Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jewel # 82 (March 31, 2011)



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"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The Proud Lyrebird

"Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off."  (Psalm 138:6)

The musical instrument called the lyre has two curved arms reaching up from the base and a series of string stretched between them.  When explorers in Australia first caught sight of a pheasant-sized bird with feathers spread out U-shaped just like a lyre, they promptly named it the lyrebird.

Actually, only the male bird has the beautiful feathers, and he displays them in winter and spring.  He moves around in the forest busily scratching for worms and snails.  He is not much of a flier, but he can run fast.  When he runs, he holds his long tail straight out behind him so the brush will not damage it.

The lyrebird is a great imitator, not only of other birds, but it will quickly imitate the bark of a dog, the noise of a gasoline engine, the meow of a cat or most any other sound.  It is more talented than a parrot in this way. 

During winter, the lyrebird looks for a mate. He loudly sings some of the tunes he has copied from other birds.  Finding a clear spot in the forest, he scratches up a mound of dirt and climbs up to display his sixteen beautiful tail feathers.  He raises them in a lyre-like shape, waving and bending them forward over his head.  They look like a delicate beautiful fan.

He does a lively dance on the mound that may last an hour or more.  If a female lyrebird does not show up, he moves on to another mound already prepared some distance away, and he repeats the whole act.  This may go on for several days, until finally a female appears.  He helps her build an oval-domed nest in the fork of a tree or in the undergrowth where she lays just one egg.  Then he deserts her while she hatches out the lone chick and goes back to his mound to look for another female.  This continues well into spring. 

The male lyrebird is really a proud creature, isn't he?  The way he deserts his companions spoils our admiration of him.  His actions remind us of Satan and even of some persons who make themselves attractive on the outside but are not attractive on the inside.  But God is never deceived.  The Bible tells us that "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).  How solemn to realize that the Lord "searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts" (1 Chronicles 28:9).  We cannot hide from God; He knows all about us every moment of our lives.

How good it is to confess that we need him to guide and direct our lives and to know "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).  

Have you done this?

Love 
Grandpa

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