”Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
Matthew 23:37 NASB
Yes this is the second post that has something to do with chickens or chicken parts! I lived on a farm where my family raised chickens, pigs, dairy cows, beef cows, and various crops. You see I have culture – agriculture. Back to the chicks. At one point in Jesus’ life on earth He compared Jerusalem (and the Nation of Israel) to chicks that a hen (God) wanted to keep close under her protection and provision.
In poultry (Gallus gallus domesticus = domestic chicken) production there are various growth stages. These stages can be defined as: the egg stage, the little chick stage, and the mature chicken stage (not the technical terms). In terms of spiritual growth lets examine the chick/believer comparisons.
The Egg stage/new birth
Not all eggs are fertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs are often culled out of gathered eggs in order to hatch the eggs. This process is called candling – from the old time use of candles to examine eggs to determine which are to eat and which are to incubate. Mother nature’s incubator is the hen. She sits on the eggs to keep them warm until the eggs hatch and little chicks emerge. Have you ever thought of God in this way? God initiates the birth process and protects the formative stages of children.
The Chick stage/Babes in Christ
In this stage babes in Christ explore the landscape learning what is appropriate to eat all while learning to stay near to God. When danger is evident due to weather or predators, the mother hen gathers her chicks. Gathering can involve chasing, herding, or picking to help motivate the chicks to nearness and not to scatter. Do you see the correlation?
Gathered chicks are protected and shielded chicks – He will never leave us or forsake us.
Gathered chicks belong to their mama – we belong to the Lord.
Gathered chicks are sought out and herded in – He will seek those of us who are lost.
Gathered chicks are learning to gather food in order to mature. God is teaching us to be dependently independent. We are learning to be dependent on Him and independent of the flesh.
The Maturing stage/Maturing in Christ
In this stage a natural scattering occurs. Why? Picture an adult hen with a bunch of adult hens and roosters under her!! OK I agree, Father/Mother God is still the hen in Jesus’ comparison. God does scatter His children in order to spread His gospel to all nations. The chicks are to have chicks. The quality of this new life can be infant, in bondage, or free in Him. So in chicken terms:
Are you a Gathered Chick, Caged Chicken or Free Range Chicken?