by: FCC Staff
Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.
There is something inherently tragic in finding a baby bird struggling for life, or having succumbed to death, outside of the protective haven of its nest. The young, delicate life, cut short before it could reach its potential is a reminder in today’s proverb of how vulnerable we can be when we stray from the provision God has for us.
God commanded His people, “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Exodus 20:17)
In the other commands of the Decalogue, God gives instructions on what people should and should not do. In this final imperative, God commands His people to be disciplined in how they think, an important distinction, that a covetous attitude was in itself, sinful, as it represented a lack of gratitude for what God had given you.
Yet, in our culture “keeping up with the Jones’’ is almost seen to be as American as apple pie. Marketing has for generations employed celebrity spokespeople to endorse products, with the idea being, “See, this famous, wealthy person has this; you can too.” Nowadays, we have “influencers” whose mere possession of an item in a social media post, can spur a flurry of purchases from those who are, in a manner of speaking, “under the influence.”
And as people, we like to think we are strong, wise, almost impervious to the dangers in the world. Our proverb for today tells us that a man who strays from home is just as vulnerable as a tiny bird who strays from its nest. The ancient world was a dangerous place—robbers on the road, wild animals, the elements all represented imposing dangers outside the home. For an ancient Israelite the dangers were also spiritual—foreign gods, cultures, etc., were outside your door, and if you were not mindful, you could easily be led astray by them.
In a time of GPS, air conditioning, instant communication, etc., we can form an arrogant attitude that we are also invulnerable as we stray from our homes. But it misses the point of the proverb if we don’t acknowledge that “home” represents the “proper dwelling” of the believer. Everything you needed, that God had provided, was at home. To go after the “other” was to stray not just from your domestic dwelling place, or family, it was to stray from the will of God for your life.
So today, let’s be grateful not just for our physical homes, but for our eternal home that is in Christ. When we stray from God’s will and provision for our lives, we truly are a vulnerable as a bird away from its nest.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you for all the blessings in my life. Let me be content and to remain close to my home, my true home, that is You. Help me to avoid the temptation to covet what others have, or the desire to seek after new and exciting things away from you. Jesus, you have gone to prepare a place for me in heaven, help me to keep my eyes fixed on that truth. By your Holy Spirit, nurture in me a spirit of contentment and joy in you. Amen.