objection that they were unclean creatures by the law, since Elijah did not feed upon them, but was fed by them; and supposing any uncleanness by touch, the ceremonial law might be dispensed with in an extraordinary case, as it sometimes was; though it is very remarkable that such creatures should be employed in this way, which are birds of prey, seize on anything they can, live on carrion, and neglect their own young, and yet feed a prophet of the Lord; which shows the power and providence of God in it.”

Elijah and the ravens help illustrate the following verse:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

Lesson from Smallest Bird – by April Lorier

Lesson from smallest bird”

I was sitting in my car, waiting — I do not like waiting! — and a flock of birds fluttered up to me with expectant looks and frantic behavior. There were birds of all colors, including some with vibrant yellow eyes. I watched them display their pecking order and smiled. Just like people I thought.

Their chatter increased in volume and rhythm as they tried to convince me they would settle for the smallest crumbs of anything I had to offer. I especially noticed one little bird, the smallest of the flock, because the larger birds kept belaboring the point that he was least among the birds. Poor baby, I said as I leaned towards my glove compartment. Let’s see what I can find.

Voila! There was a package of two power bars! Excitedly, I smashed them up and threw them outside the window. That started a race for the crumbs! I noticed all of the birds except one rushed for the smallest crumbs as they pushed the little one out of the way.

I kept watching, hoping he would find at least one crumb. Then a funny thing happened. The smallest bird eyed a very large piece of the power bar and snatched it up. Then he quietly waddled away.

Meanwhile, the larger birds kept frantically scrounging for more crumbs, totally unaware that the best had already been taken away.

“Look at that,” The Spirit whispered, “all of the others settled for crumbs while one bird got enough to eat on all day. How many times do you settle for crumbs?”

It was like a light bulb went off inside my soul. God desires to give us riches beyond our wildest expectations, but we are living frantically in the moment and settling for what we can have NOW: mere crumbs, compared to what we could have if we but trusted in the character of God, our Heavenly Father!

Oh, God, thank You for the gift of this lesson. You not only provide for the birds, but use them to take Your children deeper in You.

(c) 2007-2009 April Lorier

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.

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Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier

The Birds, the Economy, and My Provider – by April Lorier

There I was, snoozing in my lazyboy when I was awakened by such a clatter, I rose from my chair to see what was the matter! I felt like Tippi Hedren and it was The Birds all over again. Just outside my window were dozens of sparrows fighting over a snippet of orange peel! I mean fierce terrorist fighting!

I watched in amazement as one of those little sparrows actually made off with the orange peel, unnoticed, and the rest of the birds were still doing battle. I thought, “Isn’t that the way it goes? Anger got the best of them.”

No one has to tell you the economy is pinching your style. As more and more people enter the survival mode we will see anger rising in more people. Fear does terrible things to people. It’s not displayed as fear, but as anger. And as the economy gets worse, we will see more and more vigilante behavior.

People tend to forget that God said He watched over the sparrows and I am worth far more to Him than a sparrow. That fear takes over and we lose sight of our Provider who is far greater than any recession or depression.

I’m so thankful for the reminder from Him of His Sovereignty over all things. Were it not for these birds, I might have forgotten Who’s actually in control.

(c) 2009 April Lorier

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.

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Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier

April Lorier writes great articles on her “Christian Nature” blog and has agreed to be a guest author. She is allowing us to reproduce some of her very thoughtful and inspiring challenges about birds and the Creator. I trust you will be as blessed by her writings as I am. This is the first one.


Sparrows and God Caresparrow-whiteThroat1 I have written about sparrows before and feel a need to revisit the subject. There are just so many sparrows flying around!Ethel Waters made “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” famous many years ago, and it’s still a master piece. It serves to remind us that if God values sparrows and cares for them, then certainly He does the same for us. He created human beings for companionship, and through Christ we can have that relationship.

One Sunday morning at church, we sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” as a congregational hymn. It was a rare opportunity to give voice to a song usually performed by a soloist.

During the first chorus, I noticed a friend who was weeping so hard that he couldn’t sing. Knowing a bit of what he had been through recently, I recognized his tears as ones of joy at realizing that, no matter what our situation, God sees, knows, and cares for us.

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). The Lord spoke these words to His 12 disciples as He sent them out to teach, heal, and bear witness of Him to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v.6). He told them that even though they would face persecution for His sake, they should not be afraid, even of death (vv.22-26).

When threatening circumstances press us to lose hope, we can find encouragement in the words of this song: “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” We are under His watchful care.

If God sees the sparrow’s fall,
Paints the lilies short and tall,
Gives the skies their azure hue,
Will He not then care for you? —Anon.

When you put your cares in God’s hands, He puts His peace in your heart.

2009 April Lorier

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? –
Job 12

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier

Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier

April Lorier writes great articles on her “Christian Nature” blog and has agreed to be a guest author. She is allowing us to reproduce some of her very thoughtful and inspiring challenges about birds and the Creator. I trust you will be as blessed by her writings as I am. This is the first one.


Sparrows and God Care

sparrow-whiteThroat1 I have written about sparrows before and feel a need to revisit the subject. There are just so many sparrows flying around!

Ethel Waters made “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” famous many years ago, and it’s still a master piece. It serves to remind us that if God values sparrows and cares for them, then certainly He does the same for us. He created human beings for companionship, and through Christ we can have that relationship.

One Sunday morning at church, we sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” as a congregational hymn. It was a rare opportunity to give voice to a song usually performed by a soloist.

During the first chorus, I noticed a friend who was weeping so hard that he couldn’t sing. Knowing a bit of what he had been through recently, I recognized his tears as ones of joy at realizing that, no matter what our situation, God sees, knows, and cares for us.

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). The Lord spoke these words to His 12 disciples as He sent them out to teach, heal, and bear witness of Him to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v.6). He told them that even though they would face persecution for His sake, they should not be afraid, even of death (vv.22-26).

When threatening circumstances press us to lose hope, we can find encouragement in the words of this song: “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” We are under His watchful care.

If God sees the sparrow’s fall,
Paints the lilies short and tall,
Gives the skies their azure hue,
Will He not then care for you? —Anon.

When you put your cares in God’s hands, He puts His peace in your heart.

2009 April Lorier

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? –
Job 12

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.


See:
More of April’s Articles
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Birds of the Bible – God’s Care For Birds

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (Job 12:7 KJV) Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? (Job 35:11 KJV)

God has promised that He will watch over the birds of the air to see that they are fed.

Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. (Job 38:41 KJV)
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. (Psa 147:9 KJV)
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luk 12:6-7 KJV)

Let the Birds of the Air teach us to put our trust in the Lord especially with the difficult times that are facing us today. With the economy, finances, jobs, problems, health, and other pressures pressing on us, look to the Lord, our Saviour, King, Ruler, Creator, and the All Mighty God who cares about every aspect of our lives and wants to provide all for us. He loves the birds, but He loves and cares so much more about us.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Mat 6:25-34 KJV)

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God Will Take Care of You

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Refrain:
God will take care of you,
Thro’ ev’ry day, O’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Trust Him, and you will be satisfied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.

See Birds in Hymns – God Will Take Care of You

Psalm 63:7
Author: Civilla D. Martin, 1869-1948
Musician: W. Stillman Martin, 1862-1935


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