March 16, 2012
I am still at my sister Ellen’s house enjoying her company along with her husband Jim. They live on a small farm in Axton VA along with a number of animals… Goats, horses, cows, pigs, buffalo (pretty cool huh), and chickens. Did I mention CHICKENS!!!! There are 10 hens or so and one very annoying rooster. Every morning between 5:30 and 6:00 he decides it’s time to wake me up. Don’t get me wrong, I fall back asleep… well until 6:15 and then 6:30, and then 6:45…. He’s a crowing fool!! We decided to look up online why rooster crow in the morning. Experts theorize that they crow as an indication that it’s time to get up and look for food as well as a warning to others around that he is in his territory and others should avoid messing with him and his “women.” I think this one does it just to aggravate the visiting city boy.
Did you know that chickens appear in the Bible?
Zechariah 6:14 “The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.” (whoops, wrong chicken)
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
If you were to read through the O.T. you would find that God’s children (Israel) disobey Him time and time again. And as a result of their disobedience they were punished and then restored. So the cycle went like this: agreement with God, disobedience, punishment, restoration/agreement with God, disobedience…. Does that pattern look the least bit familiar to you? It should, it describes our lives as well! And notice Jesus’ response in this passage out of Matthew… He is broken hearted! Rather than go through the cycle of punishment and restoration he seems to want to just pull them under his protective mercy and not allow them to roam into places where they will be influenced by wickedness.
I have surely been there with my own children in years past. When they have disobeyed… there have been times when I didn’t want to discipline them… I just want to hug and hold them and tell them all would be okay… but in the long run lack of discipline is not good for us. As a matter of fact, I think parents who fail to discipline their children do them a terrible disservice… (I’m talking about discipline in the general sense, not a particular brand of discipline) but I digress.
It’s a hard thing to watch those whom we love struggle and go down paths that are harmful to them. Surely the Great God of the Universe who loves His creation beyond measure grieves when we go astray. Thankfully however He is not the god of the Romans, or Greeks… gods who were punitive and unforgiving. We trust in a loving, merciful, and gracious God, One who loves us beyond measure.
I hope you have seen somewhat of a theme that has run through my emails… YOU ARE THE BELOVED OF GOD. Stop living your life in sadness, and perpetual guilt. You are forgiven! No matter what you have done, you are forgiven. Live your life as one under the protective wing of the Lord of Lords.
Chickens aren’t all bad… just the demonic one who lives outside of my bedroom window.