On Eagle’s Wings
Do you need a priest to bring you to God?
The Bible answers yes. But perhaps not the priest you were thinking of.
Back in Exodus 3 Moses is at the burning bush and the One in the bush promises to save the people:
“Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)
The One in the bush will be with them. He will save them and bring them to God.
Well, who is this Saviour in the bush?
He is introduced as “The Angel of the LORD” (the One Sent from the LORD), v2. And He calls Himself the great I AM.
Here is the Priest we all need. He is the Divine Sent One acting as Go-between – bringing heaven to earth and earth to heaven.
And if you read from Exodus 3 to Exodus 19 you’ll see this One from the bush referred to as “God” and “the LORD” and “the Angel of the LORD.” Sometimes He’s called “the Glory of the LORD”, later He’ll be called “the Presence (or Face) of the LORD.” He’s the One travelling in the fiery, cloudy pillar.
He’s the One who at the Red Sea stands between the Egyptian army and the escaping Israelites – like Gandalf saying to the Egyptians “You shall not pass!” (Exodus 14:19-20) He is God’s Divine Priest, leading the people to the Unseen LORD. He is Jesus Christ before His birth into the human race – the eternal Son of God. And He is the One speaking our phrase for today.
That’s the Who of this phrase “bare you on eagles’ wings”. Christ is the One carrying His people. And now that He has brought them out to Mount Sinai, as promised, He tells them How He has done it:
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)
Here’s the How of His deliverance: He has carried them “on eagle’s wings.”
That speaks of three things in particular.
1) It speaks of speed. Nations that quickly over-run their enemies are swift as eagles (e.g. Daniel 7:4). Those borne on eagles’ wings are brought at once to the Father. If we are Christ’s, then He does not delay in sweeping us up into the life of God. No-one who is Christ’s should imagine that their case is lost in paper-work somewhere in heaven’s bureaucracy. Straight away we have been brought to the Father.
2) It speaks of a renewing vigour (e.g. Psalm 103:5; Isaiah 40:30-31). Those borne on eagles’ wings become strong again. Christ doesn’t merely deliver us into the Father’s arms as the care-worn men and women we were. As He gives us His new birth we have our youth and vitality renewed.
3) It speaks of motherly care. As Moses would sing later in Deuteronomy:
He found [Israel] in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. 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, (Deuteronomy 32:10-12)
Christ does not merely deliver His people – He dotes on them.
This is the kind of Priest we need. Praise God, this is the Priest we have. And His name is Jesus.