Why Red?

My backyard bird feeder is always alive with flashes of red. The Northern Cardinals are daily visitors for free helpings of sunflower seeds. As one catches my eye, I ponder, why red?

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Red Northern Cardinal Bird

Northern Cardinal; Clarke County, GA. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Most animals blend into their surroundings. But not the Cardinal. He flashes about in a scarlet garment heralding his presence for all to see. Why would a small bird, an easy prey, want to wear such colors? As I meditate what creation would speak, red conjures two images: the stain of sin and the source of salvation.

THE STAIN OF SIN…

Red catches our attention, and normally for something of which we must take heed. We use it on our warning signs and labels; red hangs at every intersection to prevent disorderly collisions.

In Isaiah 1:18, red is used as a bold simile illustrating the blatant sins of the people. All that they do and say is stained with the crimson of sin. Although sin may blend in as the “norm of society”, it stands out to God’s eyes. Isaiah the preacher points out this scarlet warning sign, and begs the people to heed the warning and repent.

THE SOURCE OF SALVATION…

But another profound Biblical use of the color red is that of blood. From the blood of Abel, through the atoning sacrifices of the Israelites; of the thread in the window which saved Rahab and her entire family, to the saving Blood shed upon Calvary’s cross, the entire Bible is stained red with blood.

Though normally a gruesome sight for most, the red blood of the Bible is hope; it is cleansing. The sins of the people of Isaiah’s day stand out like red stained clothing. But it is the red colored blood of the new covenant which is able to remove that stain.

“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”
Revelation 1:5

Though I may be pushing things by stretching the color of a bird into a mini-sermon, I’d rather have the red Northern Cardinal remind of the warning of sin and of the hope of salvation, than to stand for a red-robed religious official for whom it is said the Cardinal is named!


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. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “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.

Lee’s Five Word Friday – 12/23/16

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Lord Derby's Parakeet (Psittacula derbiana) by Wilhelma Zoo©WikiC

WAS SPOKEN OF THE LORD

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“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,” (Matthew 1:22 KJV)

Lord Derby’s Parakeet (Psittacula derbiana) by Wilhelma Zoo©WikiC

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Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 12/22/16

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Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) Male Closeup by Ian

KING OF THE JEWS

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“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 KJV)

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) Male Closeup by Ian

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Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 12/20/16

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Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) by Bob-Nan

THE EAST

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“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,” (Matthew 2:1 KJV)

Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) by Bob-Nan

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Little Yeshua & This Is God – Faith Baptist 2013

“Little Yeshua” and “This is God” were part of the Everlasting Light Cantata – A Christmas Carol For A Dark World. The solo was by Caleb and the duet was sung by Jessie and Christina. The messages of these songs  are tremendous. When you consider that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator, put on flesh, so that He could redeem us is an awesome thought.

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He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:10-14 KJV)

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5 KJV)

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Here are two more videos from yesterday. If there is interest, more will be added later.

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