When The Lines Go Down

September 21, 2023
Volume 27, Number 26

It was a carrier pigeon that delivered the news to London that Napoleon had been defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. In both World Wars, carrier pigeons transmitted vital messages between various command posts. These amazing creatures have been utilized throughout history, and their homing instincts have made possible the delivery of important information at critical moments.

Today we have faster and more sophisticated means of communication. Telephones, Internet, and direct messaging are commonplace now, and carrier pigeons are a thing of the past. Unless you’re talking about Cuttack, India where about 100 carrier pigeons are still ready to fly.

Why remain locked in the past, one might ask? In times of war and natural disaster, lines often go down, and all that marvelous technology goes silent. For that reason, police in Cuttack keep their flock trained and ready to fly into service. A representative of the police commented, “Even in the unlikely event that every mode of communication breaks down tomorrow, the pigeons will never fail.”

Yes, an “outdated” means of communication could again play a vital role in delivering information between points in the world. Some might say, “Isn’t evolution amazing!”, but I know better. I know that God is the one who created these birds to have such an accurate sense of direction.

Daniel 9 points to a means of communication that is not subject to war or disaster. Daniel and many others had been uprooted from their homes in Judah and carried far away as captives to the land of Babylon. Even at that great distance from where the temple once stood, Daniel called upon the Lord in prayer. Did his prayer reach heaven? The angel Gabriel came to Daniel with this message: “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved …” (Daniel 9:23).

Earlier in Daniel we read about his regular habit of prayer; he would go to his room “with his windows open toward Jerusalem” (Daniel 6:10). It sounds similar to how we might have to go to a certain area to find a strong signal for our telephone to work effectively. Was Daniel “within range” of heaven? Would God hear his prayer from such a great distance from where the temple had once stood? Gabriel’s response in chapter 9 shows that God did receive the prayer.

God is not like people. If my wife speaks to me while I’m in another room, I probably won’t hear what she said. God, however, is everywhere at all times. Psalm 139:8-10 makes this point: “If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” Jonah prayed from inside the great fish, submerged in the sea, and yet God heard his prayer (see Jonah 2:1-10).

Lines of communication often go down, and that will likely always be the case. But when speaking of the most critical communications – between people and their God – we have something superior to carrier pigeons or wireless telephones. Let’s make use of this medium more often.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2023, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.