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.

Christmas Birds – Red and Green 2013

Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) by Ian

Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) by Ian

Here is the third Christmas Birds slideshow. While searching the photos for the Red Birds and the Green Birds, I kept coming across birds that were Red and Green. Here are some more of the neat birds that the Creator gave us to enjoy. Trust you are enjoying seeing the birds by their colors. It has been enjoyable for me to look through all the great photos the photographers we use here have provided. I have one more Christmas Birds to show you, but you will have to wait until tomorrow.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

Music to listen to while viewing the photos from Birds In Christmas Hymns – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

See the Original Christmas Birds – Red and Green

The Christmas Birds 2013 so far:

*

Christmas Birds – Red 2013

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian

Now that Christmas is just over a week away, it’s time to see some of the birds that have “traditional” Christmas colors. Today’s color will be birds that have some sort of red on them. Other colors will be shown during the week. I have added new photos this year and some new colors later in the week.

When the Lord created the birds (fowls), He used many different colors, most for the protection of the bird (to blend in) or for display to attract a mate (to stand out).

We trust you enjoy the photos and that you are blessed as you consider the bird’s Creator, Who came to earth as a babe in a manger, so that He might redeem us from our sin. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 KJV)

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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. (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

Music to listen to while viewing the photos from Birds In Christmas Hymns – Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

*

See the original Christmas Birds – Red

The Christmas Birds 2013 so far:

*

Christmas Birds – Red and Green

Here is the third Christmas Birds slideshow. While searching the photos for the Red Birds and the Green Birds, I kept coming across birds that were Red and Green. Here are some more of the neat birds that the Creator gave us to enjoy. Trust you are enjoying seeing the birds by their colors. It has been enjoyable for me to look through all the great photos the photographers we use here have provided. I have one more Christmas Birds to show you, but you will have to wait until tomorrow.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

Christmas Birds – Red

Now that Christmas is less than a week away, it’s time to see some of the birds that have “traditional” Christmas colors. Today’s color will be birds that have some sort of red on them. Plans are for other colors to be shown during the week. When the Lord created the birds (fowls), He used many different colors, most for the protection of the bird (to blend in) or for display to attract a mate (to stand out).

We trust you enjoy the photos and that you are blessed as you consider the bird’s Creator, Who came to earth as a babe in a manger, so that He might redeem us from our sin. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 KJV)

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*