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Birds of the Bible – Bird Idols (by Lee Dusing)

(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith. (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:16-25)

I know that the above quotation is long, but it is needed to show the problem of making idols in the image of birds and other things. Here on this blog, we discuss the birds and how the Lord has created each of them, how His glory and honor is to be praised for His great intelligence (omniscience) and power (omnipotence), etc. What we don’t do is worship these birds. Over the centuries, man has taken his eyes off of God, and put it on things, such as birds. Then, he has used wood and other materials to make idols of them. Next come the worship of that idol. “Idolatry is a term used by the monotheistic religions in reference to the worship of physical objects (idols) and, more generally, to most any religious practices which involves the worship of anything other than God. Forms of worship encompassed under the term idolatry include prostrating before an idol, offering prayers to idols, and offering librations or animal sacrifices to idols.” (from Creation Wiki) Here are some of the ways that man has denied God this way:

Chinese Phoenix - FenyangFenghuang: “Fenghuang is said to be made up of the beak of a rooster, the face of a swallow, the forehead of a fowl, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, the back of a tortoise, the hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish. Today, however, it is often described as a composite of many birds including the head of a golden pheasant, the body of a mandarin duck, the tail of a peacock, the legs of a crane, the mouth of a parrot, and the wings of a swallow. Its body symbolizes the six celestial bodies. The head is the sky, the eyes are the sun, the back is the moon, the wings are the wind, the feet are the earth, and the tail are the planets.”

Statue of a griffin - VeniceGriffin: “The Griffin (griffon or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and often wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Griffins are normally known for guarding treasure. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.”

Phoenix: “The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being immortal and invincible — it is also said that it can heal a person with a tear from its eyes and make them temporarily immune to death. The phoenix is a symbol of fire and divinity.” “Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork or heron-like bird called a “benu”, known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun-god Ra.”
Phoenix on top of Kinkaku-ji temple in Japan
These are just a few of the Bird Idols around the world. As stated earlier, we love doing articles about the fantastic birds God has created, but please, don’t take your eyes off of the Creator. He created them for His pleasure and ours, not to be worshiped.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, (Exodus 20:3-5a)

Interesting articles to read: The Folly of Idolatry and The Folly of Idolatry #2 by Kyle Campbell
Most quotes are from Wikipedia.