Church Focus: Birds links to Biblical history

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vultures, owls and eagles all play interesting roles in the Bible. On May 20, Helena residents learned how they relate to the Christian Holy Land and God&8217;s teachings.

Marianne Murphy, raptor education biologist said the raptors are all birds that have come to the center injured but now are used for education.

&8220;We have brought birds that are either reminiscent of the birds in the Bible or are actually the birds mentioned in the Bible because we have some exotic birds with us,&8221; Murphy said.

Roy Crowe, raptor education specialist at the Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn, said the birds are significant in scripture.

&8220;A raptor is a bird of prey. Raptor is from a Latin word that means to grab or to seize. It&8217;s the same word we get rapture from; it means to be seized up to be called away,&8221; Crowe said.

Crowe worked as a minister for 25 years before going to work with the center. He said birds of prey are mentioned 62 times throughout scripture and 19 of those birds are still found in the Holy Land today.

Deuteronomy 32:10-12 is one of Crowe&8217;s favorite examples.

&8220;He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.&8221;

Crowe said the eagle will not bring food directly into the nest but will force its young to seek out food. He said this is similar to how God teaches his people to seek him out.

Helena United Methodist church&8217;s &8220;Pairs and Spares&8221; Sunday school class sponsored the event and took donations to send to Enterprise for recovery efforts.