Over the last few weeks, in the cool of the evening, my husband has been reading me a book called, God’s Smuggler. It is a very inspiring book about a man who has spent most of his life sharing Christ in countries that are hostile to the gospel. On a superficial level, this activity has been preparing us for November 13th which is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church this year, but I have been truly contemplating the lifestyle of saints who sacrifice everything for Christ.
I have a confession…sometimes, I am afraid to say intentional things in my day-to-day life that will point others to God. Why do I feel this way? I know and have seen that God wants a relationship with ALL people. From the beginning of time, it has been His design and purpose to bring all people unto Him. If we really believe God is the best thing to happen to us, why don’t we want others to have Him? Do we really hate others that much…or are we selfish or self-centered beyond belief… Could there be another reason why we don’t want to speak His name or tell His story? For me, it is FEAR. Just like Moses in Exodus 3:11. I can allow fear to chain me into silence and keep me from God’s mission and purpose… Like Moses I have: Fear of failure; Fear of humiliation; Fear of rejection. There is a very simple way around our fear, my fear…It truly is simple. If I truly focus my gaze on my neighbors’ need, need for a Savior, NOT on the fear inside of me, it is easy. It’s not supposed to be about us…we are buried and resurrected anew. It is all about them!
There are many wonderful stories in the bible and in these stories God sometimes uses unusual examples to demonstrate His love. There are several instances in which God makes use of the image of an eagle as an example of His care, concern and protection of His people. One such example is Exodus 19:4 states, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”
The Israelite s are reminded of what God has done for them. God has avenged them: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, how many lives were sacrificed for Israel’s honor and interests”. He had given them unparalleled instances of His favor and His care.
“I bore you on eagles’ wings, a high expression of the wonderful tenderness” (Henry). One of America’s greatest ornithologists, on the authority of Dr. L. Miller recorded the following story, “The mother [eagle] started from the nest in the crags and, roughly handling the youngster, she allowed her [eaglet] to drop, I should say, about ninety feet; then she would swoop down under him, wings spread, and he would alight on her back. She would soar to the top of the range with him and repeat the process. Once perhaps she waited fifteen minutes between flights. I should say the farthest she let him fall was a hundred and fifty feet. My father and I watched him, spellbound, for over an hour.” (A. C. Bent, Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution CLXVII , 302. It is reported that 40% of eaglets die during their first flight (Zoo Torah).
“This scripture denotes speed. God hastened to them, as it were, upon the wing. He did it also with great ease, with the strength as well as with the swiftness of an eagle: “…those that faint not, nor are weary, are said to mount up with wings as eagles, Isaiah 40:31” (Henry)
“This scripture denotes strength. The eagle excels over other birds both in its strength and in the size of its body; and especially its pectoral muscles, by which its wings are supported; are very strong and can fly for great distances (Gill)”.
This scripture denotes the character of God. The eagle is a high flying bird. No other bird soars so high. The eagle steers its course directly upwards, towards heaven.
Eagles make their nest on the ledge of the mountain… a stronghold. God is our stronghold, Job 39:27-28
“Doth the eagle mount up – The eagle is said to be of so acute a sight, that when she is so high in the air that men cannot see her. An eagle’s eye is probably the sharpest of any animals, with four to eight times the resolving power of a person’s eye. It can spot a rabbit nearly a mile away, from an altitude of 1,000 feet as well as discern a small fish in the water! Job 39:29” (Gill)
An eagle is very affectionate to its young, and watchful of them. Eagles mate for life and when the eaglets hatch, the mother eagle rarely leaves them. The father eagle brings food. When eagles are in the aerie with the eaglets, they will ball up their talons and walk with clenched ‘claws’ so as to protect their babies from accidental harm.
In Deuteronomy 32: 11 “As an eagle stirs up her nest…” “Flutters over her brood to excite them to fly; or, as some think, disturbs her nest to oblige the young ones to leave it; so God by his plagues in Egypt obliged the Israelite s, otherwise very reluctant, to leave a place which he appeared by his judgments to have devoted to destruction. Sometimes God stirs up our nest so we will go out and serve radically, but we must be radically yielded to accept the call and radically devoted to be obedient.
Flutters over her young – ירחף yeracheph, hovers, flutters broods over them, communicating to them a portion of her own vital warmth: so did God, by the influences of his Spirit, enlighten, encourage, and strengthen their minds. It is the same word which is used in Genesis 1:2. (Clarke).
In this one pearl of scripture, we see the glory of Israel’s deliverance, as it is of ours by Christ. Christ died for the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. This God aims at in all the gracious methods of his providence and grace, to bring us back to himself, from whom we have revolted, and to bring us home to himself, in whom alone we can be happy.
God appeals to the Israelite s through our own observation and experience, for the truth of what God is telling them is: You have seen what I did; Seeing is believing. They also saw that these works were done by God alone. It was not they had reached towards God, but it was God that brought them to Himself.
I want you take a moment and just think about your life… think about your entire life. Think about when you were little, growing up, and then how you came to be here.
Do you see how God has been working and wooing you to Himself? Can you think of specific things that pointed you to Him? Times when He lovingly feed you and stayed with you not leaving your side? Did you ever feel that God carried you on His back? Or maybe other times when He stirred up the nest trying to get you to fly? Has God been a strong tower or a shelter like an aerie on the ledge of a mountain?
Now that you have looked over your lives and seen God’s hand of providence, Can you see yourself taking part in making memories for someone else? Servant Leaders, are people of influence, pointing people to God. God is already working in the lives of people in amazing and mysterious ways. Our job is simple, we say, Yes, God. Yes, God is fluttering over you, ready to bear you up on the wings of an eagle, soaring upwards, towards heaven.