Psalms 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God, My soul thirsts for God, the living God, When can I go and meet with God?”
There are some specific animals in the bible with some characteristics that are symbolic to a message it’s passing across and for us to learn and to relate to. We hear about the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, The righteous are as bold as a lion, a dove descending on Jesus as a sign of the Holy Spirit, etc. Let’s talk about deer and it’s characteristics that applies to us.
Song of Songs 4:5 speaks about fawns (deer) of the gazelle that browse among the lilies. How is the deer described in the bible and it’s symbol? Let’s find out
1. Psalms 18:33 states, “He makes my feet like that of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights“. What is making our feet as that of a deer? Just imagine the feet /running of a deer – the swiftness, the speed, the strength, etc are the highlighting features. When a tiger runs towards it, the rapid speed at which it runs is simply superb. In spiritual terms, when there is sin enticing (symbolic of the tiger), are we galloping like the deer or faltering or stumbling? How are our feet in this wicked world? Can be they compared to that of a deer? Isaiah 40:30 says that even the young men may stumble and fall, they may grow weary. This is the order of nature. But verse Isaiah 40:29 states, “it is God who gives strength and increases the power of the weak” He can strengthen our feet like that of a deer and enable us to stand on the heights..
2. Psalms 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God, My soul thirsts for God, the living God, When can I go and meet with God?” Are we like the deer panting for streams of water, for the springs of water welling to eternal life- Jesus the source of the living water? What are we panting for? King David with his vast army, kingdom, wealth, mansions and what not, was panting for meeting with God…What an awesome experience !
3. Job 39:1-4 God speaks to Job about the doe bearing her fawn, their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds. This verse speaks about the young of the doe which thrive, or rather prosper, succeed, luxuriate. How do they thrive? And then become strong in the wilds… We also ought to gain strength from the Lord and thrive. The next point in the verse is that they leave where they are born and do not return. Yes, at last, we ought not to return to the wicked world but to our dear Lord… Our hope is for our eternal Home…There are some instances in the Bible where His children were asked to leave certain situations. Abraham in Genesis 12:1 was asked to leave his father’s household, his country. There is a usual tendency to become complacent in our own place. May be, we have to move/leave some places according to God’s direction to learn dependence on Him, rather than our own household, kith/kin. Psalms 45:10 also explains this context.
4. Deuteronomy 14:3-5 certifies deer to be a clean animal. Bible classifies animals as clean and unclean based on certain characteristics- split hoof which is completely divided and that which chews the cud. Chewing the cud is to eat initially and later draw the food back to the mouth to be thoroughly chewed, bit by bit, enjoyed in a cool manner- for better digestion/ absorption of the nutrients. Deer does this . We also ought to read the Word of God and also keep meditating on it , enjoying it, rethink it, digest as we draw the full strength /nutrition of it.
5. Strong antlers (horns) of a deer are basically for its protection against the enemy. While fighting, it first attacks the enemy with its antlers (horns) to bruise it’s attacker that it may flee. We too should possess the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God so that the enemy cannot attack us. The deer in Song of Songs is found to be browsing among the lilies, rather grazing on the pastures. What are we browsing? Where are we grazing? Is it on the green pastures of the Lord- church with sound doctrine?
Every minute thing in nature, created by the Wonderful Almighty speaks /narrates of His greatness, His wisdom, which none can fathom.