By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation - All fowls love verdure, and have their residence where they can find wood and water.
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation - Among them the fowls of the air dwell. That is, among the trees which spring up by the fountains and water-courses. The whole picture is full of animation and beauty.
Which sing among the branches - Margin, as in Hebrew, “give a voice.” Their voice is heard - their sweet music - in the foliage of the trees which grow on the margin of the streams and by the fountains. There is scarcely to be found a more beautiful poetic image than this.
How beautiful the psalmist's description of God's care for the creatures of the woods— “The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats;
And the rocks for the conies.” Psalm 104:18. He sends the springs to run among the hills, where the birds have their habitation, and “sing among the branches.” Psalm 104:12. All the creatures of the woods and hills are a part of His great household. He opens His hand, and satisfies “the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16. Ed 118.1
The eagle of the Alps is sometimes beaten down by the tempest into the narrow defiles of the mountains. Storm clouds shut in this mighty bird of the forest, their dark masses separating her from the sunny heights where she has made her home. Her efforts to escape seem fruitless. She dashes to and fro, beating the air with her strong wings, and waking the mountain echoes with her cries. At length, with a note of triumph, she darts upward, and, piercing the clouds, is once more in the clear sunlight, with the darkness and tempest far beneath. So we may be surrounded with difficulties, discouragement, and darkness. Falsehood, calamity, injustice, shut us in. There are clouds that we cannot dispel. We battle with circumstances in vain. There is one, and but one, way of escape. The mists and fogs cling to the earth; beyond the clouds God's light is shining. Into the sunlight of His presence we may rise on the wings of faith. Ed 118.2
Many are the lessons that may thus be learned. Self-reliance, from the tree that, growing alone on plain or mountainside, strikes down its roots deep into the earth, and in its rugged strength defies the tempest. The power of early influence, from the gnarled, shapeless trunk, bent as a sapling, to which no earthly power can afterward restore its lost symmetry. The secret of a holy life, from the water lily, that, on the bosom of some slimy pool, surrounded by weeds and rubbish, strikes down its channeled stem to the pure sands beneath, and, drawing thence its life, lifts up its fragrant blossoms to the light in spotless purity. Ed 119.1Read in context »
Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father's notice. Satan's hatred against God leads him to delight in destroying even the dumb creatures. It is only through God's protecting care that the birds are preserved to gladden us with their songs of joy. But He does not forget even the sparrows. “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31. 8T 273.1
“Bless Jehovah, O my soul.
O Jehovah my God, Thou art very great;
Thou art clothed with honor and majesty:
Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment;
Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;
Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters;
Who maketh the clouds His chariot;
Who walketh upon the wings of the wind;
Who maketh winds His messengers;
Flames of fire His ministers; 8T 273.2
“Who laid the foundations of the earth,
That it should not be moved forever.
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture;
The waters stood above the mountains.
At Thy rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away
(The mountains rose, the valleys sank down)
Unto the place which Thou hadst founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over;
That they turn not again to cover the earth. 8T 273.3
Israel had had abundant occasion for rejoicing. The land to which the Lord had brought them was a land flowing with milk and honey. During the wilderness wandering, God had assured them that He was guiding them to a country where they need never suffer for lack of rain. “The land, whither thou goest in to possess it,” He had told them, “is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: but the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” PK 135.3
The promise of abundance of rain had been given on condition of obedience. “It shall come to pass,” the Lord had declared, “if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. PK 135.4Read in context »