On Eagle’s Wings

Dr. Loye Miller (1918) published the following account, as given to him by one of his students:

Last summer while my father and I were extracting honey at the apiary about a mile southeast of Thacher School, Ojai, California, we noticed a golden eagle teaching its young one to fly. It was about ten o’clock. The mother started from the nest in the crags, and roughly handling the young one, she allowed him to drop, I should say, about ninety feet, then she would swoop down under him, wings spread, and he would alight on her back. She would soar to the top of the range with him and repeat the process. One time she waited perhaps fifteen minutes between flights. I should say the farthest she let him fall was 150 feet.

My father and I watched this, spellbound, for over an hour. I do not know whether the young one gained confidence by this method or not. A few days later father and I rode to the cliff and out on Overhanging Rock. The eagle’s nest was empty. (Miss F.E. Shuman)

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 says this:

As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings,
12 So the Lord alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him.

In Exodus 19:4 God says this:

‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.’

Some other good commentary on the subject can be found here.

Changing God’s mind

From Acts 27 it is clear that you should always listen to someone who is in communion with God. But even if you don’t God can still be merciful if that godly man (or woman) intercedes on your behalf.

http://thebiblerevival.com/ This passage is one of the few in Scripture which shows an example of a man apparently changing God’s mind on something. In Acts 27:10 Paul predicts that their lives will be lost along with the cargo and ship whereas in v.22 he predicts that there will be no loss of life, which is how it turned out. In between v. 10 and v. 22 Paul had been praying and God had heard and answered his prayers and effectively had changed His mind.

The most famous example of this is when Moses interceded on behalf of the people of Israel in Exodus 32: 9-14. What both examples (and others) show is that we are not dealing with some immovable stone image or machine that churns out decisions from on high that cannot be changed. This is the opposite of determinism and causes no end of theological conundrums for anyone approaching God without knowing Him. We reach the limits of rational thought in this kind of thing.

Recently I was sharing with an engineer at work, a clever guy. He started the conversation by asking how I could logically think that the bible could be right about God. After some useful debate (which I must put in another blog) I ended up by saying that God reaches everyone not just the logical. And He does it by summing everything up in two promises: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and your neighbour as yourself.

Thankfully we are not limited to being rational when dealing with God. Let’s be rational, but more than that, let’s be in love.

Abraham and Isaac

The post below is an attempt to imagine what both Abraham and Isaac were thinking as they went through the ordeal described in Genesis 22.  I also bring out the similarities between the story and that of the death of Jesus Christ at the hands of His Father. It was a very long trudge up […]

Disciples, Saints and Overcomers

Disciples is the term used in the four gospels and Acts, Saints is the term used in the letters and Overcomers is the term used in Revelation (chapters 2 & 3).  And I believe they all refer to the same thing – they mean Christians who are loving the Lord their God with all their hearts and all their minds and all their souls and all their strength and their neighbours as themselves (Matthew 22:37-40).

Disciples take up their cross daily and lose their lives so they may save them (Luke 14:26-27).  Saints live holy lives dedicated to their God and the fellowship of other saints.  Overcomers keep on coming over and over again to the Lord no matter what.  They all by faith and patient endurance take hold of the promises God has in store for those who love Him (Hebrews 6:11-12).

And the New Testament is written for them not for anyone else really.

Unless you are born again you cannot be a disciple and you cannot see the things they see (John 3:3 & 5). However being born again is not enough, you must also walk daily with Jesus if you want to gain the promises made to overcomers (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21) .

Three ways of looking at anything

Paul went into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2) and there are a number of other indicators in the Scriptures that there are three heavens as of now.

  1. The first one is the one we can see, the universe outside this earth that extends to 15 billion light years or so it seems. We don’t know too much about it but at least we can see some of it with our eyes and various forms of telescopes.
  2. The second one is mentioned in a few places such as Ephesians 6:12 and is the place where the devil reigns.
  3. The third one is described in Revelation. Moses made a copy of it in the Tabernacle (Hebrews 11:23,24). Paul was not the only human to go to the third heaven, Moses, John, Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekial all went there and probably a few others.

There is a hierarchy in the three heavens. God in the third rules over the other two and the second one rules over the first. Unless you are “in Christ” who is seated in the third heaven (Eph. 1:20) you are inevitably under the second heaven whether you know it or not. Or at least that is what the Scripture says. And we know who rules the second heaven.

So there are three ways of looking at everything:
1) From the third heaven: God’s viewpoint, totally in control, no surprises for Him and all He does is in love, justice, mercy and grace. As an example, God’s view of a faithful Christian’s death is that He called him/her home when He had decided they had accomplished all that they needed to accomplish and blessed all they could from down here. The “well done good and faithful servant” awaited him/her. This is the viewpoint of predestination.
2) The view from the second heaven. The devils and angels fight it out for the souls of men. Personally I don’t spend much time thinking of things from this point of view. Suffice to say you had better know what you are doing if you get involved in that conflict.
3) The view from the first heaven. This is the view of man where people make choices that determine their final destiny. The really important choices are all to do with accepting or rejecting God’s words. This is the Arminian viewing place for those familiar with those views.

If you want you can think of a faithful Christian’s death from the viewpoints of the other two heavens.  I think a lot of people do.  However, I for one am going to line my views up with God’s.  Ok, maybe I don’t know exactly what He is thinking of the brother /sister or all about why He called him/her home just now.  But imagining what He is thinking sure beats imagining how the devil or men are thinking about it.