Are you tired of the ceaseless, careless, ignorant murmuration of people with nothing better to do than to create mindless narratives of your life? Nothing ever changes. This constant murmuring noise coming from those who feel threatened, and in need of justification for their existence, is as old as the hills. Literally. I’ll explain this in a moment.
Grainger Hunt, a senior scientist at the Peregrine Fund tells us that when we marvel at those murmurations in the sky, produced by thousands of starlings as a “dazzling cloud, swirling, pulsating, drawing together to the thinnest of waists, then wildly twisting in pulses of enlargement and diminution,” we may not understand exactly what we are witnessing. Hunt says these beautiful, sometimes breathtaking murmurations, created by flocks of starlings dancing across the sky, are most often created as a defense mechanism. These birds are moving as quick as possible in an attempt to put distance between themselves and a nearby falcon. The predator hunting its prey is the cause of this murmuration. The images of these flocks of gyrating starlings pirouetting through the atmosphere becomes a spiritual metaphor for an ancient problem as old as the hills.
Do you remember the first murmur? Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?”
Do you remember the second murmur? Genesis 3:12 Then the man replied, “The woman You gave to be with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
When God said “What is this you have done?” (verse 13), you realize of course this was a rhetorical question. The clear teaching of scripture is that God is eternal, and omniscient. Simply put, God has all knowledge of all things at all times. So God isn’t quizzing them so that HE could understand or have information He did not previously know. God is making a point of bringing clarity to the gravity of their choices to murmur, hedge, and make themselves look good. Satan felt threatened by God so he chose to seduce and entice Eve with murmurations. Eve, once having tasted the forbidden fruit, preyed upon by her own conscience, didn’t want to be alone in the mischief and used Satan’s words to bring Adam along. Adam, not wanting full blame for the disobedience, spews murmurations about “that woman.” The threat of being caught makes the flock twist and turn in shock and bewilderment.
It’s an ancient problem. Seen in the first century images of the New Testament, the Jewish leaders continually felt threatened when the large crowds began to follow this itinerant teacher from Nazareth. They were so intimidated by His authority they began to bully and berate Jesus at every turn, seeking to lay a trap to have Him killed. Their murmurations are clearly seen as a strong defense mechanism attempting to escape what they all knew would be coming their way. Judgment.
Those who know me, also know, one of my past pet phrases was “It is what it is.” Murmurations are what they are. Whether visually seen in the starling dance, or spiritually seen in blinding light of God’s word, the problem of murmurs will never go away. People who feel threatened murmur. If enough people share the same views, the gathering crowds create murmurations seen clearly from several miles away. From two thousand years past we can still hear the murmuration of the shouting crowd, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” In fact, God in heaven can see them now, and He knows who started it, and why.
What do you do when you feel threatened? Do you dance like a puppet on a string, trying your best to put yourself in a good light? Do you sway and dip, compromising your faith, because someone rose up against you in the dark? When the murmurations of the world rise up against you, in evil menacing shapes, remember the words of Paul.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.
No murmurations, just faith. Faith that God will see you through whatever situation or circumstance is seeking to devour you.