Silly Birds in the Net
Brian and I were hunting quail out near Anson, Texas. It was bitter cold and Hunter, his lab, was picking up the scent. In fact, with a strong west Texas wind and the cold he was picking up the scent too quickly and rushing ahead of us. Before we could catch up to him, he flushed the birds. Late in the afternoon with only one bird in our pouch we turned back for home. We put our guns on safety, thinking our hunt was over. We were almost back to our trailer when Hunter stopped, started quivering, and several quail took off right beside us. We were too slow. The couple of shots we got off missed.
Now in old Israel they had a much more efficient way of taking down silly birds, and they didn’t do it one at a time.
High on a hill at a spot where they knew the wind blew the birds off the Mediterranean across the crest, they put up their nets and then hid. The birds couldn’t see the fine mesh and flew right into the trap. The Israelite hunters collected the birds and had enough meat to feed their families.
Evidently, Hosea was a bird hunter, like my friend Brian, because he used this illustration to warn his people about the danger of flitting here and there and ending up ensnared in a net. Guess who stretched out the net?
“Ephraim became like a gullible pigeon, lacking sense.
To Egypt they call. To Assyria they go.
As they go, I will stretch out my net ensnaring them.
Like birds in the sky, I will bring them down,
When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them.
Woe to them, because they have flown away from me.
Devastation to them because they have rebelled against me.
I would have redeemed them but they speak lies against me.” Hosea 7:11-13
In the introduction to God’s legal case against his people, Hosea accused them of lying (Hos. 4:20) and that both the priests and the princes had become a snare to the people, like a net spread out on Mt. Tabor to catch birds (Hos. 5:1-2). God said he would punish them for their rebellion and now Hosea reveals that God, himself, is the one who is spreading out the net to catch and destroy them.
Flitting around asking Egypt for help and then turning to Assyria was as stupid as a bird flying around and getting caught in a hunter’s net. In this case God is the hunter, and he states he will catch and destroy them because they have rebelled against him. Instead of repenting and turning to God, they tell lies against him.
Jesus warns us not to fear men who can only destroy our bodies. We need to be afraid of God who can destroy both our soul and our body in hell (Matt. 10:28-31). That is why we must not fly into God’s net of destruction but into Jesus’ arms of salvation stretched out for us on Calvary.
LORD, keep me today from acting like a silly pigeon flying from one false source of security to another. Instead, help me rest under your wings realizing that your Son told me the truth when he said I was a lot more valuable to you than a tiny sparrow.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!