Summary: Part 2 focuses on the bat.
Buzzards, Bats, Bumblebees and Eagles
Are You Living Like Bats?
Scriptures: Numbers 13:17-21; 27-33; 14:1-10
In my message last week, we look at the buzzards. The main point I want you to remember from last week is that the buzzard needs 10-12 feet of running room in order to take off and fly. This need for a running start makes them vulnerable to cars and other predators. Like the buzzard, there are many Christians who need a "running start" to get their faith activated as we will discuss also in this message. Our need for a running start makes us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. This week we will examine the characteristics of bats. As with the buzzards, they too have limitations that are comparable to humans. Theirs being physical while ours being more spiritual. Our Scriptural background comes from the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14.
I. Bat Characteristics
When most people think of bats, they think about vampires. The old horror movies gave bats a very bad reputation as the vampires turned into bats when it was time for them to fly. Bats also got a bad name from being associated with witches and Halloween. Every Halloween when you see the decorations, you will see both witches and bats. So what is the real story about bats? First let me say that bats are the only mammals that can fly; they are not classified as birds. But let’s look at a few interesting facts about bats in general.
Primarily come out at night. Bats are nocturnal meaning they primarily come out and are active at night – which, by the way, enhances the belief that they are evil (you seldom see pictures of witches flying around in the daytime.) Because they operate at night, they can see clearly in the dark with sensory perception identifying heat radiating from it’s prey’s body. The vampire bat identifies where to bite a person (or animal) based on the heat radiated from the blood in the veins closest to the skin. Although these bats do feed on blood, they do not attack a person but wait until the person or animal is asleep. The bite is so small that most people do not realize they have been bitten. Bats are extremely small and they do perform some good. Bats eat a lot of insects, their primary source of food. They could eat hundreds of mosquitoes in a single evening.
Hibernate in winter. Bats hibernate in the winter. They slow their metabolism down to the point of near death. They must hibernate due to the lack of insects available for them to eat during the winter. During their time of hibernation, if they are woken up suddenly, they could go into shock and die.
Bats cannot take off from a level surface. One of the main points about bats is that they cannot take off and fly from a level surface. If a bat is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and no doubt painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash. Now you can imagine the problems that this raises for the bat if they are ever found on a flat surface.
II. People Are Like Bats
Now let me backtrack over the three facts I covered about bats and how they can relate to people. The first fact told us that bats primarily come out at night which gives them that air of suspicion that they are evil. Now think about the lifestyle of people. Would it surprise you that more murders, robberies, attacks and other crime in general happen in the dark or "secluded" place? Jesus said in John 3:19-20 that "And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." Jesus was talking about spiritual light and darkness but the same applies to the natural. There are many people who are like bats and only "come out" in the darkness to accomplish their deeds. If you are doing your "devilment", as my mom used to say, at night, then just know that one day it will be exposed to the light.
The second fact was that bats hibernate during the winter. Now I know you are wondering how does this compare in any way to people. This may be a stretch for some of you, but there are several ways this applies to us. What do people normally do during the winter? When they do not have to, they stay indoors (they hibernate). When the weather is bad, we stay inside. When it is too cold outside, we will not go out, even to Church, because the bed is just too warm and cozy. Some people go into hibernation spiritually at different times throughout the year based on what is happening around them. They slow their spiritual metabolism down to where it is almost non-existent. What is your spiritual metabolism? It is your ability to take in nourishments and utilize it for energy to get things done for the Kingdom of God.