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Out of the Beaks of Birds


“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’” Revelation 5:13

Over the last year or so, I have been getting up in the morning at about 5:00 a.m. to run a mile. Every morning I am met with a cacophony of voices chirping and singing as loudly and continuously as possible. What are the birds so happy and excited about? Is it because they have gone all night without food and now look forward to finding a meal? Is it because they are anticipating the sunshine? Is it their way of singing praises to God and thanking Him for another day of life?

It is interesting to note that the cardinals, jays, doves, robins, and others repeat their songs over and over and over continuously. While reading Revelation 4:8-11, I have wondered this: If Jesus has told us not to use repetitive statements in our prayers to Him, why do the four living creatures repeat the same phrases night and day without stopping to rest; and every time the phrases are spoken, the 24 elders fall down to worship, repeating their own mantra each time? Don’t they at least have a second or third verse to use every once in a while?

Of course, the words of beasts symbolized in prophetic vision are no more literal than the prophetic beasts themselves. The question is this: What is God trying to convey through the use of these words and pictures? Isn’t it that appreciation to God for what Christ has done elicits a love response that cannot be stopped?

The birds are cheerful and expressive every morning because of their nature. Should our inner being become so changed that the praise for what Christ has done in us and for us will spring forth from within—a love response that is loud and continuous? Certainly this will be the natural result of a life saved from the degradation of sin and oblivion!

Dennis Hollingsead works in the Office of Development at Andrews University.

Photo Credit: / Rolf Lillfors


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