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The Eagle’s Wings

God often provides us with many picture-words for the purpose of encouraging, comforting, and assuring us, as we walk on the path of life as strangers in the earth, that we do not need to have fear in our hearts while we dwell in the midst of a world, whose devilish purpose and whose sinister plan is to persecute and to destroy the church of Christ on earth. No matter how subtle the enemy may be, no matter how much the enemies of Christ may openly show their hatred for the Christ and His people, no matter how severe and terrible the days of persecution for the church may be, God is our strength, our life. He alone will sustain us by His wonderful grace unto the final day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the clouds of glory. He alone governs, controls, and rules all things through Jesus Christ our Lord, so that all the evil planning and plotting of the wicked serve God’s purpose of bringing us through this earthly pilgrims’ life to the eternal life in the city of God of which we are now citizens. Perhaps one of the most beautiful of picture-words is that of the eagle’s wings, which when understood is a great source of comfort to our weary souls. Comfort. encouragement, assurance are the words written in the eagle’s wings, they are even the very life of the eagle itself. This is true because the eagle represents God Himself providing the church the strength it needs to bear all of its trials and tribulations. God comforts our hearts, God encourages us, God assures us of the victory which is already won over all evil through our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope to express in simple terms the life of the eagle and the meaning, God’s meaning, of the eagle’s wings.

The eagle belongs to the hawk family, birds of prey. The eagle weighs from eight to fourteen pounds, has a length of from thirty-four to forty-three inches long and has a wing spread of six to eight feet. The eagle can reach tremendous speeds of 150-200 mph in a deep dive. In appearance, the neck of the eagle is strong and short, the head is round and the yellow feet are equipped with sharply curved talons. The fierce looking appearance of the eagle’s eye stands out because of a bony shield over the eyes. The eagle is said to have the keenest vision of any living animal, which can be understood from the fact that God made the eyes so large that the eagle directs its binocular or monocular vision by turning the round feathered head. In flight, the eagle is a graceful flier, soaring, circling, diving, and gliding effortlessly with the wind currents. The eagle is magnificent while soaring over seacoasts, lakes, and large rivers from Alaska to the Mississippi River valley.

The eagle nest if from seven to eight feet across. three to twelve feet deep, and built on the sides of cliffs and in trees anywhere from ten to 150 feet above ground. The nests are made of sticks, mosses, pine needles, grasses, feathers, and other soft materials. The eggs will hatch in 31 to 46 days, and usually one of the young, the stronger, will kill the weaker nest mate. A young eagle, eaglet, will begin flying from 72 to 75 days after hatching, but will be dependent on its parents for another month or more.

It is reported that while an eaglet is learning to fly, the parents may encourage the eaglet to take off and if the eaglet needs help, one of the parents will dive underneath the falling bird, holding it up on her wings. You can imagine for a moment an eagle’s nest perched on the side of a cliff 150 feet above the ground. Inside the nest there are two young eaglets 65 days old. By now their wings are grown and are covered with the characteristic dark brown flying feathers, while the snowy white feathers serve as a background to the dark brown wings, making them more noticeable. The two young eaglets will daily stand on the rim of the nest spreading and flapping their wings as they look out over the long green meadow below. Occasionally they will even jump up above the nest for a few moments. This daily exercise will take place until, with the encouragement and prompting of their parents, they leap out away from the nest and begin their first flight in the air. Undoubtedly, the first flights will be brief and rather shaky, as the young eagles learn to handle the tail and wing feathers which control the bird in flight. Wind currents can create a lot of sudden updrafts and downdrafts. When the parent eagle, which generally hovers above, senses that a young eagle is in danger. she will suddenly and swiftly dive down under the young eagle to help it regain a steady flight, and if needs be, will even carry the young eagle for a brief moment on its wings. A parent eagle will dive between a cliff wall and the young eagle if the youngster is in danger of crashing into the cliff where is could easily break legs, wings, or even its neck. After several days of brief flights, the young eagle will be capable of flying effortlessly on its own and will soon join its parents on soaring flights over great distances.

The Holy Scriptures use the picture of the eagle’s wings several times. I would like you to look at four references found in Exodus 19:4, Deuteronomy 32:11&12, Isaiah 40:31 and Revelation 12:14. In each scripture reference, the young eagle refers to the church of Christ on earth. In Revelation, the church is given the wings of an eagle to escape the devouring hatred of the devil.

God provides all things necessary that His church, His peculiar treasure, may be brought unto Himself as a kingdom of priests. That kingdom is God’s kingdom in which He guides, protects, and assures His people that all things in this life are directed, willed, by Him. In the way of obedience to the voice of God, a voice that we hear in the whole of our being. God speaks to us His assuring word and tells us that we belong to Him as a special people, set apart from the people of the world, a people who live the covenant life of God’s kingdom, over which Jesus Christ is King. He works in our hearts instructing us, molding us, shaping us to do the God given task of being priests in His kingdom, priests who worship and serve Jehovah the only God of heaven and of earth.

Just as the parent eagle will prepare a nest, a place where the eggs may hatch and where the young eaglets learn to fly, so God prepares the creation where His people may be brought forth and led in the way of Jehovah. God instructs us day after day in the fear of the Lord, so that we are to Him as the apple of His eye, precious, covenant children of God who bear His image, who are led by God to see that all things in life serve Jehovah’s purpose, and that purpose is to praise and glorify His Name, for great is the Lord. God is our Rock. His work is perfect in judgement, for He is God, the God of truth and without iniquity: just and right is He. He will lead us in the path of righteousness, in the way of Jehovah, protecting us from the onslaught of the devil, and assuring us of His loving kindness and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Unlike the parent eagle that needs to rest from the weary labor of watching over her young, God never wearies of directing all things according to His will in heaven and on earth for the purpose of serving the church. This is not surprising when we realize that God is everlastingly the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, that fainteth not, nor is He weary. His power is unknowing. That power He gives to us in no way lessens His power. We are the ones who need His spiritual strength to live before Him as His people. As His people we are renewed with the strength that is like the strength of the wings of an eagle, a strength by which we run and never grow weary, for God is our strength, He is with us, He will strengthen us, help us, and uphold us with His right hand of righteousness, Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel.

Jesus Christ is our King and we belong to His kingdom. In that kingdom, the church dwells safe and secure from the hatred of the devil. Just as the wings of an eagle are used for fast, quick flying, so God provides the church the means by which she may flee from the devil. She flees to a place that is in the world but separate from the life of the world. A place where the church lives in the presence of her enemies, with Christ as her only King, the King of all glory, honor and praise!

Let us be swift as the eagle and fight the good fight of faith, trusting in the Lord that He will uphold and lead us day by day, moment by moment, for Great is the Lord!