We had visitors once who were not used to roosters, city folk that they were. Their three year old slept with them in the only extra bed we had, and that room was right next to the chicken coop. About 5 a.m., when the sky might have lightened to gray if you thought about it real hard, the rooster went about his act. We usually slept through it, having been inured for a good while, but our guests said their small child sat bolt upright in the bad and said, “What was that, Mommy?” None of them ever got back to sleep. The rooster did his thing about every fifteen minutes like a snooze button gone haywire until the dawn actually arrived, and that child came out of that bedroom with eyes as big as saucers. Too bad you can’t muzzle a rooster.
But maybe we shouldn’t muzzle those roosters after all. Just as they woke the farmers to begin their day’s work, metaphorical roosters can wake us up. Who doesn’t recall the real rooster that woke Peter from his self-deluded state? And straightway the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word, how that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept. (Mark 14:72) He wasn’t the only one in scriptures who suddenly “awoke” to his sins.
How about the lost son? And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger! (Luke 15:15-17) I can just see him leaning over the trough as I did so many times when we had pigs of our own, and coming face to face—almost nose to filthy running nose--with a hog. He may have been awakened by a pig instead of a rooster, but the effect was the same.
And then there were the exiled Jews whom Ezekiel spent his life trying to convert. God said that when the Messianic kingdom began they would “remember and be confounded;” they would “remember…and loathe themselves” for their sins (Ezek 16:63; 36:31). That wonderful new kingdom would be so much more than they deserved that it would shake them out of their complacency.
In Acts 2, that crowd of Jewish worshippers were awakened by the events of the day and the convicting word that Peter spoke. “And when they heard...they were cut to the heart…” (v 37).
And who can forget the light dawning on David when Nathan the prophet looked at him and said, “Thou art the man?” (2 Sam 12:7, 13)
If you’ve never had a rooster crow in your life, you may still be asleep in your smugness and self-righteousness. It almost hurts when you are roused out of a deep sleep, and it should hurt even more when you are roused out of a spiritual sleep.
Pray for a rooster today. And pray that you will hear it.
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:13-14)