When you think of an ostrich, you probably envision that strange bird that doesn’t fly and has a reputation for sticking its head in the sand. But did you know that the Bible mentions the ostrich – more than once, even? And it doesn’t say anything about sticking its head in the sand. Instead, the Bible uses the ostrich as a model for resourcefulness. Although they cannot fly, these creatures have other traits that more than make up for this apparent deficiency.
The largest of birds, ostriches are designed for maximum efficiency. While other birds have three or four toes, ostriches have only two toes on each foot. This enables them to run with great speed, and outrun most attackers. They also kick with deadly impact. Their wings act as a kind of rudder, aiding in their running abilities.
The ostrich also provides an example of cruelty. The Bible describes how they treat their young cruelly, as if they were not their own. Unconcerned, they abandon their eggs in the ground, and forget “that a foot may crush them, or that a wild beast may trample them” (Job 39:13-18).
As a result, the ostrich is an example of being self-centered. Using resources for personal advantages, without regard for the impact on others.
God used the ostrich to describe the attitude of His people. They might have thought of themselves as being as resourceful as the ostrich. But God felt that they, like the ostrich, were self-centered. They focused on short-term gains. Things that would provide immediate satisfaction and address their immediate needs. But they did not consider the impact on others. They even were willing to be cruel.
How easily we, too, can be like the ostrich. This is why we need to allow God to examine our lives. To seek His perspective. To be careful not just to think about ourselves but seek to serve others. To be filled with His Spirit. Motivated by love, to have a passion for souls. To realize that God has blessed us that we might be a blessing to others.
Being resourceful is a positive character trait when it’s coupled with obedience and service. Resourcefulness without love is a recipe for sin.
Father, thank You for the gifts and resources You have given me. Help me to use them for Your Kingdom. Forgive me for being selfish. I commit my life to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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