This blog should really grab your thoughts!
According to the Talmud one of the least commandments is recorded in Deuteronomy where instructions are given to drive away a mother bird from her nest before taking her young.
Deuteronomy 22:6-7; "When you come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young- let the mother go without fail, and take the young for yourself, so that it might be well with you, and that you shall prolong your days."
The question is: did you notice the last part of this scripture? It carries the same promise/reward as the "weighty" commandment of honoring your father and mother.
Deuteronomy 5:16; "Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your Elohim has commanded you, so that your days are prolonged, and so that it is well with you, in the land which the LORD your God gives you."
Wow! This was a very eye-opening revelation for me as I was recently reading a Torah Portion. I had never caught this before.
What could be God's reason for this commandment? To me it speaks very loudly that the Creator wants us to show mercy and kindness to all of His creatures. We are to have compassion for all of them. It would cause this mother bird grieve to see her young taken before her eyes. God wants us to be careful not to cause His creatures undue suffering or turmoil. In addition, taking both the mother and her young could eventually cause a species to become extinct.
Is this really then a "least" commandment with such a hefty promise attached to it, one comparable to that of the "weighty" commandment of honoring one's parents?
Animal cruelty has never been condoned by the Creator! Even with the story of Jonah we find that God was not only concerned with the humans that would be destroyed in Nineveh but He was also concerned about the animals. (Jonah 4:11)
Matthew 5:19; "Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
We need to strive to keep the "least" and the "weightier" commands of the Almighty, for if we continually fail to keep what we feel is the "least" we will certainly end up breaking the "weightier".
I hope this word has touched someone. The revelation certainly touched me. What an awesome God that knows each star by name, that numbers the hairs on each head, that sees each sparrow that falls to earth, and that cares deeply about the grieving of a mother bird. How much more do you think He cares about the crown of His creation? MANKIND! The only creation made with the ability to be in His image - HOLY!
Shalom and blessings!