By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Animals have always been of great fascination to me. From the time that I was young, we were always raised with animals.
Did you know that the Bible commands us to carefully examine animals? In fact, several times in Scripture, we are commanded to study animals to learn some very important lessons from them.
In this article, I would like to share with you some important lessons from geese.
Exhortations From Scripture
In several passages of Scripture, we are encouraged to look at the animal kingdom to learn some very important lessons. Here a few examples:
Job 12:7-9-7 “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. 9 Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this,
1 Kings 4:33-Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish.
Proverbs 6:6-Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,
Matthew 6:26-Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
While many teach that Christians should not be students of science or of learning, the Bible is very clear that we are to carefully study God’s general revelation through nature (cf Romans 1:18-20; Acts 14:17; Matthew 5:44-45; 6:25-34).
With these exhortations in mind, I would like to consider with you some very powerful lessons that we can learn from geese.
One author, describing the incredible habits of these fascinating creatures, has written:
“The awesome migration of geese offers a number of inspiring lessons of sacrifice and teamwork. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in their favorite V formation, the entire flock adds at least 70 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back in to take advantage of the formation. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the V and another goose flies point—all the while the geese behind are honking their encouragement. Even though they weigh between 20 to 25 pounds, geese can fly about as high as any other bird. A Himalayan mountain climber at 16,000 feet was amazed to see a flock of geese flying northward at about 27,000 feet—honking as they went. This is amazing, considering that at 7,000 feet, an average man has a hard time talking while running. Canadian geese can reach speeds of up to 60 mph during their flights, and can fly for up to 16 hours without rest. These migratory wonders will often fly up to 3,000 miles to their destination. For birds, geese are very loyal creatures. When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot and falls out of formation, two other geese follow it down to lend help and protection. Geese also mate for life (about 20 years) and stay together during all seasons. They are also excellent parents, sacrificially placing themselves between any perceived threat and their young. Pet geese even make devoted “watchdogs,” hissing and honking loudly when strangers come around. There are many accounts of a family goose laying its life down to save a child from a venomous snake or rabid dog. If only people would stand by each other like a goose.” (Doug Batchelor, Book Of Amazing Facts, Volume Two, 82-91 (Kindle Edition); Roseville CA; AmazinFacts)
Lessons In Work
One of the first lessons that we learn from geese is in the hard work ethic of these incredible creatures.
The birds understand the need to each do their share of hard work. Isn’t that the way that it is in the church? God has assigned and calls upon each member of the local church to do its’ own work.
Notice what Paul teaches about how the body of Christ grows:
Ephesians 4:11-16-And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together BY WHAT EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES, according to the effective working by which EVERY PART DOES IT’S SHARE, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
nbsp;I love how the New Living Translation translates this passage:
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT)-Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
In the Lord’s church, there is work for every member; indeed, He gives to each of His servants His own special work to do (Mark 13:34).
Sometimes people have the idea, “Well, the preacher is to do everything,” or, “The elders are supposed to do the work.”
But that isn’t how it’s supposed to work.
Please notice carefully that the Bible teaches us here that one of the works of elders (pastors) and evangelists (preachers) is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” We need to be volunteers in the kingdom and do what we can to fulfill the work that God has placed before us.
Lessons In Teamwork
Geese are an encouraging example in the importance of teamwork.
By each goose flapping its’ wings, it is able to provide enough updraft for the surrounding geese so that they are able to fly over 70 % further than they could alone!
When a goose gets tired, it is able to “fall back” to another section to get some much needed rest as its’ “fellow geese” provide help and support while it can get some rest.
In many ways, that the way it is in the church. I think about the work that we do at Courchtown.
Several of our church family members are actively involved in doing what they can to encourage each other and support each other. It is never about the work that “I” do, but about the work that we do together. A friend used to describe the works that I was involved in in the community, and he would point out, “This isn’t Mark”s ministry, this is OUR ministry.” He had the right idea!
In the church, we work together. I believe that Paul had this in mind when he wrote the following to our brethren at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 12:18-27-18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
In the church, we are a family:a team; and we are working towards the same important goals in Christ.
Lessons In Encouragement
When a goose becomes discouraged or tired,its’ fellow geese quack and encourage it to keep going. If one is injured or sick, and begins to drop down to the ground, one or two others swoop down to fly with and try to help it gain back altitude. In every way, geese are the epitome of encouragement and loyalty.
That’s how it is supposed to be in the church. Paul talks about when he writes to the Christians:
Hebrews 3:12-13-Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “TODAY,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
We need each other.
It is by the encouragement we find as Christians that we are able to maintain our Christian walk. One of the ways that we offer this encouragement is through daily exhortation (cf. Hebrews 3:12-13). We also provide this to each other as Christians when we gather together in worship on the Lord’s Day (Hebrews10:24-25).
In our world of constant discouragement and heartache, we need to be there to support and encourage each other.
If you are not a Christian, I want to encourage you to learn from these important lessons of geese. We need to learn from their examples of determining.
Did you know that the Son of God loved you and died on the Cross of Calvary to pay the price for your sins? He loves you that much!! He was buried, and He arose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). How about today believing in Jesus Christ (John 8:24), repenting of your sin (Luke 13:3), confessing Him before men (1 Timothy 6:12), being baptized into Him for forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:37-38), and living faithfully to Him to death (Revelation 2:10)?
If you are a child of God who has left the flock (pun intended) through sin or discouragement (Galatians 6:9; 1 John 1:8), why not today return to the Lord by repenting and praying to Him (Acts 8:22;; 1 John 1:9)? Let your church family be here to encourage and help you (James 5:16-18; Galatians 6:1-3).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.