What Birds Can Teach Us
“OBSERVE intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?” (Matthew 6:26) Jesus Christ said these words in a famous sermon given on a mountainside near the Sea of Galilee. His audience was not limited to his followers. A great crowd of potential disciples from all parts of the land were present. Many of them were poor people who had brought the sick for Jesus to cure.—Matthew 4:23–5:2; Luke 6:17-20.
Having cured all the ailing ones, Jesus gave attention to the more important spiritual needs. Among the lessons he taught was the one mentioned above.
The birds of heaven have been in existence for a long time. Some of them feed on insects, others on fruit and seeds. If God has made available such abundant provisions for the birds, surely he is capable of helping his human servants to obtain their daily bread. He may do this by helping them to find employment so as to earn money for food. Or he may grant them success in growing their own food. As for times of emergency, God can move the hearts of kind neighbors and friends to share with needy ones what food they have.
There is much more that we can learn by carefully observing bird life. God has created birds with marvelous instincts to make nests in which they can raise their offspring. Notice two different kinds of nests. Pictured on the left is the nest of an African rock martin. It is built on the face of a rock or on the wall of a house. The roof of such nests is an overhanging rock or, as shown in this picture, the eaves of a building. The floor of the nest is made of tiny mud pellets stuck together in the shape of a cup. Both male and female work hard to collect mud pellets and may take over a month to complete their nest. Then they line it with grass and feathers. Both share in feeding their young. What appears below is the nest of a male masked weaver. This industrious African bird builds its nest using blades of grass or strips of other vegetation. It can complete a nest in one day and may weave more than 30 in one season!
The lesson? If God provides birds with such skills and abundant materials to make nests, surely he can help his human servants to get needed housing. However, Jesus showed that something else is necessary if we want Jehovah God to help us obtain our material necessities. “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you,” Jesus promised. (Matthew 6:33) You may wonder, ‘What is involved in seeking God’s Kingdom first?’ Jehovah’s Witnesses, who distribute this magazine, would be happy to answer that question.