Unlike other birds, vultures have a fine sense of smell, especially for decomposing meat. As they fly overhead, seemingly effortlessly by using thermal updrafts, they cannot only see dead animals, but smell them even from quite a distance. The scent of a free meal is enough to bring a whole bevy of these beastly birds out for an orgy, tearing (Latin “vulturus” = tearing) into a rotting cadaver.
The turkey vulture, which is common in Ontario, has other less than appetizing habits: Its primary form of defense is regurgitating semi-digested meat, a stinging, acidic and foul-smelling substance which deters most creatures intent on raiding a vulture nest.
Because of the vultures contact with death and decay it is considered an unclean animal in the Old Testament (Lev.11:13).
Jesus compares vultures, as indicators of death, with false messiahs and lying preachers, a problem that will intensify in the last days. Eugene Peterson, in the Message translation of Mt.24:23-28, interprets the passage this way:
“If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning. So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. The Arrival of the Son of Man isn’t something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.”
All of us desire spiritual food. The writer of Ecclesiastes (3:11) makes it clear that God has placed a sense of eternity in our inner being.
Unfortunately many people look for spiritual nutrition in all the wrong places. They see the vultures circling and go to the places of the feeding frenzy, only to find rotten meat.
Even Christian leaders get drawn into this hype: they look for spiritual food, but go to places, conferences and organizations that only offer dead methodology, techniques, procedures, systems and marketing gimmicks and are void of real life in Jesus.
Paul warns Timothy of these vultures in 2.Tim.3:1-5:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, … holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.”
The soaring, effortless, circling flight of a vulture advertises an easy life and an easy meal. But it’s rotten food. Stay away from this disgusting food and those ugly vultures!
Only Jesus Himself is the real nourishing food (Jn.6:48-63):
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die…. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Amen to that!
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.