RSS

The Migration of Storks Teach Us Repentance !!!!!

12 May

two-white-storks

 

Last week Jesus taught us that by observing birds we can learn of faith. Today, I would like to show how they can teach us of repentance. By watching and observing migratory birds we know that they always fly away in the Fall and make their return the following Spring.

Faith and repentance go together in the Bible. Jesus first words in His public ministry are recorded for us in Mark 1:15: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” The apostles proclaimed the same message: Acts 3:19, Acts 20;21. Faith and repentance can’t be separated. They are the two halves of the same action which results in salvation.

What Jesus and the apostles proclaimed wasn’t new since the Old Testament prophets demanded the same to ancient Israel. “Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hosea 14:1). But I have discovered that the prophet Jeremiah the one who illustrated bird migration wth repentance. These are the words that God gave him to speak in the 7th century BC:

“I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD” (Jer. 8:6,7).

Israel has always been the passageway for the migration of birds. I’ve learned that many species fly south in the Fall  across Turkey and down thriough Israel and the Nile valley where they will winter in Africa. But when Spring returns, without fail they return flying north and will end their journey westward to Europe or eastward to Asia.

Jeremiah singled out the stork in the above passage. What I have learned of the stork is fascinating to me. As the sun gets hot a thermal current lifts them off and they fly at the altitude of 4,000 feet. From where they winter in Southern Africa to their summer home is an 8,000 mile trip.

All over the world this same North-South migration takes place without fail every year. I wanted to know what birds migration distance was the furthest. I found that the Article Tern holds this distinction by a long shot. This four ounce bird breeds in Alaska, Canada, and Siberia and winters at the southernmost tip of South Africa and South America. Every year it makes a 22,000 mile round trip. This to me is astonishing!

By knowing what birds do by their God given instinct, humans should do so by our deliberate choice of returning from our self-centered ways back to the living God. Repentance is an act that the believer needs to repeatedly do. Our initial repentance at the time of salvation is only the beginning. We sin often, unfortunately but true, so we have a need to keep returning to Him in confession and repentance. Not in order to remain saved and one of His, but to remain in close fellowship with Him. Again, Jeremiah speaks of this in Jeremiah 8:4,5:

“”You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return”.

Jeremiah instructs us here that as we stumble and fall, he says we need to turn around and retrace our steps. The people of Israel in Jeremiah’s day were stiff-necked and hard towards The Lord God. They continued in waywardness. They are an example of what we are not to follow. When we fall we must get up and go on. If we turn away from God, we must return back to Him at once. A wise Christian will not wait, but repent, confess our sin, and seek to be restored as He is always ready to do.

I have one more thought on this that I’ve learned of birds. In addition to their annual migrations, many of them have a strong homing instinct. Pigeons have been the main one that I have known of. In fact it was a pigeon that found its way back to Noah’s ark in Gen. 8.

I have discovered a homing bird that fascinates me much more than the pigeon. Off shore of south-west Wales are the two islands of Skomer and Skoholm. On these islands more than 200,000 pairs of a bird by the name of Manx Shearwaters breed. These birds are open ocean birds which winter as far south as Argentina. They come to land only to breed. Incredibly to me, they lay a single egg underground at the end of a rabbit burrow. To test these birds homing instinct a Manx Shearwater was captured and flown 3,000 miles across the Atlantic and released at Boston’s Logan Intl. Airport. Twelve and a half days later this bird had made it’s way back to its burrow home.

manx sheatrwater

Spiritually, we need to have this strong of a homing instinct as the birds have physically. The more we realize that God alone is where we must “home” the sooner we will return when we stray. For when we come back, we come back home.

I have immensely loved the instructions from the birds and how they teach us spiritually. By studying this I now see why Jesus told us all to be bird watchers.

Until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

33 responses to “The Migration of Storks Teach Us Repentance !!!!!

  1. Sheila

    May 12, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Very informative post, but I especially enjoyed the part about the homing instinct. I wonder if that isn’t a large problem with today’s church. Too many have lost sight of home. Dear Lord, let that never happen to us! Thanks, Levi!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

      You’re right I think and may it not happen to us. But The Lord said He would build His church and is still doing so. Thank you!!!

      Like

       
  2. paulfg

    May 12, 2014 at 8:36 am

    The other thing about birds? They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Great piece of writing Levi, very thought provoking!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Hey Paul, you’re right the birds just do what they have to do. I have really enjoyed studying the birds like this. They are thought provoking and great teachers!!!

      Like

       
  3. atimetoshare

    May 12, 2014 at 9:06 am

    This is an especially fine piece of writing. Thanks for sharing this lovely analogy.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thank you very much. I really enjoyed doing it. I have a few more of them I plan to write on Mondays for a bit.

      Like

       
  4. Sue C.

    May 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

    You’ve done quite a study to be able to pull this all together. Very interesting. I think I’m like the pigeon, deliver the message and head home. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Sue I have enjoyed putting these together and learning of them. It’s been fun. Thanks Miss homebody! Lol. Have a great day!!!!!

      Like

       
  5. demilhadey

    May 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

    This is wonderful. These birds return back home with the faith that it will still be there…these scriptures are amazing. God knows that sometimes we may stray, but he always wants us to return. 🙂
    Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I have certainly enjoyed putting them together. The natural instinct God gives all the critters is amazing. We certainly do have a gracious merciful Heavenly Father. Thanks for the great comment!

      Like

       
  6. "light and salt"

    May 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Again a very informative post! Not only do we get a lesson on the wonders of birds, but it is tied in so well to a gospel message. Keep ’em coming’, Levi…

    Steve Pejay

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks Steve. I’ve really enjoyed doing these.

      Like

       
      • "light and salt"

        May 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        That’s great for you and for us, Levi! You are quite a story teller…

        Thanks for the reply, my friend!
        Steve

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          May 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm

          You bet!!! Lol

          Like

           
          • "light and salt"

            May 13, 2014 at 11:31 am

            The story telling ability must have come from that “misspent youth” you, (and I), had…lol!

            Kidding of course, Levi! Your a great man my friend!

            Steve

            Like

             
            • Levi Thetford

              May 13, 2014 at 11:42 am

              Thanks for the compliment but not true of being great. Misspent youth you’re right!! Have a great day!

              Like

               
              • "light and salt"

                May 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

                Don’t feel too bad…we’ve talked about having made “one or two mistakes” in our youth, my friend!

                You enjoy your blessings in Christ, Levi!

                Steve

                Like

                 
  7. johnmarkmiller

    May 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    What a great illustration! I’m writing this down to throw into a future lesson one day… thanks!

    Like

     
  8. Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

    May 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Loving Monday mornings now!! 🙂 Thank you, Dear Levi.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      I have really enjoyed studying these and preparing them as well. I’m so glad you are enjoying them. Thanks so much for reading and commenting on them. Skye, you’re a Dandy :). That’s southern talk. Lol

      Like

       
      • Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

        May 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        Yup…I reckon it is….but, then again, I knew that! Did you forget who you are talking to? 🙂

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          May 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm

          No, but I was thinking you lived in Illinois?

          Like

           
          • Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

            May 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm

            Virginia. 🙂 lol Not all the way southern…but southern enough to know. 🙂

            Like

             
            • Levi Thetford

              May 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm

              Ok, I don’t know why I thought Illinois. Scuse me Ma’am!!!

              Like

               
              • Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

                May 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm

                It’s ok, Kind Sir. I would never expect you to remember. 🙂

                Like

                 
                • Levi Thetford

                  May 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm

                  Now you’re picking on me. You’re saying I’m getting senile!! Well, maybe a bit. Lol

                  Like

                   
                • Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

                  May 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm

                  lolol….oh my word!!! That is soooo not what I meant!!! I thought it was only me goin’ daft….egads….maybe it is a southern thang!!!!!

                  Like

                   
                • Levi Thetford

                  May 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

                  Just teasing. I know what you meant. Be good my Friend!!!

                  Like

                   
  9. SLIMJIM

    May 14, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Didn’t even know Storks flew that high–or that far. May we all have the spiritual instinct of daily repentance!

    Like

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: