As I put pen to paper this morning to write this brief devotional, I can hear a rooster crowing outside. This is a very familiar sound here in Africa. It is nature’s alarm clock, and it welcomes the first rays of sunshine in the morning. Hence, under normal circumstances, it is a very welcome sound.
For a child waiting eagerly for her first day at school, a bride waiting for her wedding day, or a sportsman entering his first finals, the rooster crowing means, “Wake up, the day you have longed for is finally here.” So, nothing can be sweeter to the ears than the sound of the rooster crowing outside.
However, the Bible tells us of at least one person to whom the crowing of a rooster was like a death knell. That was Peter. The Bible says:
And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Matt. 26:74-75)
Peter had assured the Lord Jesus of his loyalty even if all other disciples abandoned Him in the face of danger. So, Jesus told him that within the next twenty-four hours, before the rooster crowed, he would deny his Master no less than three times.
When Jesus was arrested, Peter followed at a distance and soon got into trouble. He was identified as one of Jesus’ disciples. To save his own skin, he denied having any associations with Jesus—until he heard the rooster crow. It was like an arrow that pierced his conscience. He went out and wept bitterly.
God often uses providence, like the crowing of a rooster, to point our consciences to unsettled accounts with Him. The sound of a baby crying in the next room can be a painful reminder to the conscience of a woman who aborted her baby that God still has a controversy with her. Two people talking in front of you on a queue may touch on a subject that reminds you of an apology or restitution that you still need to make. Surviving a terrible car accident or an armed robbery may be a reminder that you need to be reconciled with God.
Like the rooster welcoming the rising of the sun, often these providential alarm bells have little to do with your wrong deed, but your guilty conscience still smarts at their sound. You interpret them as God coming to knock on your door wanting to settle some unfinished business with you.
Has a recent and seemingly incidental event reminded you of something that you still need to confess or make right? Do not overlook it. God may be using this “crowing of a rooster” to bring you to genuine, heartfelt repentance. So, act upon it right away.