Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
6 Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
7 He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
13 Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;
17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.
As a man that enjoys birds, I especially relished seeing wild ostriches in South Africa. But what I learned about the biggest avian species in the book of Job surprised me.
God made ostriches to be strong and dumb. Yes, that is right. He “deprived her of wisdom, neither imparted to her understanding.” Job 39:17.
Now you might wonder why a loving Creator would make a big dumb bird. And here is the reason: so you would do a better job raising your own children.
The ostrich lays her strong eggs in the dirt. Big daddy and big mommy ostrich can fend off hyenas, cheetahs, and other nefarious wanderers. But the parents, when they aren’t thinking about their feet, step on their own eggs. And sometimes they go for a walk and leave the egg to the wanderers already mentioned.
And before you think, “stupid bird,” remember that you, reader, step on your own eggs too. When you say to your child, “you are stupid!” or “I wish you hadn’t been born!” you trample those eggs into the ground. When you let media shape their minds, hyenas are chomping your chicks. And when you are too busy and too big to give them mentoring, even the cold of night can kill the embryo. God made the ostrich dumb so that we would learn and be smart.
Institute of East Asia Training, Malaysia