A Devotion for 2 October 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. Pslams 63:5-8
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Exodus 19:4
Wings imply flight, and flight implies a higher means of transport. Wings may also related to protection as a mother hen gathers her chicklets under her wings and will suffer death in defending them. It is the security we have found in our Lord Jesus Christ that is comparable to that protection the chicklets find under their mother’s wings. We rejoice in that security. “Therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.”
On May 18, 1980, there was a violent volcanic eruption on Mt. St. Helens. It was one of the greatest volcanic explosions ever recorded in North America. A total of 57 people and thousands of animals were killed in the event and 200 homes destroyed for fifteen miles from the center. A forestry team ventured into the area following the event to assess extent of the damage. The earth was parched, and vegetation burned around the central summit of the mountain. Walking through the debri of ash and cinders, one of the team members spotted quail that had been burned alive in the heat. It was covered with ash and its feathers were singed. The team member casually brushed the dead creature aside and was surprised to see her little chicks scurry from beneath her wings. The mother protected these darlings of her heart with her last strength and life. That is the price the Lord has paid for our redemption.
The wings of the Lord are mighty wings which bring protection, healing, and safety from the storm. In Exodus 19:4 quoted above, God carried His people out of Egypt as on eagles’ wings. You will observe that the eagle did not carry them out by his talons because those are strong enough to kill whatever creature is carried thereby, and the eagle cannot calculate the strength required in its talons. Unlike any other bird with which I am familiar, the eagle carries her young ON her wings. There are at least two reasons for this: 1) Because it is the least uncomfortable place for the young to be carried; and 2) If the archer aims his arrows at the eagle in flight, the mother eagle’s body will protect her young from death.
The Lord will bring healing to His people by way of His wings – they are swift as an eagle! “25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. 26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.” Job 9:25-26 He has healed our souls and spirits by His redemption. The day cometh when He will heal the earth and vanquish every sinful inclination. “2 ¶ But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 4:2-3 Read carefully – He is not coming next for the reprobate and rebellious sinner, as we once were, but for those who ‘fear my name.’ In His mighty wings are the treasures of healing to all who fear Him. Fear is the beginning of knowledge, and knowledge the understanding of God’s Word and will for our lives.
I shared a story a few years ago from my fifth grade reader entitled, ‘Hatteras Joe.’ It was the story of a great eagle one hundred and fifty years ago whose mate was killed by a farmers shotgun. Eagles mate for life. When Hatteras Joe swooped down to see if his mate as dead, the farmer fired at the eagle and broke its wing. At the pleading of the son, the farmer took the eagle home, put a splint on its wing and chained it by the talons to a stump in the back yard. When the eagle recovered, the farmer allowed it to fly about the area, but it always returned to roost on the old stump at night. A great storm brewed on the Atlantic and the residents of the coastal regions moved to higher ground. There was heavy winds and flood damage from the storm. On his return, the famer looked for the eagle. He knew the eagle had the ability to fly above the storm and thought it would be safe; however, when he looked in his backyard, he found the drowned eagle with its talons gripping the stump. The eagle had come to believe that there was security in that stump, but he was wrong. He placed his trust in the arm of flesh and not in his God-given strength to soar above the storm.
The wings of an eagle are very similar in nature to those of the Almighty. First of all, an bald eagle can fly higher than any other bird (up to 15,000 ft). They are master aviators. They are able to do so because they have learned to ride the wind currents even without flapping their gigantic wings. We could learn a lot from the eagle if we would ride on the lifting currents of the Holy Spirit instead of trying to flap our wings until exhausted.
Eagles do not know divorce. They mate for life. In this characteristic, how finer they are than their human counterparts.
Christ has made His elect to be ‘fishers of men.’ In this role, the eagle excels. Soaring high above the cold rivers, he can spot a fish from hundred or even a thousand feet. He dives at terrific speed and grabs the fish from the waters. If we pay close heed to the Word of God, we, too, will keen our eyes to discover those who need to know of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving Gospel. We will not procrastinate in going to wherever the Lord sends us to do our fishing.
Eagles are loners. They do not flock together, but fly either alone, or in pairs with their mate. The Christian will often find himself alone in the world of unbelief. He has been commanded to “come out from among” those who preach lies and reject the Word of God.
The eagle makes his abode on the heights of the wilderness – the tallest peak, rock or tree available.
The eagle is equipped to look directly at the sun without being blinded. This is so because of a gossamer membrane that can come down to cover the eyes when it looks at the sun. The archer is blinded when trying to see the eagle ascend toward the sun. “5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:5
It is the wings of the eagle that make it the formidable sovereign of the skies. The eagle is the symbol of the born-again Christian. “31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Most great eagles go through a period in their lives called the moping time. They seem to lose interest in living and actually cease to fly. Their feathers grow oily, and their beaks corroded with calcium. They eat whatever of insects and rodents they can find. They have forgotten that they are eagles. Many who are called Christian fall into the same mallaise. But one day, the eagle wakes up and becomes disgusted with himself. He begins climbing back up to higher ground. He pulls all of his feathers out and pounds his beak against a rock until all the excess calcium is removed. He grows new and glorious feathers and once again takes to his rightful flight above all other creatures. That can also happen to the discouraged and despondent Christian. If he one day awakens to his fall from grace, he can again change his nature, his appearance, and his lifestyle and soar upon the winds of the Holy Spirit.
There are scores of similarities possessed by the eagle in Holy Scripture that would far exceed the scope of a single devotion; but the Bible is in your possession to conduct further research to explore what spiritual insights you could learn from the eagle and its mighty wings. Those wings are strong and efficient, but those of God far exceed anything we know on earth.
REMEMBER: “9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.” Psalms 18:9-10 A good hymn to recall at this time is this great classic of biblical truth and beauty – “O WORSHIP THE KING” especially the 2nd stanza:
2 O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm. AMEN