WORD STUDY – ASK THE BIRDS
Gn 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
Luke 19:40: “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Job 12:7: “But ask now the animals, and they shall teach thee; and the birds of the air, and they shall tell thee:”
Note that the animals ba’u el Noach came unto Noah. The ‘el means unto or according to. In other words they were obeying Noah’s call to them. This was not a one time thing, thoughout the Bible we have incidences of God’s people communicating with animals, Daniel in the lions den, ravens feeding Elijah, to name a few. God gave us His creation to teach us and give us insight into His nature.
I recall speaking with an orthodox rabbi one day and he told that we Christians are using the wrong root word for dominion. It should be yirdeu which is to come down to the level of the animals not have dominion or dominate the animals. I learned some of the secrets of yirdeu which are not really secrets at all. Most people have the ability to communicate with animals and do it all the time but never realize it. Many in third world nations that are not as sophisticated as us communicate with animals. Hunters would call the animal to them and ask the animal if his purpose in life is to feed his family. If the animal agrees then the hunter does what he must do to feed his family.
Animals don’t understand the words we say, what they understand are the feelings of our hearts. They think in pictures and you communicate with pictures from your heart. In silence I learned to speak with my heart and in speaking with my heart I find, at times, not all the time, that I am able to communicate with animals and call them to me much as Noah called the animals to him. Noah did not do this verbally but with his heart.
Normally during my time of silence I never had a problem with birds being skittish around me. I am usually able to summon them. But here in the Northwoods for whatever reason the birds would not come. I sat by my camp late last evening and was aware that I could not see or hear any birds. Try as I might, I was not able to summon any birds.
So I just began to worship and praise God alone, all the time asking all of God’s nature to join with me in worship and praise. After a few moments I was suddenly aware of hundreds of birds flocking around and landing in the trees and soon there was a whole chorus joining with me in worship and praise to God.
Sounds crazy no? It seems after about the third day of living in silence I find it difficult to discern between the natural and supernatural. Are birds suddenly flocking into trees chirping away just as I begin worshipping and praising God a natural event or a supernatural event? I mean I was not surprised it just seemed natural. This became one of the most natural worship events of my life, just joining with all nature in praising our creator.
The disciples began to praise Jesus and the Pharisees told Jesus to tell his disciples to stop it. Jesus simply said, “If they don’t do it the rocks will.” Rocks in the Aramaic is the word kapha’ which also means force of nature. It is an Aramaic idiom for all of nature. All of nature, of God’s creation is crying out in praise to Him. Man is the only creature which can make the choice whether or not to join in with nature in this worship and praise.
I go to the Northwoods to join with all nature in praise to God. To learn from the animals and the birds. Yes, I do take Job 12:7 literally. I ask the animals and they teach me, I ask the birds and the tell me. The word ask in Hebrew is sha’al which means to consult, to enquire. In the Akkadian it is a word used to seek knowledge from an oracle. It is seeking hidden knowledge known only to the gods and in Job it is a reference to hidden knowledge of God. I mean I don’t sit there and have a conversation with the animals, but I speak from my heart and then they demonstrate an answer for me as I watch them very closely. In their own natural way they reveal to me many of the mysteries of God.
Being an Aspie who tends to be very focused, it is probably easier for me than others, but if you have enough faith in God to believe He will answer your questions and you observe His creation close enough, many of your answers will come from God’s creation. On the simplest level your pet dog Charlie teaches you loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love. My pet doves teach me peace and gentleness. So I go to the woods, my seminary. I have attended some of the best Bible colleges and Seminaries in this country but they never taught me what the Northwoods are teaching me this very day.
Ask the animals and birds and they will tell you. The word tell in Hebrew is nagad. Nagad literally means to speak up to someone. A boss needs to tell his employees that his door is always open, to walk right in and speak to him. Otherwise those under him will fear to approach him for any advice, let alone share some insight that the boss is not aware of which could improve production. We must approach God’s creation as nagad, permitting them to speak to us. They are ready to talk, but we must not only be willing to listen, but to give them the opportunity to share.