I think of how He caused all the animals to come to Noah in preparation for the flood. (Genesis 7:1-16). I think of the birds He sent to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-6), and of the quail that He sent to the Jews during the wandering in the desert. (Exodus16:13). I think of Balaam and his donkey speaking out loud (Numbers 2). He caused the large fish to cough up Jonah on cue, and on the beach no less. (Jonah 2:10). I think of the Gadarene pigs, how after Jesus ordered the legion of demons in the Gadarene demoniac, they begged to go into the herd of pigs instead of back to the abyss, and Jesus put them into the pigs and the pigs went mad and hurtled down the hill and into the lake to drown themselves. (Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:25-39 and Matthew 8:28-34). He is sovereign, and He controls the entire creation, including the animals. Not one jot or tittle escapes His notice, not even one sparrow falling to the ground.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." (Matthew 10:29).
Sparrows were inconsequential birds. As David Padfield writes, "In the days of our Lord sparrows were sold for a very low price -- two of them for a copper coin (Matt. 10:29). A copper coin, an asarion, was a very small Roman coin, was worth about 1/16 of a silver denarius, and was therefore worth less than a quarter in U.S. currency today. Those who were poor and could not afford to sacrifice a sheep or a goat might bring a sparrow to the Temple (cf. Lev. 14:1-7). So insignificant were these little birds that if you bought four sparrows the seller would throw in one more for free (Luke 12:4-7). It was this extra sparrow of which Jesus said, "and not one of them is forgotten before God." His care for His creation is so great that even this extra sparrow is noted and observed by God!"
A person commented to me on the blog about the latest incident of birds hurling themselves to the pavement, in one incident a witness spoke of, to a parking lot. In the bigger incident caught on the news, birds hurled themselves to the ground over Interstate 95 in Maryland. This got me thinking.
You might remember the worldwide bird deaths in January 2011 and again in January 2012. It has happened again:
Hundreds of dead birds fall in I-95 in MD
"Hundreds of dead birds rain down on I-95, blindsiding drivers in Howard County. Now Natural Resources officials are trying to figure out what caused the mass deaths. State animal experts have an idea of what happened to the birds, but there is still some mystery here and they hope to unravel it. A strange sight on the I-95 northbound in Laurel. Hundreds of dead birds were scattered on the road. “I travel this all the time. I never seen anything like this before,” said one driver. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says the birds are starlings. It appears they ran into traffic. While that act is unusual, authorities say starlings themselves are common in this area."
The article, and others reporting on it, state that the birds probably flew into a truck and then fell. However, witnesses stated the birds fell over a long area and from above, presumably drivers would notice a flock of birds pelting them from windshield height...
In other weird animal news,
Unexplained dolphin strandings continue in US
"There's no good spot on Cape Cod for dolphins to continue this winter's massive and unexplained beachings, but a group of 11 has chosen one of the worst. The remote inlet is a place where the tides recede fast and far, and that's left the animals mired in a grayish-brown mud. A year ago, Tuesday's 11 stranded dolphins would have seemed remarkable. But in the last month, 177 short-beaked common dolphins have stranded on Cape Cod, and 124 have died. So far, there's no explanation."
A dolphin stranding happened in Chiclayo Peru this week as well. Hundreds. The article is from the BBC and has a video along with the article, with an advisory warning that the video contains disturbing images.
Over 200 dead dolphins washed ashore in Peru
"Residents of Chiclayo, on the northern coast of Peru, have found 200 hundred dead dolphins over an area 66 miles long in the last week."
The video went on to state that Chiclayo fishermen say that they only see dolphins if they go deeper in the ocean, it is extremely rare to see them near the beach. The article also states that masses of anchovies were found floating, as well.
I'm going to get weird for a minute. But not un-biblically weird, unless you are reading this and you don't fully believe everything in the bible is true, as I do.
--First: we know that a spiritual war is going on in the realms invisible to us. (2 Kings 6:17, Ephesians 6:12).
--Second, God is sovereign over all of creation, using animals as He wills (examples listed above).
--Third, we know that the Gadarene demoniac hosted a legion of demons inside him. Though the number varied over the course of the Roman Empire's history, at about Jesus's time a Legion contained between 5000-6000 men. It is horrible to think of this one Gadarene man being tormented by thousands of demons. (Luke 8:26-39)
From this set of verses and others where Jesus cast out demons, we know that demons can enter people. We see from the Luke verses that animals would rather inhabit an animal than no body at all. And from the result of them going into the pigs we see the violence and madness their indwelling creates. In the Gadarene demoniac's case, we know that He can cause them to go into animals, too. He did it in Gadara and He has promised to do cause confusion and madness again again, during the tribulation: (though it isn't certain that it is due to demons)
"In that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness." (Zechariah 12:4 NKJV)
We know that the animal kingdom is under God's dominion, because He is the creator. Animals have variously been used by demons, used by God, or have simply suffered because of the sinful, demonic decay of the world.
Here is what one commenter on the blog said of the birds that fell on Route 95 this week:
"The way this bird catastrophe is described reminds me of the pigs in Gadera."
It does, doesn't it? Food for thought. I'm just pondering, I can't make a doctrine out of it, but the comment did get me thinking in a new direction regarding these animal behavior anomalies.
There is more going on in the invisibles than we can see or even know. Why would animals with strong instincts for flying like birds or with strong intellect like dolphins suddenly go mad and hurl themselves to a sure death? The falling birds and the stranding dolphins may indeed have a "logical" or a "scientific" cause. Even at that, His eye is on the sparrow, and nothing happens without His Hand at the cause. All of creation groans ... (Romans 8:22)
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