As I was going through the gospels, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful imagery of Jesus gathering Jerusalem like a mother hen gathers her young ones. It reminded me of the Exodus passage – God carrying the Israelites on eagle wings (Exodus 19:4). There are many words to describe our God – creator, judge, father, king – majestic, powerful, and glorious. In these pictures, we see God’s tenderness and protective power.
Moses sings of God being like an eagle in Deuteronomy 32:10-12 (Voice) –
“The Eternal found Jacob out in the wilderness,
out in an empty, windswept desert wasteland.
He put His arms around him and took care of him;
He protected him as the apple of His eye.
Just as an eagle stirs up its nest, encouraging its young to fly,
and then hovers over them in case they need help,
And spreads its wings and catches them if they fall,
and carries them up high on its wings;
So the Eternal guided Jacob through the wilderness
without the help of any foreign god.”
Parent eagles are protective of their young. One parent remains in the nest with the eggs until they hatch. When it is too sunny, a parent provides them with shade. Parent eagles may perch in nearby trees to watch their young while the young experience independence. When it is time for the littlest eagles to fly, the parents stir up the nest and hold their food just beyond the babies’ reach to encourage them to move about.
We see this picture again in Isaiah 31 of God hovering over His people as a bird protecting its own –
“Like birds hovering overhead,Isaiah 31:5 NIV
the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”
The good news is that God is protective of us! Every word of God proves true! God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He establishes us and guards us against the evil one. He is ready to supply all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. We can cast our cares, anxieties, and fears on Him because God cares for us! And He never leaves us, nor forsakes us!
Take heart today – the Lord watches over you as you come and go, now and forever.
Father, You who made the heaven and earth,
You are the one who is our help in times of trouble
You do not let us stumble, neither do you
Sleep … instead, you watch!
He who watched over Israel watches over us
You never slumber, nor do You sleep.
You are beside us, our protective shade,
Under Your wings, we take refuge
Keep us from all harm, Lord,
Watch over us, and may we, in turn,
Give thanks with joyful hearts!