Deuteronomy 22:6, 7
If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs…
God's tender care extends to microscopic insects. Nothing is too minute to escape the notice of his eye. "Not a sparrow falls to the ground" without attracting his regard. In proportion as we become conformed to God's image, we shall cherish tender feeling for every living thing.
I. FOR MAN'S GOOD BIRDS LIVE AND BREED. They please the eye with their gay plumage. They regale our ears with pleasant song. They furnish our tables with food. They teach us lessons of cheerful trust. Devoid of anxious care, they daily feast upon the Divine bounty; and a ray of sunshine is repaid with melodious song. They fulfill a mission as the teachers of mankind. To birds we are indebted for considerable pleasure. For us they live: be ours no wanton cruelty.
II. IN THEIR MATERNAL CARES THEY APPEAL FOR GENTLE CONSIDERATION. We may wisely learn a lesson from their maternal affection, from the exposure of their own lives to defend their young. It will foster tender feeling in us to observe this self-forgetful-ness in mother birds. But to take advantage of this self-exposure - this noble defense of their offspring - for the purpose of capturing the parent, will deaden and demoralize our own sensibilities. We may furnish a meal for our bodily appetite; but we shall at the same time injure our nobler parts, strangle our nobler feelings.
III. FUTURE PROSPECTS ARE TO BE PREFERRED TO PRESENT PLEASURE. It is a short-sighted policy to use for present need everything within our reach. It is wholesome discipline to deny one's self now, in the hope of greater future good. The farmer foregoes the sale or the use of his grain, that he may have wherewith to sow his fields in the coming season. So to spare the life of the parent bird is to secure in return many other lives, a source of future profit should not thoughtlessly be destroyed. Self-restraint is an exemplary virtue. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:
WEB: If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young: