ARE NOT FIVE SPARROWS SOLD
“”Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
(Luke 12:6 NKJV)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Five ©Indiatoday
“”Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
(Luke 12:6 NKJV)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Five ©Indiatoday
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” (Matthew 10:29 NKJV)
House Sparrows watching Parrot show at National Aviary by Lee
“The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.” (Proverbs 12:13 KJV)
Baby Turtle Emerging from the Sand for the 1st time – At Sea Pines Rehab Hospital by Lee
“He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.” (Psalms 18:48 KJV)
Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) ©WikiC
“Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” (Psalms 18:36 KJV)
Melanesian Megapode (Megapodius eremita) ©WikiC
“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” (Psalms 32:7 KJV)
Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus) ©WikiC
“For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.” (Psalms 107:25 KJV)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) In The Wind ©Flickr Andrea Westmoreland
Tonight the effects of Hurricane Matthew are causing rain and fairly gusty winds here in Central Florida. So far, Matthew is staying to the east of us, but not by much. (We just got word that it is finally shifting to the east a tad, which is good for us.) Though the Snowy Egrets will still be having a “flying feather” night. Praying for all of those people along the shore as the hurricane scrapes the coast, during tonight and into early morning. Your prayers are always welcomed.
“But now ask the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee;” (Job 12:7)
Almost everyone in the world today knows of the terrible disaster that struck the coasts of South East Asia. The North American news media gave daily body counts, reported human tragedy and inflicted damage … yet, as far as is known, none mentioned the animals.
However, Asian reports from the damaged areas comment not only on the ability of trees to withstand the devastating waves but the almost total absence of animal deaths. It appears that the animals, from flamingos to elephants, took off for the hills long before the humans. The Chinese have done extensive investigations on animals and earthquake detection but are at a loss to explain it. Chinese scientists simply conclude that animals have far greater sensitivity than the best of scientific instruments.
Reuters reported from Thailand that the elephants used in the tourist business at Khao Lak began to “cry” at 9 am, about the time of the quake. Some elephants broke their hefty chains, but they all raced away toward the jungle-clad hills, taking their surprised tourists and guides with them. Some people were even picked up by the elephants using their trunks. They all came to a point on high ground where the waves stopped just short of where they stood. Three thousand, eight hundred people died in that area. God is merciful to those sensitive enough to His warnings.
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
After posting the photos of the Cactus Wrens (The Chase Begins…), I realized that you weren’t told much about these birds. After researching them; I decided they deserve to be a Birds of the Bible bird.
Why? Not because they are named specifically, but because of the way the Lord Jesus created these wrens to live in the desert environment and to survive there.
For one thing, they sort of blend in with their surroundings which helps protect them, camouflage. Hanging out in those spiked plants give them another great advantage.
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 6:26 NKJV)
One of the favorite places they like to make their nest is in the Cholla cactus. It is very spiny and keeps predators at bay. We saw several nests. An interesting thing about their nest show wisdom given them by the Creator. “Cactus wrens build nests that are the size and shape of a football with an opening at one end. They will construct this nest out of grasses and other annual plants, but can also include scraps of cloth and other woven fibers that they find. They will build this nest (and many others) usually in cholla, but also in palo verde, acacias, saguaros, or the hanging pot in your backyard.” (Fact Sheet)
Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)
The nest always have a roof over them. “Domed with tunnel-shaped entrance, made of coarse grass or plant fibers. Lined with feathers.” They also make a perch or doorstep at the opening. They need the dome or roof to shield the hatchlings and themselves from the heat and sun of the day. At night, the feathers and other linings help preserve the body heat. As you may know, desert have large temperature swings each day. Sounds like wise advise for humans in a desert also.
They do have some predators. “Coachwhips and other whipsnakes are able to navigate their way through the cactus and often will take eggs or nestlings. Adult birds can be food for coyotes, hawks, fox, bobcats or domestic cats.” (Wikipedia)
“It is a bird of arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.” (Wiki)
The thing that does reveal were they are is when they sing:
It is not the fanciest song, but they sound happy when they sing. I can’t sing well, but I enjoy singing. The Bible says were are to make a joyful noise.
“The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eyestripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little sexual dimorphism.
The cactus wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger vegetation. Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures. Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used even when found” (Wikipedia) Another source mentioned that when the Gila Woodpecker pecks the cactus, it causes it to seep liquid. The Cactus Wren drinks this also for fluid. That is another great provision provided by their Creator.
The Cactus Wren has the honor of being the State Bird of Arizona.
INTERESTING FACTS: The cactus wren is very protective of its nesting area. They have been known to attack squirrels, other birds, and even people who have gotten too close to their nests. They are not as shy as other wrens and, in fact, have been known to fly into open windows of cars or homes out of curiosity. (50States.com)
Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. (1 Samuel 26:20 KJV)
Rock Partridges – like other partridges – prefer to hide from people, yet their voices are quite detectable. “Rock partridges are masters of concealment and are best spotted when perched on a boulder sending out a challenge; however, when we were [in Israel] we probably heard ten for every one of which we had a glimpse” [quoting George Cansdale, All the Animals of the Bible Lands (Zondervan, 1970), pages 165-166]. Yet if we look for partridges carefully, in Scripture, we will find them mentioned twice, providing us with two lessons for our own lives (and “callings”, pardon the pun). But, before looking at those two Bible passages, first let us consider what a “partridge” is.
Partridges are chicken-sized ground-dwelling birds, classified together with other “pheasant family” birds like pheasant, grouse, bobwhite, quail, junglefowl, chicken, peafowl, and ptarmigan. Specifically, partridges are categorized as fowl belonging to the order Galliformes, family Phasianidae, subfamily Perdicinae).
Partridges don’t migrate. Partridges — such as the Rock Partridges of the Holy Land — often nest in hilly or montane areas, in fairly dry climate zones, laying more than a dozen eggs in a minimally lined ground scrape – quite a humble nest! This habit leaves partridge eggs quite vulnerable, for many ovivorous predators (including hungry humans – see Deuteronomy 22:6-7) hunt around the nesting grounds of partridges. Resourceful foragers themselves, partridges routinely eat accessible ants, seeds, berries, lichen, and other low-to-the-ground vegetation. Like other land-fowl partridges spend most of their time on the ground, hidden in ground cover, so don’t expect to see them flying around much, or perching in tree branches.
Partridges are mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (noted below), as translations of the Hebrew word qoré’ – a noun derived from the verb qara’ (meaning “to call”, “to cry”). The Hebrew root verb qara’ is used to describe calling out someone’s name, when you wish to speak to that person, and it is used to describe God’s actions when He “called” the light Day, the dark Night, the dry land Earth, etc. (in Genesis chapter 1). Partridges, therefore, are “criers”, famous for their calls. The Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca), which seems to have been common during Bible times, is known for its “cok-cok-cokrr” call, in the arid piedmonts of Israel.
The Rock Partridge ranges “from the mountains of Lebanon in the north across the coastal plains to the dry hills of Judaea, but its range also extends westwards through Greece and all over Italy” [quoting George Cansdale, All the Animals of the Bible Lands (Zondervan, 1970), page 165]. Its Holy Land cousin, the Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa), resembles the Rock Partridge from a distance, so the Bible could refer to either or both, as well as any hybrids. Another partridge found in Israel’s desert lands is Hey’s Partridge (Ammoperdrix heyi), by the Dead Sea.
“Partridges” ae mentioned once in 1st Samuel 26:20 and once in Jeremiah 17:11. Both verses illustrate important life lessons.
Living life on the run
As a fugitive trying to escape King Saul, David compares himself (in 1st Samuel 26:20, quoted above) to a partridge being hunted in the mountains. Because partridges don’t fly far away, as chased ducks or geese may, hunters chase partridges in the hilly scrublands, causing the partridges to run this way and that, often wearying the partridges to the point that they became targets for whatever weapons (even sticks used for clubbing) the hunters have available. Surely David saw such partridges in the arid wilderness scrublands he hid in, and likely David himself hunted, caught, and ate such partridges. Because David was daily fleeing Saul’s soldiers, in the hilly wilderness of Israel, David knew what partridges felt like, being pursued by hunters. Yet God protected David from Saul’s evil efforts, and in God’s providence it was David, when the dust settled, who survived and reigned over Israel, not Saul.
What can we learn from David’s fugitive plight?
First, there is no good reason to surrender to one’s enemies! When persecutors aim at innocent victims, as has been the plight of believers ever since Cain murdered Abel (Genesis 4:8-9; Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51), we are counseled to evade persecutions when possible (Matthew 7:6 & 10:14 & 10:23; Luke 9:5 & 10:11 & 21:21; Acts 9:25 & 13:51).
Second, David’s example reminds us that God is sovereign – He will not let us die until it is the proper time for dying. So long as God has earthly work for us to do, He will sustain us (James 4:13-15).
Another lesson from the partridge comes from Jeremiah 17:11. It seems that partridges have a bad reputation for being less than fully successful in hatching their eggs! This parental deficiency is compared to the tentative gains of those who acquire wealth by unrighteous means – they will, in the end, be seen as the fools they are! Why? Because the wealth of this world, even if kept until death, is only transitory wealth. It is like eggs laid in a slipshod nest, never to be successfully hatched.
Don’t invest the best of your life in the transitory things of this world — because the investment will be a disappointment, when life is over. Rather, invest your time and treasure in what God values. It is truly foolish to lay up temporal treasures, “where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Materialistic treasures are a long-term waste of investment, to be displayed as folly in eternity (and often earlier, on earth), as “gains” wrongly gotten – because we are only stewards of the assets God entrusts to us.
Therefore, let us rather, on a daily basis, accrue (by God’s grace) “treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20). It’s really a matter of the heart: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
(Dr. James J. S. Johnson, an apologetics professor for ICR, previously taught ornithology at Dallas Christian College.)
Rock Partridges belong to:
P.S. – As of this post, James J. S. Johnson is now one of our regular contributors to the blog. An introduction will be given soon.
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