How Do We Mount Up With Wings Like Eagles? By Babatunde Olugboji
Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (ESV).
When Isaiah wrote this, the dejected nation of Israel suffered a period of great distress politically as oppressive Assyrian powers invaded and conquered their territories. In Isaiah 40–48, we see the promises of redemption and deliverance from their suffering: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40: 1).
Israel had almost given up hope, believing God had abandoned them, yet Isaiah drives his point home in Isaiah 40:27–31, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’? Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Our God is the everlasting God, the creator of heavens and earth, who neither sleeps nor slumber, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:30 – 31)
Ancient Hebrew culture revered eagles as mighty warriors that also cared fiercely for their young. Eagles carry their eaglets to safety, away from the threat of predators. Eagles are also known for their strength and courage in dangerous, tempestuous weather, soaring above storm clouds and to safety. Eagles’ wings was a figure of speech commonly used to attribute these fine characteristics to a person.
The Lord references eagles’ wings as a recollection of how God delivered Israel from the Egyptians. In this passage, the Lord gives Moses a message for his people: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” (Exodus 19: 4 – 5)
The prophet Isaiah uses wings like eagles in the same way, attributing the great characteristics of eagles to those who remain faithful to God and look forward to their heavenly reward. The phrase mount up is a translation of the Hebrew word ˈalah’, which means “to go up, ascend, to go up over a boundary.” Isaiah is communicating the promise that God will provide renewed strength and courage to overcome obstacles, if Israel would only have patience and trust in the Lord’s sovereign timing.
Upon reading Isaiah’s words, may have Israel recalled what God had said to them long ago as they fled Egypt, about how the Lord had delivered them “on eagles’ wings” with his great strength and power. Isaiah tells them that they, too, could have access to such deliverance, that if they remained faithful to God, they would soar.
As today’s believers, we can apply the principle of Isaiah 40: 31 by trusting in God’s sovereignty and waiting faithfully for him and on him. “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4: 16) God will provide power, strength, and courage to the weary, the weak, and the downtrodden when they are willing to be patient and wait on him.
God will cause us to mount up on eagles’ wings.
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