The Bird and the Serpent

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
In the tropical forests of Brazil, a Christian naturalist was on an expedition. All morning he had searched without success for a special plant. As the heat of midday approached, he grew weary and gladly found a log handy to rest on.
As he sat there his attention was drawn to a tree nearby. There a bird, apparently in great distress, was fluttering over her nest. Looking around for the cause of her alarm, he saw a snake creeping towards the tree with its eyes fixed on the frightened bird and her nest.
Presently, from among the green covered branches the male bird darted away. His flight seemed direct and purposeful as if he had an important errand. This indeed he had, for in a little while he returned. Held firmly in his bill was a twig covered with leaves. Perching near the nest he carefully laid the twig over the frightened bird and her young, entirely covering them. Then, taking his place on a much higher branch of the tree, he awaited the arrival of the enemy.
By this time the snake had reached the tree. Twisting himself around the trunk he climbed up and glided out along the branch till he came near the nest. Tantalizingly he lifted his head as if he were going to dart upon the poor bird. His eyes glittered as he gazed at his prospective victim for a moment. Then, suddenly throwing his head back, and doubling his body after it, he slithered down the tree as fast as he could and was soon lost to sight on the forest floor.
Puzzled at the snake's sudden departure, the naturalist also climbed to the nest. He wanted to examine the twig whose leaves had apparently been a shield and defense to that helpless bird. To his amazement he found that it had been broken from a bush known to be poisonous to coldblooded reptiles, though harmless to warm-blooded creatures. It was from a plant that snakes instinctively avoided.
To this Christian's mind came the question: "Who taught this little bird its only weapon of defense in such an hour of danger?" And as quick as the thought came the answer: "None but God."
Friend, have you thought how God's all-knowing, tender care is over all His creatures? It is God who has given even the snake a wholesome knowledge of that poisonous plant. Upon you, His highest creation, He has bestowed the greatest Gift of all—the unspeakable gift of His dear Son. In the power of His precious blood shed on Calvary's cross for poor lost sinners, God has provided a sure cure for sin to everyone who believes in Him. Have you received Him? Are you washed in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb? Believe God's Word; accept the gift of His love, the Lord Jesus Christ; and "thou shalt be saved" for time and eternity.
"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?...