Who Taught the Birds?

author: R.W. Hart
A Tract by Gospel Tract Society

"Tell us a story, Uncle Edward!" chorused the children's voices as they clustered around their uncle in that delicious dusklight hour before bedtime.

Uncle Edward having just returned from South America, had wonderful stories to tell. He was quite a hero in the eyes of the children.

"I'll tell you a snake story", said the young man. "One beautiful morning, off I roamed as usual, with gun over my shoulder and my lunch in my pocket, in search of game".

"After a while, feeling rather tired and very hungry, I sat down on a fallen tree to rest".

"While seated there, my attention was attracted by the cries of a bird which was fluttering over a leafy spot, doubtless her tiny nest. She was in great distress, and I could not help rising to see, if possible, the cause of her trouble. I soon found out. Creeping slowly along towards the tree was one of the most venomous snakes in South America, with its small glittering eyes fixed on the bird, and its forked tongue darting quickly out and in".

"Presently I saw a curious thing happen. The male bird flew quickly away. In a little while I saw him return with a small twig covered with leaves in his beak. Perching near the nest, he laid the twig carefulIy across it, covering his mate and her young. Then, taking his place on one of the topmost branches of the tree, he seemed to grow quieter, and there awaited the approach of the enemy".

"By this time the snake had reached the spot. He twisted himself around the trunk and climbed up the tree. Then gliding along the branch, he came close to the nest and lifted his venomous head, ready to dart upon the poor bird. His small, glittering eyes watched the nest for a moment, and then--"

Uncle Edward paused.

"Oh, what, Uncle?" cried the children.

"--then suddenly throwing his head back, as if he had received some sudden blow, he turned around, made his way down the tree and disappeared in the long grass".

"I climbed up the tree and examined the little broken branch. I carried it home and told the whole story to a native friend, showing him the twig. I learned from him that it had been plucked by the bird off a bush which is poisonous to the snake and which he is never known to touch. The little helpless creature had used it as a shield of defense".

Satan is called in Scripture "that old serpent". He is intent on the destruction of men and women and boys and girls, helpless as birds against his attacks and his wiles.

But God has told us in His Word of a tree that is poison to our enemy, and as certain protection for us, old and young. I mean the tree of Calvary, the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, ...by whose stripes ye were healed"
(I Peter 2:24).

Isn't it wonderful that our gracious God should teach the bird about the tree where it may "help itself" to a healing branch? And is it less wonderful that He has provided the cross, and the great salvation accomplished there by our Lord Jesus Christ for us? No, it is the most remarkable fact in the universe that the "...Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20), and that salvation is for "whosoever will".

Will YOU?

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him"
(I John 4:9).

"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).

author: R.W. Hart

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