On Eagles’ Wings

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“I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:4-6

The bald eagle is the official emblem of the United States and is represented on the American coat of arms. Native to the United States, this majestic bird came close to extinction a half century ago but is now flourishing. The majesty and grace of a soaring eagle is awe-inspiring—a powerful symbol of freedom, grace, and strength.

The eagle is also a powerful biblical metaphor. In Exodus 19:4, God speaks to the children of Israel at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Under Moses’ leadership God had rescued them from the tyranny of the Egyptians, helped them cross the Red Sea, and provided manna in the wilderness. God’s deliverance and provision—rooted in love and grace—is summed up: “I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”

With that reminder of his saving acts, God asks for obedience as a response to their deliverance, described in the way of life laid out in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). They describe a way of obedience that is the best possible life. In the New Testament, Jesus summarizes it all this way: Love God and love your neighbor. This is what it means to be God’s “treasured possession” among all peoples, a treasure fit for God the King, a treasured people sent into mission.

“You shall be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” alludes to the mission of God’s people. A priest’s role in the ancient world was to represent God to the people and the people to God. When we love as God loves, we represent the reality of what God is like to those around us. Colleagues, neighbors, friends, or family members get a glimpse of the nature and reality of God when our lives are lived with love-saturated obedience.

This is the pattern for the people of God then and now. Loving God and others is a response to the deliverance and rescue that God provides. It is how we were created to live best. When we do this, we are propelled into mission, living as authentic representatives of God to a global parish!

Tom Keppeler

PONDER: How does my life represent the reality of God to those around me?

* * *

• ON EAGLE’S WINGS • (lyrics)

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, who abide in his shadow for life, say to the Lord: “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”

REFRAIN:
And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you, and famine will bring you no fear: under his wings your refuge, his faithfulness your shield.

(REFRAIN)

For to his angels he’s given a command to guard you in all of your ways; upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

(REFRAIN)

* * *

FAMILY TALK

The eagle is such a majestic bird. Imagine riding on eagles’ wings up toward the arms of God. God deeply desires to be in relationship with us, and he brings us to himself. If this is how deeply he loves us, we should want to respond in obedience and love. Through this response we are set apart as his people. Read Exodus 19:3-6. Moses was about to receive the Ten Commandments from God. Talk about the commandments you know as a family. Why do you think God gave his people the Ten Commandments? How can you obey God today?

 

9 thoughts on “On Eagles’ Wings”

  1. Only Jesus did fulfill the law, that no man could ever do. God sees our hearts that can be full of hard heartedness,unfaithfulness, rebellion and unforgiveness.When we come to know Jesus and love as he loved and do as he did, our hearts will change through his perfect love.

    1. My wife died a year and a half ago after an extended illness that saw her in intense pain for years. I took care of her through it all. God changed me and taught to love in a way that I would never have known. He changed me.
      Now I am going through extreme pain. I am having a harder time walking, I can;t sleep, and I find no comfortable position. I know my God is a loving Father. I look forward to the change that He will bring in me this time.
      God is a good God all of the time. He loves us immensely. I can say this with complete assurance. He has carried me on eagles wings fhrough it all.

      1. In Psalm 91, above, the Psalmist says: “..his faithfulness is your shield…” The Holy God of heaven, the one that is worthy of every blessing… becomes the incarnate God of Creation and suffers every insult… His suffering is great, yet He is faithful to his covenant, His purpose, His plan: that man will “…know that I am LORD…” In Creation, Perfection made room for imperfection, something less than God, and He enables us, in His faithfulness, to ‘know Him…’

        I hear you speak lovingly about your wife and in it I hear “…for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health…forsaking all others…” I hear the faithfulness of your integrity, weeping, sighing…for your wife. It is in your faithfulness that you will know something of God’s greater faithfulness. There is something about faithfulness in marriage that bears the image of God. Do you mean that He cares for me like that? More…Elohim!

        Satan argued with God: Take away Job’s blessings and he will curse you… God proved mans integrity: if man has nothing… or if man has everything… in faithfulness mans integrity can bless God for who He is, not for the stuff of our comfort. He is worthy of every blessing…! (Job 1:21) “..the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

        Brother Mike, God bless you… May you know the fulness of His love… May His Spirit lead you in your faithfulness… May Shaddai, Almighty comfort you and strengthen you… May He be glorified in you…

        Thank you Lydia…

      2. Mike,
        Thank you for sharing your story of love, faithfulness and obedience as you cared for your wife. May God continue to sustain you and carry you each day as you look to Him. I pray those around you continue to see the reality of God’s love and care manifested in and through your life. TOM

  2. I think in obeying God in my walk with Him each day is to remember He is walking with me…that I should place nothing in our way. Keep Him first…when I feel frustrated call on Him, when I feel I just cannot take another step just tell Him, I mean He already knows but it sets me free of all the trappings of my human fraility and lets Him take over like I should allow Him. I am obeying Him to be the very best Abba by leading me to be better in Him than through me…I then am being truthful to His very existence for He is everything to all – to all issues in life – I have to pause in my human-ness to see He is simply waiting on me to let Him show me His steps lead to the better path…oh how I love His way and when I allow this to take place I am in direct obedience to Him and His command — having nothing before Him in all of my life, heart, and spirit — allowing His truth to lead. Then His presence makes my heart rejoice in the fact that I did not allow my emotions to rule and ruin moments of relationships with those He is sharing with me in this life. It is sometimes difficult for me to swallow self emotions but when I obey the Spirit’s urging I am so blessed and so thankful!

  3. What a balsam is this meditation to my life at this moment, when I am felling weak, discouraged! Let’s praise The Lord I am very well now! With Jesus and His Words we can live very better through
    our troubles.

  4. In this morning’s reading I was really struck by the phrase “Loving God and loving others is a response to the deliverance and rescue God provides.” God has saved me from so much and I love Him and those around me as a result. The best way I know how to represent God to those around me is to live each day “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14b). So today… May I… And may you… Be for the praise of God’s glory.

  5. I think of an eagle as a majestic creature watching it sore in the sky. It is definitely strong and probably representing a human as best in any animal or creature. it can be protective of it’s young but also is a predatory animal. Never used to have eagles around till neighbor had a pheasant operation for hunters. See a variety of many birds including turkeys but also seeing more predatory animals like eagles and hawks. We were given the freedoms like the eagle and how we use those freedoms depends on our faith and relationship with Christ!

    The 10 commandments found in Deuteronomy 5:1-21 were a guide for the Israelites in how to live their life in honoring their Creator ‘Abba Father’ and if they were to be blessed through many generations and be led into the promised land. Only 2 individuals made it into the promised land from the original exile group from Israel Joshua and Caleb found in Numbers 14:30 Thus over time once in the promised land they broke all of the Commandments thus leading them to exile.

    We as a Nation are have been blessed with the original foundation of our country being Christian. We are no longer living under God’s Law but through Jesus Christ who died on the Cross so our sins could be forgiven, it is through the Holy Spirit that we can be nurtured and molded through discipline, obedience, and faith in Christ Jesus that we can live a life that is worthy to honor our Creator and by accepting Christ Jesus into our lives can have eternal life through this scripture: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

  6. How beautiful and well explained. I was told when there is bad storm the Eagles glide so peaceful and stay above the stormy wind unlike the other times. It is also interesting to note how it is compared about the renewal of our strength like an eagle. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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