Then in the middle of winter one morning I looked out and there stood a turkey hen under the south feeder pecking at the fallen birdseed. She visited every day for awhile and eventually found her way around the house to the other two feeders. Gradually she became used to us, and now we can go out on one side of the house without her leaving the opposite side at a “turkey trot.” She will even let us move by the window inside, where she can see us clearly, without running away.
Then one afternoon there she was again, only she looked a little different, didn’t she? Maybe her neck was thicker we said, and then one of us moved in our chairs and she ran down the trellis bed and actually flew over the fence. Turkeys do not like to fly, so she must have been terrified. That’s when we put two and two together and realized we now had two turkeys, one with a thinner neck who has learned that we won’t bother her, and one with a thicker neck who still thinks we are some sort of predator out to get her. Isn’t it odd that it’s the skinnier turkey that is the least frightened?
That is an apt metaphor for the people of Israel. They were the country with the skinniest neck, yet throughout their history they routed huge armies or saw them turned back by “circumstances.” They watched God’s power work when no other country their size, nor even some larger, could withstand the enemy. But despite that ongoing evidence, only a few learned to depend upon God, only a few saw the chariots of the Lord on the hilltops around them (2 Kings 6:12-18). Only a few of them had faith and courage like this:
And Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, 2 Chron 14:11.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright, Psa 20:7,8.
Eventually there weren’t enough faithful to save them from destruction. Eventually God had to remove the ones He thought had some potential and send the prophets to ready them for a return, but even then only a small remnant came back. Many of them were still frightened turkeys, and they were well aware of how skinny their necks were.
Learn the lesson those people didn’t. God has given you evidence every day of your life that He is with you. If you think otherwise, you just haven’t noticed. Trials in your life are not an indication that He is not with you. Paul told the Romans that “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword,” none of those could separate us from the love of Christ—not that they would never happen!
Be ready to stand against whatever army Satan throws at you, knowing that the chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; [and] the Lord is among them, Psa 68:17.