Psalm 28: The Thorn-Bird’s Cry

Text:  “Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my Rock; be not silent unto me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.”                          
Psalm 28:1.

Good morning, Christian Thorn-Bird!  Life, and the complexities of life on this earth that you and I live as Spiritually regenerate Christian believers, often causes us to feel and act like the mythical Thorn-Bird of old Celtic legend - our Spiritual wounds, received in the great Battle against the world, the flesh, and the Devil, can often cause us to cry out to God from the deepest depths of our very souls.  If you can relate to this experience, beloved friend, then Psalm 28 is the very prayer to uplift to the Lord today.   

The Myth of the Thorn Bird:

There is an old Celtic legend about a bird, which sings only once in its life. It sings that single song more sweetly than any other creature on the face of this earth. From the moment it leaves its nest, this bird searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it has found one. Having found the thorn tree the bird sings among the tree’s savage branches and impales itself on the longest, sharpest spine. Then, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. The whole world stills to listen and God in his heaven smiles. The best is accomplished at the cost of the greatest pain, so says the legend. (All Poetry online website)

Verse 1.  “Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my Rock.  It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgement, but our Rock attends to our cries.  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 139)

Pride in the breast of each of us can be a huge hindrance to true prayers to God for deliverance and for His ‘very present help in trouble…’  Profound pain, grief, and cruel oppositions assist us to swallow down all human pride and call urgently upon the Lord for His Divine and ever-given strength and help.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear… (Psalm 46:1-2)

“The thorn at the breast of the nightingale was said by the old naturalists to make it sing.  David’s grief made him eloquent in holy Psalmody.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 139)

“It is of utmost importance that we should have a definite object on which to fix our thoughts.  ‘Call upon Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.’  One looking down upon him, listening to him, feeling for him, preparing to answer him.  Dear reader, in the time of your trouble, do not roam; do not let your thoughts wander as though they were looking for someone on whom to fix.  ‘Unto Thee will I cry.’…Oh!  Happy is that man who feels and knows that when trouble comes he cannot be bewildered and confused by the stroke, no matter how heavy it may be.”  (Philip Bennett Power 1862)

“Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my Rock; be not silent unto me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” (Psalm 28:1)

When a regenerate Christian is seeking to really serve Christ Jesus - as a Sunday-School Teacher; as a Pastor; as a Bible-Teacher; as a lay preacher; or an Evangelist tract distributor - that serving Christian SHALL suffer deeply as a consequence.  Fact!

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”                     (2 Timothy 3:12)

There is no escaping this Spiritual, mental, and physical conflict, dear friend; we are engaged in Spiritual warfare!  I recommend The Christian in Complete Armour, by the Puritan, William Gurnall, to all seriously desiring to serve the risen Christ.

Psalm 28, and praying the words of Psalm 28 in times of severe trials, is a ‘thorn bird cry’ I would whole-heartedly recommend as a practice.  I wrote the poem below during such a time of long-term Spiritual, mental, and physical oppression.


Cry freedom, soul, so sunken, soiled, and sore.
You yearn so, year by year, your yoke to break.
While penal milestones, many, numb you more;
And blight with bitter flints each breath you take.
Like hapless hawk, left hooded, in mid flight;
Wings beating blindly ‘mong life’s thorny copse;
Proud feathered breast oft broken by barbed plight;
Wounds weeping warm, with royal scarlet drops.
Yet, though with weariness your dreary days;
Spent sad, and adding daily deadly weight,
Tempt sore the more your dreams to drink dismay -
Then slump, in slavery, to this knavish State -
Resolve wells up once more to shore the breach,
To fire the coals of courage, furnace hot!
Before time’s tortured tethered end is reached,
The fearless spirit soars, DEFEATED NOT!

Dr C.K. McClinton 1990

Thought: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…”  Call upon Him.

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