“Look at the Birds of the Air”
1. Kay caused this. She was reading a magazine article on how and why birds sing, and she turned to me and said, “You need to do a lesson on this for us.”
2. The evidence is that God wants us to notice things like this and to take to heart what their presence tells us about him and about ourselves.
a. Our title is taken from what Jesus said about our value to God in the Sermon on the Mount: “Look at the birds of the air...”
b. But we often find Scripture doing just that: finding in the birds ready illustrations of the most basic truths all human beings have to remember.
1. God is good and we do not want to live without his presence.
a. The birds of the air are expressions of God’s being mindful of man and of his kindness toward us.
i. Psalm 8:5-9
b. The absence of the birds would be awful evidence of his judgment and the removal of his favor.
i. Jeremiah 4:23-26
ii. Hosea 4:1-3
2. God cares and we do have his attention.
a. He is the God who knows the birds and provides for them.
i. Job 38:41
ii. Psalm 104:16, 17
iii. Psalm 147:8, 9
b. But he is our Father and he values us even more.
i. Matthew 6:26
ii. Matthew 10:29-31
iii. “Can you count the birds that warble In the sunshine all the day?
Can you count the little fishes That in sparkling waters play?
God the Lord their number knoweth, For each one His care he showeth:
Shall He not remember thee? Shall He not remember thee?”
3. God welcomes and we need to be near him.
a. People have often recognized in the birds their own longing for nearness to God.
i. Psalm 102:7
ii. Lamentations 3:52
iii. Isaiah 38:14
b. The thought that he wants us near him has, therefore, always been precious.
i. Psalm 84:3
ii. Psalm 91:2-4
c. This prepares us to grasp something of what God has been willing for his Son to endure for us.
i. Luke 9:58
4. God forgives and we must have the release he provides.
a. Sin enslaves and destroys.
i. Proverbs 7:23
ii. Jeremiah 5:23-28
b. Our God, however, graciously provides for our cleansing and freedom.
i. Leviticus 14:4-7
ii. “Flee as a bird to your mountain, Thou who art weary of sin;
Go to the clear flowing fountain Where you may wash and be clean.”
5. God rules and we should submit to his ways.
a. Even the birds know God’s ways for them; it would be unthinkable for his own people to ignore his will for them.
i. Jeremiah 8:7
b. The birds may help us to see, in both a negative and a positive sense, that Jesus came to bring us under the rule of God.
i. Luke 8:5, 12
ii. Matthew 13:31, 32
1. Think of your relationship to God, and contrast these two scenes:
a. Proverbs 20:8
b. Isaiah 40:29-31
2. The gospel invites us to be like the latter, not the former.