A Sermon Manuscript by Robert L. Cobb
Editor, NewsForChristians Dot Com
"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." Deut. 32:11-1
Motherhood has always been sacred in American society. It has been a symbol of all that is good and right in our culture. When I was growing up, you could joke with your friends about many things. But 'mother" was off limits. Women's liberation and the Equal Rights Amendment have dulled the luster of motherhood for many modern day women, but motherhood remains the chief blessing that God grants to women.
In our present passage we find a strange occurrence. God compares Himself to a mother eagle. Our God is an incomparable God. It is difficult for man to understand His greatness and His wonder. God declares Himself in scripture by comparing His previously unknown attributes with other attributes that are known to mankind. He uses many pictures and types in scripture to help us understand His personage.
This verse is found in a
passage known as the Song of Moses. In this song, Moses recaps for
the children of Israel their short history and magnifies God's perfections
and holiness. An outline of the passage might be:
In these verses we also see how God sought them (v. 7-8); He saved them (v. 9); He schooled them (v. 10 ...he instructed him...); He shielded them (v. 10 ...he kept him as the apple of his eye... ); He stablished them (v. 11 ); and He separated them (v. 12 ). Let us narrow our focus to verse 11. In this great song of Moses, why does God compares Himself to a mother eagle? Ibelieve that we can learn some great truths by studying this comparison: truths about God and His people, and truths about mothers.
Mother Eagle Speaks of the Nature of Our God
1. The Mother Eagle's Sight (God's Omniscience) It is said that eagles have such extraordinary sight that they can see an object as small as a rabbit from hundreds of feet in the air! In its sight, he eagle typifies God's omniscience. He sees and knows all. Isaiah 40:28 says "...there is no searching of God's understanding..."
2. The Mother Eagle's Swiftness (God's Omnipresence) The eagle can fly at speeds over 100 miles per hour, and can reach 180 MPH in an extended dive. God does not need to travel at high speeds because he is everywhere present. Never in the Hebrews' wandering in the desert did they escape God's watchful eye. Jonah the prophet tried to escape Him, but ended up at the bottom of the sea, still in view of his God!
3. The Mother Eagle's Strength (God's Omnipotence) The adult eagle weighs around 25 pounds but can pick up and carry animals that weigh between 50-75 pounds. Eagle handlers must wear protective gear to keep the birds from crushing their arms. The eagle's strength reminds us of God's omnipotence. Job said, "I know that thou canst doest anything." Psalm 139:8 "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there."
4. The Mother Eagle's Soaring (God's Holiness) Eagles can fly higher than any other birds. They have been accidentally hit by jets in flight. This shows us God's holiness, which is far above all. No one can approach God's holiness. Psalm 30:4 "Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness."
5. The Mother Eagle's Sons (God's Children) Mother eagles are very protective and supportive of their young. Many animals ignore their young and some even devour them. But eagles train and teach the little eaglets. Likewise, God does not leave His children to themselves. Think of the children of Israel in the wilderness. God fed them, gave them water, kept them warm at night and shaded in the day.
II. The Mother
Eagle Speaks of the Nurturing of Our God
1. God Has a Concern for Our Welfare. We see throughout scripture how God deals in special ways with His children. It is hard for us to understand that a holy and righteous God loves us, desires fellowship with us, and is grieved when we break fellowship with Him. Like both the human mother and the mother eagle, God has a motherly concern for his children.
Is. 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather
the lambs with his
Heb 13:5 ...be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said,
I will never
He wants to meet our spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Think of how He met the needs of Israel in the wilderness wandering. He does not change and is no respecter of persons; He will meet our needs as well.
2. God Has a Call for Our Lives. The baby eaglets in the nest do not know it yet, but they are eagles! They are different! Eagles have different kinds of lives than other birds, there's no other birds like them. Likewise, we are God's kings and priests on this earth. We may not know it when we get saved, but we are different!
2 Tim. 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our
1 Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in
We have a call from God to worship, witness, work and withstand.
3. God Has Convictions
for Our Acceptance. The mother eagle has a job before her. It is
her duty to teach her eaglets to fly. Unlike some other birds, eaglets
don't just jump from the nest and begin flying. The mother bears
them up on her wings, takes them high into the air, and drops them, swooping
underneath them to save them from crashing to the ground. She does
this again and again, until the young eagles learn to fly.
It is unacceptable for the young eagles to never learn to fly.
Likewise, God has
III. The Mother
Eagle Speaks of the Necessity of God's Dealings
God does not save us to put us in a vacuum and store us until we get to heaven. Our lives are learning experiences and sometimes we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. It may look to the world that our God has forsaken us or left us to our own devices. But He is merely stirring up the nest, training us and preparing us to be more like Him.
1. A Stirring Pressure The word in our text is "stirreth." It means "to rouse, to incite or awaken." God stirs His people in many ways. Sometimes we are called on to endure sickness or suffering, other times we must wade through difficult storms in our lives. Job never totally understood why he was called on to suffer, but we know today that God used his life as a testimony to others.
Job 10:15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet
will I not lift up my
Job 23:16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
2. A Strengthening Presence Another word in out text worth examining is "fluttereth." It means "to hover over, to brood as a hen broods over it's eggs." It is the same word translated "moved" in Genesis 1:2, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The mother eagle is always near the young eagles in their training period. It may seem to them that she has abandoned them, but she is always watchful. Likewise, God is our Protector, our Comforter, our Companion, our Guide. He is our strengthening Presence.
Psalm 71:20-21 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles,
Psalm 138:3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst
3. A Sustaining Power The Christian must not live merely within his own means. God bears him up on His wings, sustaining us and enabling us. We are nothing without Him! The eagles have no natural enemies. but the young eagles are vulnerable in many ways. Predators that would never be able to harm the adult eagle, could prey on the young ones. But the mother eagle protects her young from those potential predators. God has no enemies that can stand against Him, but His children are vulnerable to the world, the flesh, and the Devil. But we do not stand alone against them! God, our Mother Eagle stands ready to protect us from the predators that would destroy our testimony.
I'm glad I don't have to depend on my own efforts and my own skill to keep me on the right path. He sustains me! If I one day walk away from God and His people, it will not be because He did not help and sustain me. It will be because of my own sinful heart. No Christian has ever lacked the protection of God! No Christian can say, "God forsook me. He left me in my hour of need."
Ps 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never
Conclusion: God reveals
Himself throughout His Word. Sometimes He shows Himself powerful
and mighty. Other times He is a still small voice. But one
of the most beautiful and revealing pictures of our Lord is that of the
Mother Eagle. If we could only live moment by moment in the assurance
that God is our Protector and Sustainer, our Power and Strength.
Like the mother eagle, God teaches us of His ways. Like the
mother eagle, God protects us from all enemies. Like the mother
eagle, God nurtures and loves us. May we be always mindful of that
love and nurturing.
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