Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The vulture is called a bird of prey, because it lives on flesh; but it has not such strong claws as the eagle, to seize and tear its food. It does not often kill other animals; but preys upon those that have been killed in some other way, or have died of themselves. It is a disagreeable bird, and one that you would not like very well to see; no wonder the Israelites were forbidden to eat it. It is about a yard long from the top of its head, and it sometimes measures two yards across the wings.

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

It lives only in warm or hot climates, and there it is very useful, though you might at first be puzzled to think how this can be. It is because it lives upon such things as would be very injurious to man if they were left to decay in the open air. It not only consumes the dead bodies of animals, but takes away many things from the streets of the cities which the inhabitants are too indolent to remove. It is for this reason that in the city of Cairo, in Egypt, there is a law forbidding any person to kill a vulture. These birds sometimes follow an army, and prey upon the bodies of those poor soldiers who have been killed in battle. Ah ! it is a sad thing to go to war; almost every thing about it is sad.

The vulture has a very keen eye, and, like the eagle, can see what is on the ground, even when it is very high in the air. This is referred to in the book of Job.

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

It often happens in those countries that almost as soon as an ox, or a horse, or any other large animal has been killed, great multitudes of vultures will gather around, though not one could be seen in the sky before. they seem to fly down from every part of the heavens, and being to pull and struggle for the flesh of the animal; until in the course of a few hours nothing is left but the bones. We read in Isaiah,

There shall the vultures be gathered, every one with her mate.

This must have been written by one who had seen these birds coming together, as they do in great flocks or companies.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Vulture

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Halting the Plague

And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:46-50

Turkey Vulture; Clarke County, Georgia. June 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

What was that created for?

God created all things, and He created all things with a purpose.  One critter with a disgusting duty is the vulture. Our roads are often littered with the poor critters that didn’t make it across alive. Standing around these piles are a macabre host of ominous black Vultures.

It is no doubt for this disgusting habit that God pronounced, “These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard”. (Leviticus 11:13)  I’m sure none would argue with God and substitute a Turkey Vulture for a Thanksgiving Turkey!

Although vultures carry the reputation of being nasty, disease and death spreading creatures, the opposite is true. Vultures help decrease the spread of disease. Without vultures, animal corpses would litter the landscape, contaminate the water supplies and disease could spread without check. Vultures are known as “dead-end hosts” and do not further spread diseases.

Halting the Plague

From this practical disease-reducing design, the vulture speaks a valuable lesson. We are seeing a virus affect the entire planet. But there is a plague far worse than Coronavirus; a plague that has killed, and will kill, every living person. The plague is called sin! With the entrance of sin, Satan has hijacked God’s perfect creation and not only mutated viruses to cause things like Coronavirus, but leads our lives, spiritually and physically, down a road of decay and death.

In the book of Numbers, because of the sin of rebellion, a plague began to spread among the people (please, I am not saying Coronavirus is God-unleashed plague). To end the plague, God told Aaron to light a censor and bring the smoking incense (representing prayer) between the diseased and the living. Aaron’s quick, unquestioning acceptance of his job stopped the spread from the corpses to the people. “And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.”

Black Vulture. Clarke County, Georgia. January, 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

A Pandemic of Revival

2 Corinthians 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose…

We Christians are called to halt the plague of sin. Like Aaron with his flaming censer, we are to place ourselves in front of the tide of advancing sin and decay; to “stand between the living and the dead” and preach the cleansing Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Coronavirus outbreak is an opportunity to share with those in fear about the comfort through salvation. Let this virus pandemic become a pandemic of Revival! Be wise and take precautions, but let us serve those in need during this time and evangelize as we never have before! And even if confined at home, continue to pray in earnest.

We can halt the plague of sin by simple obedience to the will of God. But will God find us, like the vultures, ready and willing to “do the dirty work” which He has assigned us? If a vulture can stick his face in a putrid carcass without complaint, can we not be willing to do the will of God? If Jesus can silently accept the cross shouldn’t we accept any job which always works to the good in our lives? We can halt the plague of sin and death when we accept and carry out our God-assigned job descriptions.


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.

Birds Are Wonderful: V, W, and X !

BIRDS  ARE  WONDERFUL  . . .  V,  W,  and  X !

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Jesus said: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”   (Matthew 6:25-26)

For ushering in this year of our Lord 2020,  below follows the eighth installment of alphabet-illustrating birds of the world, as part of this new series (“Birds Are Wonderful  —  and Some Are a Little Weird*).  The letter V is illustrated by Vasa Parrot, Vireos, and Vultures.  The letter W illustrated by Wood Duck, Waxwings, and Whinchat.  The letter X illustrated by Xavier’s Greenbul, Xingus Scale-backed Antbird, and Xantus’s Hummingbird.

“V” BIRDS:   Vasa Parrot, Vireos, and Vultures.

BAW-VasaParrot-Vireo

BAW-Vulture

“W” BIRDS:  Wood Duck, Waxwings, and Whinchat.

BAW-WoodDuck-WaxwingsBAW-Whinchat

“X” BIRDS:  Xavier’s Greenbul, Xingus Scale-backed Antbird, and Xantus’s Hummingbird.

BAW-XavierGreenbul-XingusScalebackedAntbirdBAW-XantusHummingbird

Birds are truly wonderful — some are gracefully beautiful, like  Xantus’s Hummingbird, — and some, like the Vultures, are fascinatingly unusual, if not also a little weird!  (Stay tuned for more, D.v.)


* Quoting from “Birds Are Wonderful, and Some Are a Little Weird”, (c) AD2019 James J. S. Johnson   [used here by permission].

Vulture-turkey.TexasHillCountry

Two Suppers – By William Wise

Turkey Vulture; Walton County, Georgia by William Wise

Turkey Vulture; Walton County, Georgia by William Wise

Two Suppers

By William Wise of www.williamwisephoto.com

Revelation 19:17-18  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

While running a 10K race with my 69-year-old father, I laughed as he looked up and shouted at a group of circling vultures and said, “Go away! I’m not dead yet!” Although they were waiting to dine on him, he wasn’t quite ready to be their supper.

King James Authorized 1611 Pulpit Folio

The Bible tells us (and yes, I believe it) that one day in the future, God is going to host two great suppers, or feasts. The first is the party of the century… no, the party of the millennia… no, the party of the ages! It is called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And all the followers of Jesus Christ will be given clean, white garments and enjoy the greatest wedding reception of all time.

Georgia Vultures by William Wise

Georgia Vultures by William Wise

But simultaneously, there is another feast. It is called the Supper of the Great God. Those who did not RSVP for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but lived for themselves, will be attendees at this gathering. For it is a gathering of fowls; of carrion crows and vultures to feed upon the slain who turned in battle against returning Messiah. But you need not attend that feast.

Turkey Vulture; Clarke County, Georgia by William Wise

Turkey Vulture; Clarke County, Georgia by William Wise

When you pass a roadside party of vultures dining on last night’s unlucky road crossing, just remind yourself, “I’d rather feast at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb than be feasted upon at the Supper of the Great God.”


We are excited to introduce a new Photographer/Writer to the Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures blog. Not only is he a great Christian photographer, but a blogger who writes about Creation topics also. Welcome, William!

Check out his website at: http://www.williamwisephoto.com/index.html

Airplane Fingers – Creation Moments

AIRPLANE FINGERS

” Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.'” Genesis 1:20

Aerodynamics, the science of flight, is a highly complex science. This is because many complex forces are acting on anything in flight. These forces include the power available for flight and drag produced by the flying object. Each of these categories include many additional forces that depend on the shape of the flying object, the shape and length of the wings, the speed and the altitude. This is why, for example, high altitude planes have very long wings.

Learjet 60 with winglets ©Myfreewallpapers

One critical force that has been under recent study is the turbulence that forms at the tips of the wings. The shorter the wing, the more energy consuming turbulence forms at the tip of the wing. Different wing designs have been tried to decrease this turbulence. Engineers have had some success reducing this turbulence with winglets. You may have seen these small vertical wings on the wingtips of some airplanes. Swiss researchers have been studying vultures with the hope of finding a better solution to this problem because vultures have a relatively short wing span that has proven to be surprisingly efficient. They discovered that this is because the feathers at the vultures’ wing tips spread out. They then tested a wing with a finger-like cascade of blades at the end.

Turkey Vulture in flight ©World Bird Sanctuary

Their new wing was more than four times more efficient than the average wing design in use today! It takes a great deal of faith in evolution to think that natural selection possesses such knowledge of aerodynamics. Clearly the vulture was designed by an intelligent Creator Who understands aerodynamics even better than we do!

Prayer:
I thank You, dear Father, that we can see Your wisdom in the creation. Amen.
Notes:
Wingfingers, Flying/January 1999, p.108. Photo: Learjet 60 with winglets. Courtesy of Adrian Pingstone. (PD)

©Creation Moments, with Permission, 2017

Wingtip Device – Wikipedia

More Interesting Articles

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Lee’s Six Word Saturday – 12/31/16

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King Vulture Brevard Zoo 120913 by Lee

THE VULTURE’S EYE HATH NOT SEEN

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“There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:” (Job 28:7 KJV)

King Vulture Brevard Zoo by Lee

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More Daily Devotionals

Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)

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