Have you ever noticed that the Bible has several Scriptures that talk about Eagles? I'm sure we're all familiar with these well recited verses. but this got me thinking..."maybe I should learn more about Eagles."
Deut. 32:11-12 "As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over it's young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him."
Isaiah 40:31 "but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint".
Psalm 103:1-5 "bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Exodus 19:4-5 "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles wings, brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine."
Did you know that during the incubation stage, both the male and female eagle take turns sitting on the egg while the other goes to hunt food. This ensures that one of the eagles is sitting on the egg at all times, both keeping it warm as well as protecting it from prey.
Psalm 121:3-4 "He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Eagles go through a process called "Fledging" which is when their feathers are mature enough to learn to fly. Up until this time, the parents have been hunting and feeding the eaglets. The eaglets are not in a hurry to get out of the nest & learn to fly. The parent eagle will begin to bring the food close to the nest with the prey hanging from their beak so the eaglet can see it. The eaglets will open their mouth thinking they are going to be fed, when at the last minute, the Eagle will pull up, teasing the eaglet. This is done to create in the eaglet a desire to fly after the food. Sometimes the eaglet will go hungry several days before attempting to get out of the nest & go after the food. Eventually the eaglet will begin trying it's wings and the parent eagle will assist in feeding the eaglet as it's learning to fly.
When we're babies in Christ, it's okay to be fed milk.
1 Peter 2:2 - "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation."
After walking with the Lord awhile, we should be growing up & maturing. Sometimes we won't get out of the nest (our comfort zone) unless God gives us a push.
Eph. 4:13-15 - "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ".
As the Eagle matures, and after weathering the elements, over time the Eagles feathers can have a build up of protein called "keratin" which makes the feathers hard. When this occurs, the Eagle must go through another process called Molting where the hardened feather falls out and a new feather is grown in its place. Molts produce feathers that match the age, sex, and sometimes season of the Eagle. Interestingly, the eagle does not molt all it's feathers at once, because that would mean it could no longer fly. Instead, it molts a little at a time, beginning with the head & working it's way down. It also molts symmetrically, meaning if it sheds a feather on a left wing, it will shed the same feather on the right wing, always keeping the Eagle in balance.
When the Bible talks about our youth being renewed like an Eagle, surely it's talking about this molting process.
- We need to be renewed when life's build-up attempts to make us hard.
- We can't go through the renewing process all at once either, or it would kill us.
- God gently deals with us a little at a time, usually starting with the head, which is the renewing of the mind, and works His way downward.
- We must be renewed symmetrically so we stay balanced. Balance is so important so we don't get off on a tangent in one direction or the other, but always keeping the simplicity of the Gospel as our foundation.
And lastly, eagles have eyelids that close during sleep. For blinking, they also have an inner eyelid called a nictitating membrane. Every three or four seconds, the nictitating membrane slides across the eye from front to back, wiping dirt and dust from the cornea. Because the membrane is translucent, the eagle can see even while it is over the eye. I was told, but I'm not sure if it's true, that because of this special eyelid, an eagle can fly straight up toward the sun, where other birds can't.
As Christians, wouldn't it be nice to constantly be renewing our eyesight and freeing our vision from the dirt in this world. Also, keeping our eyes on the "Son" is what sets us apart as God's children.
So as you can see, we have a lot to learn from eagles and how God views His people.