Sunday, January 23, 2011

As The Eagle Stirs Up Her Nest, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Reading: Deuteronomy 32:1-12 

"As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its 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." Deuteronomy 32:11-12

Bald Eagle Nest
Photo by Lorne Sykora (License)
The allusion made to the Eagle here is based on the belief that a hen-eagle makes a beautiful nest on a high mountain or tree to lay her eggs and incubate them till they hatch. She jealously watches over them but this has a saddening effect on the baby eagles. They feel very complacent and satisfied as their mother hunts for them. When they have grown a little the mother-eagle deliberately scatters the nest and the young eagles. The natural consequence is that the young eagles will begin to fall to the ground but the mother-eagle does not let them. Let us look more closely at verse 11 to see all that the mother-eagle does. “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young; spreading out her wings, taking them up, carrying them on her wings”


Let us in the few minutes we have today see how these apply to us as Christians. As the young eaglets we feel satisfied in the protection of God and therefore we overlook the realities of life. We have all our needs supplied according to His riches in Christ. We are protected in the everlasting arms of God. The Bible tells us so much of divine protection and support. Let us look at a few of these verses: Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 18:25; 91:32; Isaiah 41:10; 46:4 and Exodus 19:4.

The result is that as Christians we look at life as all roses and no thorns. We get so complacent that when anything to the contrary happens we get surprised and begin to complain and question God’s rationale and wisdom in allowing His dear son/daughter to dare pass through a difficult time. Has God not promised “No weapon fashioned against you shall prosper”? Has God not said, “When you pass through the fires or waters they shall not burn you or over power you and that this is the heritage of God’s children”? Did God not say, “And they shall cast out devils, they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing; it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover”? Has God not said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church”?Why then has brother so-so and so been sick for these many days and we have prayed, yet he is not healed? Why has sister so-so and so even passed away? Why are brothers and sisters xyz suffering? We even learnt that sister May was poisoned. Why has God allowed it? Perhaps it is as God said in Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, My hand is not shortened, that He cannot save, neither His ear heavy that He cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear”. Or even perhaps as in Isaiah 55:6-7: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near, let the wicked forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

When we begin to reason this way, the natural tendency is to begin to look at individuals as the problem of the Church and at times, at the collective responsibility of the Church and its leaders. We arrange for Retreats, Fasting and Praying sessions, Revival meetings. These are worthwhile programs but they may be on wrong motives and for wrong reasons. It is not always that we are troubled on all sides because we have sinned all rounds. We have not offended God, just as you would agree, the young eaglets have not offended the mother eagle before she scattered the nest and put them in difficulty. Rather the theology of the mother eagle’s action and God’s action amongst His people is that He wants to teach us to fly above our present resting nests and show us how weak we are so that we shall learn where our strength is.


Sometimes what God takes as our class lesson, teaching us to fly, we take as temptations and visitations.


 God will no curse the man He has from eternity planned to save. God like the Good Father will not cause His child any unnecessary sorrow. God like a Good Teacher does not leave out the period of testing and examination from the curriculum of His pupils. So my dear brother and my dear sister take heart – “After He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” We are being prepared for a home where nothing but the best is good enough. God is daily transforming me into the image of His Son and this has to be in the way of suffering for this is the way through which Christ Himself went and after He had done all things, He sat down at the right hand of God – and God commanded all the Angels to worship Him. “Yea and all who would live righteously in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.” Suffering is not alien to the Christian life.


The Gardener is closest to the tree when he is pruning it.


A second reason why God sometimes allows all these troubles to come our way is that He wants to show you how much He loves you. Jesus Christ Himself says “the tree that bears fruit My Father prunes so that it would bear more fruit.” You would have thought that the pruning knife should fall on the unproductive tree, but it is not so; it falls on the already productive one. The Bible also says: “Like a father chastises the son whom he loves, so does God chastise His sons. If He does not chastise us, we are bastards.” What a seeming contradiction of thoughts but it is true; those whom we love, we chastise that they may be better.


God disturbs our nest so that He may bear us on His wings.


A third reason for disturbing our peace is that He may bear us on His wings. Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11. Sometimes we tend to grow to the stage when we say: “I can do all things” and stop there, or if we want to be a little more theological we add; “because I am a Christian” Both statements are wrong. They are partial truths and half truths are lies. We cannot do anything apart from Christ. Christ Himself said it: “Without Me you can do nothing” In the secure and safe nest with all needs supplied, we forget that our total dependence is on God and not in our nests or secure environment. There was this story of a man who was climbing a tree. He lost his balance and was falling. He shouted “O God, please save me!” Before he finished the prayer, he fell on a tree branch which prevented his continuing to fall to the ground. He then looked up and said, “O God, do not bother, this tree branch has already saved me” What he did not know is that it was God who placed the tree branch in that position. Yes, we tend to think that way. God disturbs our nest so that we can really know where our security is and find rest in Him only.



In Amos 3:2-3 God says to Israel: “I have known you and you only of all the nations of the world, so I will punish you.” Again what a seeming contradiction? Yet it is true. God loves you so much that He has allowed you to suffer. “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” yet that Son hung on the tree and cried out to the Father.

That is God’s love.

He has not abandoned you yet, suffering Christian! He is refining you and making you each new day into the image of His dear Son. But He will stop any moment you insist that He should - but that would make you a half-baked cake which is no good to any eater. Do you want Him to stop now or would you rather ask Him to continue and finish the good work He has started in you; but pray for grace to go through?

In your life, in my life the decision is yours or mine but as a church and as a group, the decision is Christ’s who is the Head of the Church. His decision is “yea, all that would live righteously in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.” The Bride of Christ would be presented to the Bridegroom without spot and without wrinkle. The only effective method of sterilization and cleansing is by fire- the fire of persecution and suffering. So let the fire of cleansing burn on and burn off the chaff and drought and leave the gold pure.

My prayer for all is that the Lord will help us to understand what we are passing through now and enable us to adopt the right attitude

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