Chickens are a type of domesticated birds that can be raised in farms. Everyone knows chicken as it is a major source of food for its meat and eggs. It is reckoned there are an almost equal number of chickens to humans. It is the largest population of the birds. Since chicken is a domestic fowl people tend to grow chicken for business on farms.
It is interesting to know the life cycle of a chicken. The average lifetime of a chicken is 5-10 years. As you all know the chicken is formed out from the eggs. The male chicken is called a cock or roosters while the female is called a hen. The female hen tends to lay eggs from 16-20 week old. Unlike other birds they live together and they choose a leader to lead them to find food and to protect them. The leader mates with the female. Chickens are omnivores as they eat plant seeds and often worms, lizards and even small mice.
Since they are small animals, they are more vulnerable to be attacked and so they remain extremely cautious all the time. If they find a predator they warn others by making loud noise. They are famous for their early morning alarms. They wake up early in the morning and produce sound which work as an alarm to humans!
The young chickens are hatched from eggs. When there are sufficient number of eggs a hen take care of the eggs by bringing eggs closer to her body by sitting over them and applying heat from her body and incubating the eggs. She often turns the eggs for uniform heat. She Seldom goes out to get food and water during the 21 day incubation period. This time she acts more aggressively in order to protect her eggs. The eggs hatch more or less the same day or the next day. Once the eggs are hatched she take proper care over the chickens by leading them to food and water and protecting them from the predators. If a hen finds a predator coming to attack her, she produces a low warning sound and the chickens flee to the hen for safety and she protects them under her wings safely. If the predator tries to attack the hen she attacks back more violently and also make a lot of noise to warn the predator as well as making others know the presence of predators and calls for help.
The hens are famous for protecting the young ones. There is an incident that after a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park [in 1989], forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety, but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live!
The sad thing after all this is once the chicks grow big they don’t look after their mother hen as how the mother took care of them!
In Bible we see this comparison of the protection in Mathew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NIV)
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34 NIV)
In Mathew 23 Jesus gives a detailed account about the habits of the people in Jerusalem. He tells them the way how they consider themselves as saints by saying great things in their talks, but not observing any of what they speak, they like to be respected by other people but they don’t help any poor where in fact they tried to steal from poor! They say their ancestors sinned to God by killing the prophets and killing the righteous and now they are building tombstones and decorating the graves of righteous but they have no change or repentance in their hearts but they do this to please people and to earn a good image in society!
Therefore, Jesus is saying, like a hen protect her young under her wings God send many prophets and righteous to them to save them. But they never listened to them. Now Jesus is sent to them to save them. He is the real Messiah, but they didnot accept him. Jesus knowing the future that He is going to be crucified by them Jesus feels sorry on them and ask to repent. But they never turned back. Thus Jesus is saying like a hen protects her young under the wings I (Jesus) wanted to protect you, but you (people in Jerusalem) were not listening.
‘For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.‘ (Romans 1:21-22 NIV)
Today God is looking at the world and he wants to protect everyone of us as he wanted to protect Jerusalem. Are we listening His voice today? Are we giving respect to His words by following His commandments? How is our life? Are we worthy as an acceptable sacrifice to God? If not, let’s change ourselves, let’s not harden our hearts as those Old Testament Israelites did-‘Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.“‘ (Psalm 95:7-9 NIV)
For we know what happened to them as a result of hardening their hearts. There were more than 600,000 men with Moses on their exodus to Canan but only 2 Joshua and Caleb out of the 600,000 men reached the Promised land! The rest were perished in the desert for they did not listen to God and God destroyed them in spite of several warnings. “For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” (Psalm 95:10-11 NIV).
Coming back to the verse in Mathew 23 we see Jesus does not stop by pitying on Jerusalem, but he also mentions what is going to happen to them.
“Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ” (Matthew 23:38-39 NIV). Jesus warned them the after effect of not accepting Him. Still, they did not repent or believe in Jesus. Instead, during the trials before crucifixion before Pilate the Roman governor who ruled Jerusalem, he found Jesus not guilty and tried to save him. But the crowd shouted to crucify him. And they asked to fall his blood on them and their children!
‘Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.’ (Matthew 27:15-26 NIV)
And the history speaks the rest. In AD 70 Jerusalem was attacked by Titus Caesar and Jerusalem was completely destroyed as Jesus said- “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:2 NIV). The Jews had to dissolve to different parts of the world. Josephus the great historian says more than 1.1 million Jews were killed that time. They wandered all around the world and underwent many persecutions. And finally 1948 they formed up their country, Israel after 1878 years from the destruction of Jerusalem! And they still undergo many persecutions. May God bring Peace over the land. Meanwhile, this is a warning to all of us that If we are not listening to God’s call today as He call, the results will be devastating. For in the second coming of Jesus if you don’t transform and meet God in mid air you will be lost in hell forever.
Therefore, my dear readers as the scripture says – ‘For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.‘ (2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV). Yes, today is your day! If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour will you take a decision to accept Jesus and lead a holy life? For to them Jesus is coming back soon and the things happening all around us makes it more clear He’s coming soon. Will you accept him while it is the period of Grace and be with The Lord forever in heaven? Wouldn’t you be a part to be protected by God as how a chicken protects its young? God is calling you today. Accept Jesus before it’s too late.
Let’s submit ourselves before God by accepting and believing in Jesus in our lives. By believing Jesus is the son of God who came to this earth to die for my sins and to fulfil it Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary and all the sufferings and pain that Jesus took on the body was for me and he was broken down and gave his very last drop of blood for me on Cross of Calvary for the redemption of my sins and I accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour in my life, I confess my sins and give my life for Jesus. Please forgive me for every mistake I made in my life. Please come in me, live in me, fill in me and guide me until the last breath of my life and help me to stay away from evil ways and lead a holy and victorious Christian life as you please. And bring me to heaven to be with you forever. In Jesus name. Amen!
And to those who accepted Jesus, He will cover you like the chicken hides its chicks under her wings. Let anything come against you, let the whole world turn against you, let the oceans of problems arise, let the thunders of threats and troubles come, but you don’t have to be afraid of- “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4 NIV). ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’ (Psalm 46:1 NIV). He will protect you as the apple of His eyes and hide us in the shadow of his wings. ‘Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings’ (Psalm 17:8 NIV). Therefore, be strong. Don’t worry about anything. He who said I am with you always till the end of the world is right beside you, He will give you strength to face the challenges and will help us to overcome all the troubles by protecting us under the shadow of His wings.
‘What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.‘ (Romans 8:31-39 NIV)