As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:…
I. THE LORD "STIRRETH UP OUR NEST" BY SENDING US DISCOMFORTS AND AFFLICTIONS. We are naturally like the slothful eaglets, who would rather doze away their life in their comfortable home than try their unsteady wings in flight towards heaven. But God is kinder to us than we would be to ourselves. He "stirs up our nest": He breaks up those comforts which we love too dearly. Ah! who would fly towards heaven, who would seek a fairer and a better world, if it were not that God from time to time "stirreth up our nest" in one or other of these ways?
II. Our text reminds us, by a very lively image, of GOD'S LOVE AND TENDER SOLICITUDE FOR HIS PEOPLE. He is compared to an eagle "fluttering" over her brood, watching and encouraging them in their endeavours to fly. God watches with the most affectionate interest our weakest efforts to rise above the world and worldly things. Your feeblest attempt at prayer, your most awkward endeavour at self-examination, your most unintelligent perusal of the Scriptures, if entered upon sincerely, will be most kindly welcomed and aided by Him. He does not despise the beginnings of sincere piety. He listens with delight to the very first sigh of sincere repentance.
III. But, beyond this, we are reminded that GOD HAS GIVEN US ALL INSTRUCTION BY EXAMPLE: even as the eagle by "spreading abroad her wings" teaches her young how to fly, God has taken upon Him our nature, and has lived upon earth, in order to teach us how to live. Jesus Christ was "God manifest in the flesh"; and His whole life was spent in teaching His disciples the ways of holiness and peace. "His whole life is our rule; not indeed His miraculous works; His footsteps walking on the sea, and such like; they are not for us to follow; but His obedience, holiness, and humility are our copy, which we should continually study."
IV. THE SPEEDY AND SUFFICIENT HELP WHICH GOD GIVES HIS PEOPLE IN THE HOUR OF NEED OR DIFFICULTY. The eagle is represented as "taking" her offspring, and "bearing them on her wings" When the eagle has prevailed upon her young to fly from the dizzy crag on which her nest is seated, their faltering pinions might give way, and they might drop helplessly to the ground, did she not dart to their help the moment their strength failed, and support them with her own wings in time to save them. Thus God acts to the believer. Though you tremble you shall not fall; though you faint you shall not be lost. It is said by some writers that, when the young eagles are attacked by the fowler, the mother bird will fly under them, and place herself between them and their enemy, so that his arrows cannot hurt them unless they first pierce through her. Whether this be true or not, it may serve as an affecting emblem of Christ's love to His people. He has gone between us and our enemy. He has received in His own bosom the arrows which were meant for us: our wounds have been endured by Him: He has shed His life's blood for us, to save us from destruction.
V. THAT THE LORD IS OUR ONLY HELP. "The Lord alone did lead him; and there was no strange god with Him.
(John Tagg, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: