Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
"Like the eagle." I think it is helpful to contrast this figure with the figures used in the previous psalm. There we have a psalmist upon whom the renewing ministry has not yet been wrought, and he lies prone in the grip of a deep depression. "I am like a pelican of the wilderness"; this is the very figure of gloom and desolation. "I am like an owl of the desert"; he finds a fitting symbol in the bird which dwells among the ruins, and which finds no comfort in the light of day.The moping owl doth to the moon complain.And yet a third figure is used by this melancholy singer: "I am like a sparrow alone on the housetop." In his loneliness he finds a suitable emblem in the bird which has lost its mate or its young, and which abides on the house-top silent, lonely, and desolate. Now turn away from these dark and dismal figures to the one of my text. Now my text makes the inspiring declaration that the eagle type of life is the divinely-purposed possession of every man. Men and women who are in covenant with the Almighty will not appear to the world to be kinsmen of the owl and the pelican. They will rather be significant of the eagle. The eagle is, perhaps, our most majestic bird; even to see it in captivity is to behold a creature of splendid and royal build. This is the bird which is to typify the life that is in communion with God. First of all, the life will be eagle-winged. There is nothing more striking about the eagle than its mighty power of wing. The bird can soar away into uplifted mountain vastnesses, and far beyond the highest summit it can mount into the glorious blue. "They shall mount up with wings as eagles!" And our life is never completed, and we have never really come to our own, until we are in possession of these wings. It is that wing power which marks the maturity of our life, and by which we enter into our splendid destiny. Now, this wing power is just the ability to rise above our circumstances, and to soar into the "heavenly places" in Christ. We are all familiar with men and women who never get above their immediate surroundings. Such experiences have been the lot of all of us. Our immediate surroundings become our prisons, and we sit down and mope in the midst of our captivity. Life with God is life with the eagle wing; in the strength of that wing we can rise above our prison house into the purer, larger air of the Spirit. I can rise above my temptations. When snares are crowding round me, and when the enemy comes quite near, it is purposed that I should just "take wings" and find myself far above them. "Flee as a bird to your mountain!" We make a great mistake when we confront every temptation in the attitude of fight. Most of our temptations could be conquered by quietly rising into a higher sphere. And we can rise above our sorrows. And so it is with our worries and cares. Too many of us just creep and crawl, or we sit among them in cold complaint. Our destined inheritance is the heights. It is the eagle's wings we want. "Give me the wings of faith to rise!" And life in God will not only be eagle-winged but eagle-eyed. What a piercing, wide-casting eye is the dowry of the eagle! When we want a suitable figure to express our conception of a Gladstone's eye, or a Kingsley's eye, or an Emerson's eye, we go to the eagle for it. And this eagle vision is to be the gift of every soul which is in sacred covenant with God. But how this book bemoans our feeble eye. "Your eyes are dim." "Ye cannot discern." "Eyes have ye, but ye see not." "Ye are blind." But the book not only indicts us for our short and imperfect sight; it offers us the gift of splendid vision. If we had the eagle eye two things would happen. First of all, we should discern the significance of the immediate. But, secondly, we should have a sensitive discernment of the remote. We should be the first to see the little cloud on the horizon which betokens the coming rain. We should be the first to catch the faint dawning which is the herald of the coming day. No one would be before us. With the eagle eye we should get the first glimpses of the coming of the Kingdom. Now, how are these gifts of the eagle wing and the eagle eye to be obtained? They are to become ours by the ministry of renewal. God will so re-fashion us that in our recovered strength we shall be like the eagle. The words which immediately precede my text describe to us two of the ways by which this renewal is to be effected. We are to be made young by the repair of diseased tissue." He healeth all thy diseases." The gracious Lord will lay hold of powers upon which decay has fastened, and He will renew the dead matter, and make it sound again. "God by His mercies recovers His people from their decays." Decay so easily sets in! Our highest powers so speedily become destroyed. As we grow older our sympathies are apt to shrivel, and love is apt to wither, and hope loses its youthful strength. And, secondly, He will feed the sound tissue. "He satisfieth thy mouth with good things." He will remove the disease, and He will provide suitable nutriment to sustain the powers He hath renewed. And the nutriment will satisfy, and we shall have no restless and tiring cravings. "Our inner man is renewed day by day." And so in our spirits our youth can be recalled, and in strength of wing and power of eye we can be like the eagle. In old age we can have daily surprises, as we make daily discoveries of "the unsearchable riches of Christ." The whole secret of the renewal so far as we are concerned is just here; we must "wait upon the Lord." "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
(J. H. Jowett, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.