WHERE EAGLES DARE – a devotion for 6 October 2016 Anno Domini
“Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. They are passed
away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.” Job 9:25-26 (KJV)
If the mortals have a King of the Sky, it is not a legendary airplane pilot of old time radio, but the great Eagle. He rules the skies above for his speed, endurance, vision, and great strength. In that sense, the Eagle is a type of the King of Heaven and King of Kings. Nothing that comes into the talons of the Eagle will likely escape. In fact, the Eagle does not even sense the strength of its own talons; therefore it carries its young on its back to prevent the talons from harming the young. If the archer shoots at the Eagle, the mother Eagle will die before the baby since the arrow must pass through her own body first before it can pierce the baby. Well Christ died for us first that He might become the only Begotten of the Father and the first begotten of Mankind to rise again. God, in Christ, has borne us on eagles’ wings to show His sacrificial love for His Elect: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation….” Ex 19:4-6 (KJV)
I have written many times of the Eagle. It is a Regal and Majestic bird. The United States has the distinction of having the Bald Eagle as its national symbol. The reason for its adoption as the national symbol of the United States is based on the principle that the American people, at our founding, were industrious, self-dependent, and free – just like the Eagle. The Eagle kills his own prey and will eat nothing that has been killed by another. Somewhere along the way, America has lost that image and our present temperament resembles more that of the oyster than the Eagle. The oyster neither works nor contributes to the society around it. It simply lies on the ocean floor, opens its shell and feeds on whatever scum and carrion falls into its shell. It is a totally socialistic creature politically. I pray for the return of the day when the Eagle will again be a fitting tribute to the disposition of the American people. God, in His Bible, has many times compared the faithful believer to the Eagle.
Like the Eagle, the believer has only one destination in mind – Heaven. Likewise, the Eagle desires the Heavens, any day, to a land-locked existence! “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Prov 23:5 (KJV) Of course, we shall all fly away to Heaven if we are found in Christ, and all earthly treasures will be left in the wake of that flight. By the way, an Eagle has been peculiarly equipped by his Maker to fly directly into the sun. When the archer takes aim, the Eagle flies to the brightest Light in Heaven – the Sun – for he has a membrane which can be commanded to cover his eye just like natural sunglasses. The archer is blinded by the sun and cannot take aim. This is like the believer in Christ who turns his course to the Day Star during threatening times. The Devil cannot go there – that old Serpent cannot look into the bright Light of the Love of Christ, and his aim therefore runs afoul.
Like the Christian, the Eagle can fly higher than its avian cousins. The Eagle can fly above the storms, and seek security in the highest mountain rocks and crags. During persecution or oppression, the Christian seeks solace in the high places and rocky crevices of persevering prayer. “27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? 28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. 29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.” Job 39:27-29 (KJV) Herein are two strong points of the Eagle: 1) She does not nest in dark and lowly alleys of life, but builds her nest on the High Rock which, for the Christian, is Christ! Her entire life is spent in high places and not the scum-beds of society. 2) Like the scholarly and dedicated Christian, the Eagle has great vision to see her prey, or danger, at great distance. There is an old adage that says: “To be forewarned is to be fore-armed.” God’s Word is full of wise Counsel to warn us of those things coming upon the earth so that we should not be overwhelmed when they appear. The false notion of a pre-tribulation rapture serves as a narcotic anesthetic to dull the senses to reality and to disarm the believer when severe persecution does, and surely will, arise.
Though the Eagle rises to great heights, and abides on the heights of the mountains, it is raised there by the cajoling updrafts of the Holy Spirit! Should we lift ourselves up on the wings of pride, our fall shall be EPIC! (Jack+) “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.” Obadiah 1:4 (KJV) The heights of heaven is the rightful place of the eagle and the Christian – but the unrighteous who lift themselves in prideful false churches shall be brought low!
The Eagle is self-sacrificing, for her own, just as Christ has suffered for His own. “Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.” Job 39:30 (KJV) If the Eagle cannot find provender for her young, she will pierce her own flesh for the young to suck her own blood. How like Christ is this nature of the Eagle. When storms arise, the mother and father Eagle stand on either side of the nest and join wings to protect the young from the elements. “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” Psalms 63:7-8 (KJV) I have read in nature magazines that the Eagle, when sick unto death, spreads her wings on the high rock of the mountain facing the sun and passes into glory beholding the sun. What an example, if so, for the Christian – to pass from mortality into immortality beholding the Sun of Righteousness. We see our shameful selves in His Word contrasted with that glorious appearing of the Word Incarnate. What an unmitigated privilege, my friends and family!
There is a beautiful illustration of the Christian life found in Isaiah: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 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.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (KJV) Did you catch the enormity of these verses, Reader? The strength and vigor of the righteous is increased even as the years may be increased. And, Reader, what does it mean for the Christian, as the Eagle, to increase his strength? This matter will need the explanation of the naturalist, or close observer of nature, to understand.
The Eagle is a long-lived bird. It may live for 20 years and grow weary of living. It then descends into a period called the “moping” period. It is depressed, despondent, and ceases to fly. It may descend the mountain slopes into the valley below and begin to subsist on rats, insects, or even roots of plants. Because it ceases to fly, its wings become incapable of flight (like the Christian who fails to practice his faith and talents.) A wax-like residue builds up on the feathers and they are now useless to the great bird. Younger eagles often bring food to the old eagle in moping, screeching and crying for them to fly. But the moping eagle pays no mind until, one day, he becomes disgusted at the depths of despair to which he has sunk. He begins to climb back up the mountain slope. When he reaches the Rock of his nesting, he begins to beat his beak against that rock to break away the calcium deposits that have rendered his beak good for nothing but eating the lowliest of life. He then pulls every wax-ridden feather from his body and is naked of all. “Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.” Micah 1:16 (KJV)
The old Eagle now begins to grow beautiful new feathers and appears once more as a young Eagle. He then flies off to double the age of his earthly existence. Until the Christian realizes he is naked in his sins before God, he cannot renew his strength. But God has given us a means to accomplish this event by faith and knowledge in His Word.
One last characteristic of the Eagle: They mate for life. There has never been a recorded mating of two male, or female, Eagles. They have forever followed the commandment of God in His creating one male and one female for each.
We can learn a lot from the Bible perspective of the Eagle. Is it possible that there exist in the animal kingdom a state of righteousness that excels our own. Yes, but only if we neglect to observe the Counsel of nature and of Nature’s God.
If you can find a copy, there is a wonderful story of the Eagle in Appleton’s 5th Grade Reader (1937) entitled, “Hatteras Joe.” If you cannot find, let me know and I will send you a copy. In the meantime, may the Holy Spirit provide all of the wind and lift for your Eagle-Flight!
“Prenez en Gré“
In Christ Alone
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”