“FOR THE DAYS ARE EVIL”


A few years ago, my Dad noticed that all “our” birds had ‘flown the coop,’ and after many days, not a single bird would come to our backyard feeders!

My Dad had only heard of that happening once before from our next-door neighbor, John, on Corn Hill in Vermont.

John told him that it was because a hawk was in the area, and the small birds avoided every one of his numerous feeders.

Sure enough, the big Goshawk left the woods between our houses, and all the birds came back.

With that history in mind, it wasn’t a surprise when my sister Amelia mentioned that she had heard piecing bird sound from behind the house.

Goshawk

Not long after that, he heard the same thing, and it was an unmistakable hawk cry.

Unfortunately for my Mom and Amelia, they were both gone when my Father saw a shadow through the back window, and a moment later, a magnificent, big hawk came to rest on one of the low branches right behind the house.

No wonder the little birds had made themselves scarce! It would only take about two of his bites to make one of those little guys be history.

Ironically, just before the snow came, my Dad noticed a circle of soft gray feathers on the ground just at the edge of the woods.

Even when they are careful and avoid an area that they know they are vulnerable, one becomes prey occasionally.

After sternly cautioning the Ephesians not to walk in the dark ways of their old lives, Paul says: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15‭-‬17 RSV

There is wisdom in his caution here!

Paul is cautioning here to have the same type of caution.

The little birds are smart enough to steer clear of an area when they know the enemy is around!

Birds must have an instinct, a God-designed innate sense, to know there is danger about it!

God gave us a similar built-in sense of danger.

Remember when you were young, how dark woods were frightening, and the open closet door across your bedroom held unknown terrors, or of the creepy things hiding under your bed?

This innate fear of darkness and the unknown was given to us by our Creator.

Of course, we “grow” beyond these fears, but I wonder, couldn’t we use similar survival traits now, as adults, an early warning system that detects the horrid darkness of sin?!

Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:16‭-‬18 RSV

Being human, everyone knows the weak, vulnerable areas of our lives that we need to avoid!

If you don’t, spend some time in deep personal introspection.

Learn to recognize these most vulnerable sectors of your soul, where you’ve repeatedly succumbed to Satan’s temptations.

Now take it to the Lord in PRAYER.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 RSV

Let’s try to have a little “bird sense” this week and stay away from those places where Satan can hit us and take us down.

At the first hints of temptation, or the insidious human pride rearing its ugly head, I’ve found it helpful to myself, STOP!

“That was the old me, I belong to Christ now, I live in Christ now, so STOP!”

Get behind me SATAN!

We have a lot more at stake than the birds do, who became a pile of feathers after a Goshawk enjoys his dinner!

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 RSV
Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8‭-‬11 RSV

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