The piglet just would not take the teat of the bottle which contained the fresh warm milk. The other seven were greedily sucking away but this little chap just wouldn’t. The animal handler at the Royal Show had a furrowed brow as she desperately tried to push the teat into its mouth. Taking the teat was the most natural thing to do but failure would have serious consequences for the piglet. In the next stall was
something as equally natural – newly hatched chickens finding shelter under the wings of the mother hen.
The parent hovering over its young is perfectly natural. It is the image that is used in Scripture for the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to the children of God. His role is to hover around us; our role is to seek
safety through his hovering (Deuteronomy 32:11). The problem comes when we what is natural is prevented from happening. When someone seeks to take the piglets from the protective cover of the mother pig or the chicks from the mother hen, she goes on the attack. Little wonder that Jesus used this illustration of those who keep God’s people from the truth of his word (Matthew 23:37). When false teaching keeps God’s children from receiving the protection and guidance of his word he is incensed and issues a stern rebuke to them. But equally, those who refuse to accept the hovering presence of his Spirit and seek to step away from his protective covering also grieve and anger him (Isaiah 63:10).
Let us be determined not to grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30) as he hovers around us.
From Frank Eames