“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Proverbs 10:5).
Definition: Gather – 1, A drawing together; 2. To increase; 3. To grow larger by natural increase of like matter.
That third definition fascinates me. So I researched the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.”
I was surprised that this is a proverb which goes back hundreds of years A proverb is a short common saying or phrase that generally gives advice or shares a universal truth.
Many English proverbs are wise sayings or truths that are taken as quotations from Hebrew biblical Scripture, including the Book of Psalms and the Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, and the Gospels in the New Testament.
The expression,”birds of a feather flock together”can be traced to a 1545 work called, “The Rescuing of Romish Fox” written by William Turner: “Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.”
It makes perfect sense, spiritually, that people will be drawn together if they have common interests and goals as the proverb suggests. Of course, this premise will cause increase as long as the people believe the same thing and share the same vision. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock” (Ezekiel 36:37).
That leads to the third definition – “to grow larger by natural increase of like matter.” We, The Church of God, are of like matter. Jesus prayed for this in John 17 :21-22 – “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:that they may be one, even as we are one.”
“Gather” or increase is our purpose. Preach the Gospel; teach all nations – this is the Great Commission given by Christ to the Church that others (of like matter) will be gathered into one – all believing and practicing the same thing. It seems to me if we are carrying out God’s mandate, we will have “natural increase.”
Not only that, but this “drawing together” will be manifest by the love for one another. What else draws as the love of God and the brothers? “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” (1 John 5:2).
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16).
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).