God says: Honor the Mama bird, ‘that you may live long’

Baby birds in nest
Two Old Testament commands come with promises of long life:
Honor your father and mother, and Don’t take the mother bird
when you take eggs from a nest. It seems that God expects us
to respect every kind of mother. Image from

 One of the Old Testament environmental policies is that you must not take the mother bird when you take eggs from a nest (Deut. 22: 6-7). Makes sense, right? That way, she’s there to lay another day.

But here’s what’s cool. This policy comes with a promise. We are to do this “so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.” Does that sound familiar? Here’s a hint: “Honor your father and your mother …”

Right! ” … so that you may live long …” (Exodus 20:12).

Of the Big Ten Commandments, that’s the only one with a promise. And here’s another commandment with a promise. Take care of the mother bird, so you may live long.

How did Christians ever get such a reputation for not taking care of the earth when it’s all in the Bible?

Copyright (c) 2010 Carlene Hill Byron


About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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