Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Hen and the Hawk

Jeremiah 49:31Arise and attack a nation at ease, which lives in confidence,” declares the LORD, “a nation that has neither gates nor bars; its people live alone.”

Even though we are involved in two distant wars, very few of us have had our lives disrupted. Yes, our armies are all volunteer; we let “others” or so called “hired guns” fight our wars for us. We feel no threat of the draft, no fear of our sons or grandsons being drafted. Many profess the attitude, if they are dumb enough to volunteer, let them fight. How sad. We may not agree on the purpose, if any, of these wars; rightly so, but most of us could care less. How much is Pepsi on sale for this week?

We have lived at ease, our borders are porous, and we are supposedly a strong nation. Yet, we can’t mount the political will to secure them (no bars or gates). In the midst of all of this we have been wealthy “survivors,” even though lonely, while the barbarians storm the gate.

In “A Lifting Up for the Downcast” by Puritan William Bridge, he tells the story of the hen and the hawk on page 239-240.

The poor hen, you know, so long as she lives, is upon the dunghill, and there she is scraping, and picking up her living; but when she is dead, she is brought unto the master’s table. The hawk on the contrary, while he is living, is carried upon the fist, and upon the arm, and has good flesh and provision made for him, and a house to sit in; but when the hawk dies, then he is thrown out unto the dunghill. So it is in this case. So long as a poor, godly man is living here, it may be he is upon the dunghill and picking up his living, a little and a little; but when he dies, then he is brought into his Master’s presence. But the rich, ungodly man, when he dies, though while he lived he had great provision, yet then he is thrown out unto the dunghill, and comes no more into his Master’s presence. Oh, you that are godly, though in a low condition, would you then change your condition with the wicked? The lower your condition is, the higher is your obedience.”
We as a nation have lived as a hawk, when we as Christians should have been living as hens. Times are a changing—are you a hawk or a hen?

Let’s get off our hawkish perches, live with humility and sacrificial service. When we die, we will be brought into the presence of our Master, and at His feet we will “lay our trophies down.”

In the days ahead, endued with the power of the risen Lord, we will be hope and light on the dunghill of life. Beside us, the hawk lays dead.

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