Friday, February 28, 2020

Outdoor Object Lesson 109: Tying An Anchor

Key Text

“These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind.... You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:6‬, 8 (NET‬‬)


Chirp, chirp, chirp! The sound of a bird’s call is one of the most distinct in the animal kingdom. Birds are often identified by their unique call or song. But singing is not all birds can do. Birds have a wide array of other talents. For example, parrots are known for being able to mimic human speech and penguins for their swimming feats. Some birds are known for their ability to weave. The family of birds called Ploceidae include several varieties of weavers native to Africa and Asia. Weavers are so named because of the intricately woven nests they build.

A single male who is looking for a mate, begins by  building a nest home. This nest is woven from strong blades of grass into a gourd-like shape. The nest is often hung from one or two wispy tree branches out at the end where the branches are smallest. This reduces the number of predators that can get to the nests. The male weaver begins his arduous task by tying a secure anchor to the tree branch. He uses a fresh and pliable blade of grass to skillfully thread this anchor with knots.1

As amazing as it sounds, these birds can tie knots! A half hitch is used to secure the end of the thread that has been tied around the branch with an alternating winding pattern. Once the anchor is in place, the male weaver works on stitching together the rest of the nest by weaving long grass threads into walls and a floor. This labor must be completed carefully to ensure the nest will be strong and secure. The bird is building a home to raise his young. Their very lives will depend on how he ties the knots and weaves the threads. If he is careless and does a poor job, he risks loosing everything. For weaver birds, tying the anchor knot is the most important thing he can do to ensure his future.

In the key text, God is speaking to his Chosen people after making a covenant with them. He previously stated the rules they are to follow in order to keep their end of the covenant. These rules are the 10 Commandments. These rules are the anchor of the relationship between God and his people. That is why God encourages them to tie a copy of the 10 Commandments to their arm and forehead as a symbol. He wants them to remember the Commandments no matter what they are doing or thinking. Just like the weaver birds, we must make a secure anchor if we want to ensure our future. We do that by following God’s most important rules, the 10 Commandments.


Do the 10 Commandments apply to God's people today?

How do the 10 Commandments act as an anchor for our relationship with God?

Can you keep the 10 Commandments perfectly?

What did Jesus say the greatest Commandment is?

1. Collias, Nicholas E., and Elsie C. Collias. "An Experimental Study of the Mechanisms of Nest Building in a Weaverbird." The Auk 79, no. 4 (1962): 568-95. Accessed March 1, 2020. doi:10.2307/4082640.

Written by David F. Garner
Photo credit: gburgesskc via