The Warning of the Guinea
I rode my bike today. It was a great ride. Along the way, a very unusual sound jerked my attention from the road to a cluster of guinea hens. They were way off in the distance, but they saw me and sent out their typical warning sound. If you ever heard it, you would never forget it. Guineas are sort of a cross between a chicken and a turkey and they love to roost in trees. Farmers say they make great “watch dogs’ because of their innate warning system. They also brag on them for eating flies, tics, and other unwanted critters. Sometimes I think people have a ready list of positives to justify something that really seems quite useless otherwise. But they do warn, and it is loud and sure.
Lots of animals have these built in warning systems. Following the 2006 Indonesian tsunami, it was reported that animals acted ‘strangely’ before it hit, many moved to higher ground well before the tsunami devastation, and relatively few animals succumbed to the disaster. It was reported that just before the recent DC earthquake, gorillas and orangutans climbed to the top of a tree-like structure in the National Zoo and other zoo animals displayed unusual behavior. They sensed some sort of signal that something bad was on the way and they reacted by warning others and moving to safety.
As part of God’s creation, I believe animals have a real Biblical purpose. The Bible teaches us to observe the ant:
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Proverbs 6:6
Animals seem to be programmed a certain way and they consistently function in the manner in which they were created to act. In order to preserve them, God put into animals a warning system. He also put that in humans, but we are also blessed with this wonderful ability to reason. Unfortunately, many of us now reason away the warnings. Failure to heed the warning often results in disaster. Those who have been warned several times and yet continue to ignore those signals end up paying a price for failing to respond.
Animals get it. Humans don’t.
The Bible is replete with warnings. Jesus Himself shared specific, slap-in-your-face signs to look for that signal the end is approaching.
The disciples specifically asked Jesus for signals that the end was coming, “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). After asking this, they didn’t miss a sound that came from Jesus’ mouth, because He listed the signs to expect:
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Matthew 24:4-8
Notice He says these early signs are the first of birth pains. Who is giving birth? Creation is. Look what Paul says in Romans 8:22-25:
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
If nothing else, God’s creation demonstrates to humans how to respond to signs. Jesus set forth a list of items that signal the season of the end. Then He demonstrated what this would look like by using another part of creation, the fig tree:
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! (Matthew 24:32-33)
Jesus isn’t setting any dates, but He is telling us that we will know the season for the end times by observation, just like we observe the natural seasons by plants blooming and going through their annual growth, maturity, and winter periods.
As hurricane Irene approached populated areas of the United States, officials did all they could to warn people to evacuate. Always there are those who ignore the warning and end up suffering the consequences. Then those who remain wonder why. It always happens; the end times will be no different.
Even after suffering through many devastating judgments of the tribulation, we find that people still curse God ( Revelation 16:11 ). God created us to make choices, and choices we make, even if it means sending ourselves to hell. God has given us freedom of choice.
For those of us who choose to love and serve Him, doing so is a high form of praise and worship that touches the heart of God, much like John laying his head on Jesus’ chest to hear His very heartbeat. I want to hear and know the heartbeat of God!
Perilous times are coming. This is not the time to hide, hunker down, and horde to ourselves gold, beans, and rice. This is the time for us to be the church God intended us to be. We are to demonstrate His power, love, and forgiveness in word and deed. He’s challenged us to do greater works than He did. We are no way near that yet. I’m not, at least.
2011 is turning out to be the year of disasters. These are signs. The weather is all whacked out of the order to which we are accustomed. Oh, besides the guineas, guess what else I saw today, August 27, while riding my bike? I saw a lilac bush in bloom. Seriously! Creation is groaning in travail for the church to arise to its place of affecting and making a difference on the planet. Let’s arise, church, let’s arise!
Topic: The Warning of the Guinea
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