Of Sparrows, Swallows, and Altars

Group of Sparrows by Jimmy Palma Gil
Of Sparrows, Swallows and Altars

 “Yea the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee. Selah. ”  Psalm 84:3

Endowed with the gift of flight, birds have such freedom of motion that they are capable of traversing thousands of miles across continents, soaring to the heights of the skies, plunging to the lowest depths of earth’s dry places.  These creatures possess the rare liberty of pushing the limits of height, depth and distance.

In much the same way, on a grander scale, mankind is gifted with these capabilities.  But inherent in this sense of latitude is a kind of restlessness and constant movement, of migrations prompted by the search for food and shelter and climates of well-being,  a sense of fear of things and circumstances beyond one’s control.

King David likens his soul to the restless, homeless creatures of flight that have finally found a dwelling place in God’s house. He declares that those who find their rest in God are blessed, whose hearts are full of praise.  And that happiness stems from knowing God.

In this psalm, there is a designated place for approaching and knowing God — “even thine altars”, referring to the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Altar of Incense in the Old Testament. 

There is a new and living way to know and find God, to come to the altars that God Himself has appointed: the shed blood of His own Son Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s cross for the remission of our sins and shortcomings.  The Great High Priest of the Altar of Incense is the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, who is the pathway  to our Heavenly Father.

As the sparrow found a house, and the swallow, a nest to lay her young, it is at the altars, it is in and through Jesus Christ that our souls find true happiness, rest, and fulfillment of purpose in this life and beyond.

*** Photography by Jimmy Palma Gil

32 thoughts on “Of Sparrows, Swallows, and Altars

  1. Dee, this is beautiful in so many ways. I am reminded of the birds who soar across night skies, returning to a home they never knew (but they know). Always, our soul knows only one home, and even in the darkness, we find it (and it finds us)….. I am also reminded of a favored verse, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.” Wondrous truths in such gracious words. ~ Love to you, dear one. ~ Ever, Bobbie

  2. i find birds so fascinating for many reasons, but partly because of all God´s creatures they live closest to the sky. and yet they are not as free or weightless as we are in Jesus. what a wonderful post, thank you. in His great love…

    • Yes, Jesus talked about the sparrows and God’s care for the little birds, and pointed out that we are of more value. In Him we are set free, and free indeed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Lorna. Love and blessings, Dee

  3. Stillness and rest…that is such a valuable and precious thing, and something so few people truly know anything at all about. Unfortunately, even many Christians haven’t yet realized and appropriated the soul rest that Jesus promises us every day of our lives. This post is a beautiful reminder that in Him is not only rest, but full and complete safety, provision and rest…nothing that the world can give, because it doesn’t have it. Thank you, Dee.


    • In Christ, truly we have everything we need and beyond what we could ask for or imagine! I like how you point out that appropriating this rest is available to us each and every day of our lives. Thank you, Lester! Dee

  4. Love the way you tied the birds to David then to us. Restless hearts can only find true rest in Jesus Christ, as you have said.

  5. And we are so blessed when our ears opened and recognize the sweet calling of the One who first love us! For there is a path that our spirits always know well for it is the return the joy we left behind but after moments of sharing and caring in this world we shall enjoy the passage of abundant reward, for as we emulate His ways in life and share with everyone who will hear, he shall welcome us home and say job well done my loved one! And we are blessed to know the light now and forever… Beautiful post Dee, your pure heart always lifts and inspires. Much love and many blessings to you dearest sister!

  6. This posting was a blessing indeed. A great reminder for those who are saved to be thankful for all the Lord has done for us. For those who have never trusted in Christ, it was a wonderful explaination of the blessings that can be had when we turn from our sins to belief in Christ. Lord bless you.!

  7. These are God’s divine, heaven-sent orders for the placing of the fifth article of furniture in the tabernacle of the congregation, another one of the several types of the Lord Jesus Christ in His work of redemption. It was an altar made of wood, overlaid with pure gold. It is again a picture of the Lord Jesus in His humanity and in His deity, the wood pointing to His humanity, and the gold speaking of His unchangeable deity. It was three feet high and one and one-half feet square. It was the tallest piece of furniture in the holy place, and speaks of the highest act of worship possible, that of prayer and priestly intercession.

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