Sunday, March 4, 2012

Built To Last-Ask The Animals Sundays

How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84:1-3

Once upon a time there lived a rebel God destroyed. His name was Korah. Korah and his likewise unfortunate companions were on the losing side of an argument in a contest they called between themselves and Moses. God took opposition to His choice of Moses personally and Korah paid the price. His children, however, survived.

Only in the mercy of God do the children of traitors become doorkeepers, musician-warriors and prophets in His Kingdom. Earthly kings often eradicated entire lines to root out rebellion and to take out an insurance policy against revenge. In this case God moved the offspring of a dead rebel closer to church.

The prophet Samuel, a descendant of Korah, would seven generations later, wake to a call of God on his young life and return the Voice of the Lord to Israel.

The Bible Has Answers makes this hopeful observation about Korah's descendants:

"Although this clearly marked the end of Korah, we discover that Korah’s sons, perhaps too young to understand their father’s uprising or maybe too cognizant of God’s authority to join in the revolt, were spared (Numbers 26:9-11). God judged those who turned against Him in active rebellion and purified His people, but He still had a purpose and plan for even the line of Korah.

After seven successive generations, the prophet Samuel arose from the line of Korah, the genealogy of which is recorded in 1 Chronicles 6:31-38, 1 Chronicles 38, and 1 Samuel 1:1, 20. The Korahites became doorkeepers and custodians for the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 9:19-21, 1 Chronicles 2.)

One group of Korahites (1 Chronicles 12:6) joined King David in various military exploits and won the reputation of being expert warriors. However, the most remarkable thing to note about the sons of Korah is that during the time of King David, they became the great leaders in choral and orchestral music in the Tabernacle and the Temple.

Heman the Korahite had a place of great importance as a singer, along with Asaph (Gershonite) and Ethan or Jeduthan (Merarite). These individuals played an important role in the thanksgiving services and pageantry when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. David formed an elaborate organization for song, instrumental music, and prophesying through these men."

Several Psalms are identified as Korah Psalms. Psalm 84 is one such Psalm. It speaks of the lovlieness of God's dwelling place. How the writer- body, soul and spirit yearns to dwell where God may be found. Where His blessing resides. He makes note of the fact that even birds build their nests where they may be near His altar.

One translation says it all for godly mothers:

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow has her nest,
where she rears her brood beside thy altars,
Oh Lord of Hosts, my King and my God. Psalm 84 v.3

Godly mothers build the nursery near the Creator. Their chicks are hatched in sight of His altar. In the place where incense rises their young learn to fly. So it is with sparrows and swallows. So it is with human mothers.

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Psalm 22:6

The Hebrew for "Train up" is a word that means to dedicate the child. Like the Korahite's who served the sanctuary and carried the holy things not on carts but on their own shoulders, children of godly parents carry the things of God in their hearts and pass them down through their generations. They are the blest of God's house and heart.

The swallows, the sparrows, the chickadees; the hawks, the falcons, the eagles; all nest in the heart of their Creator no matter where they physically build their nests. The Boreal Chickadee pictured here builds her nest of moss and twigs in highly scented conifer trees of spruce, fir and pine.

We featherless mothers build our nests and raise our children in varied circumstances all over the globe. We will have succeeded as parents if we have instilled in our children the nest building skill that calls them to build their own nests and raise their own young near His altar. To build a life in the lovely place of grace. In the place of God's remembered promises. To rise with incensed wings an carry His Holy Scent into the world.

He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations...Psalm 105:7-8


Ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what's going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn't it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign? That He holds all things in His hand—
Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature.
Job 12:7-10

Boreal chickadee close up

Nest Building

Feeding Time

(Special thanks to Christian Jeter, age 7, for using her giftings for God-things. She will join me to produce Ask The Animals Sundays, 2/19/12 through Palm Sunday.)

To Christian's grandmother, Joyce Steel, who built her nest near the altar of God and raised her children in His sight. This posting is dedicated to her on the happy occasion of her birthday.

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