Tonight’s verse with the word “mother” is a peculiar one! I must admit I have pondered it for the last 2 and a half hours, in prayer and study. I believe that the Lord showed me a beautiful picture, but I still think I haven’t gotten all that He has hidden here yet. 😉
“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young, but you shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.”
My first thought after I read this was that the promise associated with this command is the same promise that we have in Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Wha? How are these two commands even comparable? Obviously they are to God. He must know something we don’t.
I remembered Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.” So I know that no verse in the Bible is meaningless, Old Testament law or not.
Then the Lord reminded me of some other Bible verses about birds:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father…so do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29,31). And “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:24). And “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling” (Matthew 23:37).
So we know that a mother bird has instincts to take care of her babies, as Jesus wanted to gather Jerusalem like a mother hen gathers her chicks. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cruel to take the mother’s babies from her like that? Why does God want us to take the babies but not the mother?”
Maybe this is far-fetched, (honestly it might be!) what if God honors that bird’s sacrifice?
Hear me out. The verse says, “If you come across a bird’s nest…” I honestly believe that everything in our lives happens with purpose. If you come across a bird’s nest while you’re hungry, I think it must have been there on purpose. As that verse we read from Luke 12 said, “Consider the ravens…yet God feeds them, how much more valuable you are than the birds!” Genesis 9:3 says, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” It’s all good for food. Nothing wrong with eating the young or the eggs from a bird’s nest if you’re hungry and you “come across” it. In fact, I think it was Divine Providence that you so happened upon this nest. In Genesis 1:26 humans were given rule “over the birds of the sky.”
Could it be that this mother bird will go on to have other babies? That these babies were born for the sole purpose of feeding the hungry person?
Who knows what purpose our children will have? Only God! His plans are higher than ours. His plans are higher than the birds’. He gave us dominion and rule over the birds of the air and over the creeping things and all the beasts of the field. He has given us everything – (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). But the birds — do they know that? No. They don’t see the plans that God has for their children, but being eaten is part of their purpose. We may not see our children’s purposes yet, but God will fulfill His purpose for them (Psalm 138:8).
As I continued to ponder this verse, the Lord showed me something beautiful. He said, “I put it there for you.” The nest. He put it there for us. I think this nest, with its mother bird and babies given for us is an allegory for the Gospel.
I put it (the nest w/babies) there for you.
[I was given for you.]
The mother sacrificed her young to provide for you, ‘that it may go well with you and you may live long’
[The Father gave up His one and only Son so we would not perish, but haveeternal life]
The young birds are food for our bodies.
[We eat His Body, it was broken for us].
Why not take the mother bird? I believe leaving the mother bird and taking the young “for ourselves” preserves the allegory of Gospel of Christ. Just as God sacrificed His Son for our sake, so the mother bird gives up her children for our good.
Oh my gosh. I think I just spotted something else, thank You Jesus! In the verse about honoring our parents, it says we will “live long in the land,” but here, in the bird’s nest allegory, it says, “that you may live long” – could it be that this live long is not for our life on earth? But if we take the ‘young’ that God had sacrificed for us (Jesus), then we will live very long –eternally long?? Oh how I love this!
Isn’t it so fun to discover God’s little nuggets in the Word? And how timely for Easter weekend! The Gospel in a teeny tiny seemingly unimportant law! Jesus really did come to fulfill every “jot and tittle” (Matthew 5:18) in the law, right?! Hallelujah Lord.