The birds, God is for them; especially the small seemingly insignificant ones. I see this best when I read through Psalm 84.
This song, attributed to the “sons of Korah,” describes the beauty and rest that is found in the House of the Lord, in the place where God dwells. It is a lovely space full of singing and joy. It is an open place, too; a place where a sparrow can be at home and a swallow can build her nest.
The nesting place is of particular importance, of course. Birds mate and then determine where they may safely bring their young into the world.
Every spring for the past several years, our back porch has served as host to robins eager to start their families. The news about our space apparently has gotten around the orange-breasted community and so this has become an annual occurrence.
At first, I fought against their settlement. Using a broom, and with some authority, I would sweep down the twigs and straw and strings and such that the birds positioned in a high, tight corner between a couple support joists. I even noticed on a couple of occasions that the birds watched as I damaged their accommodations. I therefore spoke sternly in their presence, imploring them to heed my objections to their invasion of my property. “Get lost – find a tree or something for your home,” I said as they tilted their heads and looked me up and down.
These robins, being of determined stuff, refused any suggestion of relocation. And so by the middle of the next morning, there would be evidence of a new beginning, usually something more expansive and detailed. It was as if they hustled and hurried in an effort to establish their right to a homestead and keep me and my broom at bay.
Well, the robins’ accelerated construction schedule worked in their favor. They also got a notable assist from my granddaughter, as she gazed out the window one morning and squealed in delight: “The birds are making a nest and they’re going to have babies!”
Babies – that very word hit home with me at once. I got the message and have since left off the fight against the nesting project. Rather, we now pay closer attention to the comings and goings of the robin couples, their eggs, and their hatchlings. My broom has become a tool of protection; as it is used shoo away any cats lest they consider making a meal of our guests and their young.
At the Altars
Could it be that the Temple priests came to feel as I did about the robins when they saw the sparrows and the swallows?
For the birds mentioned in Psalm 84 did not hide themselves away and build their nest in some corner; no, these mama swallows established their homes right in the midst of most active area of the Temple. And the song seems to say that they had permission to be right there “at Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God” (Psalm 84:2).We are welcome, always welcome at the altars of God. Click To Tweet
This should say something to us. We are welcome, always welcome at the altars of God.
Jesus emphasized this message in His Sermon on the Mount: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:29).
Christ came to show this world the love and care of the Lord. “Come unto Me,” He declared. He invites the weak and the weary and the distressed and the confused into His Presence. He wants to lead us into the place of rest and fellowship (see Matthew 11:28-30).
And back in Psalm 84, we can read this: “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise!” (Psalm 84:4). Not only are we welcome at His Holy Place, we are also allowed to sing out loud. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!” (Psalm 100:1).
It is such a vital thing for us to learn these realities. Let’s allow God to plant such finished work thoughts deep in our minds and hearts. This time is one of great need for people to really know and reveal the One who loves them.
Feelings of defeat and uncleanness are common to our experience. We hear so much about how we need to make improvements to our looks, to our thoughts, to our politics, to our actions. Such information can be an overload.
There is a better way, the Jesus way, the Word of God way, according to John 15: “Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:3-4).
The Word of God makes all the difference. He gave it to us so that we would know His mind. By thinking with Him, we understand our eternal worth. He has loved us always and will love us forever and ever. Those are His promises and we should never grow tired of repeating them to ourselves and to others.
Come to the courts of the King – a day there is better than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10). Learn to feel at home with Him, wherever you are for He has made all things according to His glory and good pleasure. He is the shield for our lives. He is our mighty fortress.
Favor. Honor. Blessing. Forgiveness. Life. Joy. Peace.
All of these things are ours because of the Anointed One, Christ our Savior. Turn your eyes toward Him. Look full in His wonderful face.
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