Friday, July 31, 2015

Jewel # 221 (July 31, 2015)

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“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 Lowly Sparrow

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground 
without your Father . . . Ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
(Matthew 10:29-31) 

How pleasant it is to think that God is aware of even a small, common bird such as the sparrow.  But everything is of concern to Him whose eye is on all living things.  If He watches each little sparrow, He must watch over you and me much, much more, because He says “Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” 

This plain little bird is known as the house sparrow because it makes its nest around houses, barns or other buildings.  It is also called the English sparrow since the British brought them to North America in 1850.

Although we see many sparrows hopping about on paved streets and sidewalks in cities, they actually prefer living in brush beside cultivated fields.  There they find food in the form of seeds, caterpillars and insects.

Scientists have been able to determine that young sparrows’ food has to be at least 70% larvae and insects.  As they grow, the amount of “living food” drops to only 3%, while adult sparrows feed almost entirely on seeds.  Since the  parents must feed the little ones until they mature, how do they know the babies need a diet so different from their own?  Certainly they have learned this from God, the One who created and watches over them.

The sparrow does have some amazing features.  Its vision is far superior to the human eye.  Flying over the ground, it can spot and stop for a seed on a grass stem.  It apparently can also pick out special colours that indicate food.  Its eyes, about one forth the size of a man’s, are large for its body.  It can see ahead, to both sides and slightly behind.  This permits it to keep alert for hawks, buildings, trees or other objects while flying.  House sparrow are able to swim underwater.

Its feathers are complex.  There is a central shaft in each feather called the vane.  From this vane there are barbs (branches) all along its surface.  Each barb interlocks into its neighbour and provides a strong, tough surface.  Special muscles turn all or part of the feathers instantly, so its feathers and wings can raise, lower or rotate automatically.  This provides lift, direction and balance while in flight.  In cold weather, additional fuzzy down grows at the base of each feather, providing warmth and insulation.

We can easily see that the Creator has given this little bird all necessary provisions for its life.  The Bible tells us, “Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:16).  He not only feeds and cares for each sparrow, but He also sees when life ends for one of these little birds.  How closely He must watch over you and me who are of more value than many sparrows!

Love you all,
Grandpa  

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