“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
and Mizpah, for he said, “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.
Hovering Over Us
From: Our Daily Bread
He shielded him and cared for him . . . like an eagle that . . . hovers over its young. Deuteronomy 32:10–11
Betty’s daughter arrived home from an overseas trip, feeling unwell. When her pain became unbearable, Betty and her husband took her to the emergency room. The doctors and nurses set to work, and after a few hours one of the nurses said to Betty, “She’s going to be okay! We’re going to take good care of her and get her healed up.” In that moment, Betty felt peace and love flood over her. She realized that while she hovered over her daughter anxiously, the Lord is the perfect parent who nurtures His children, comforting us in difficult times.
In the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord reminded His people how, when they were wandering in the desert, He cared for them as a loving parent who hovers over its young. He never left them, but was like an eagle “that spreads its wings” to catch its children and “carries them aloft” (32:11). He wanted them to remember that although they experienced hardship and strife in the desert, He didn’t abandon them.
We too may face challenges of many kinds, but we can take comfort and courage in this reminder that our God will never leave us. When we feel that we are falling, the Lord like an eagle will spread His wings to catch us (v. 11) as He brings us peace.
Father God, Your love as a parent is greater than anything I can imagine. May my confidence rest in You, and may I share Your love with others.
Our God hovers over us with love.
Growing into Our Life
Recently, my two sons (both in their early teens) and I, along with a few friends, gathered in our front yard with one mission: to take down our massive, old ash tree and turn it into firewood. The tree was perhaps forty feet tall, with a trunk the size of a small car. For an entire day, with axes and a hydraulic log-splitter, we labored with pure joy. But the moment I’ll cherish forever was watching my boys, each for the first time, heave an axe overhead and bring it down with fury. In those moments, I saw their strength in new ways. I saw their fierceness. I saw them becoming men. Wasn’t it only yesterday that they were babies and I held them in my arms?
Perhaps we think coming-of-age is something Jesus wouldn’t need to experience. Luke tells us, however, that He “grew in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). Though morally blameless, He wasn’t a superhuman unfamiliar with human struggles. Jesus had to learn how to use His mind, how to acquire and apply knowledge, how to discern and persevere. As He grew into an adult, Jesus developed in wisdom as well.
Likewise, over the years, Jesus “grew . . . in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52). He wasn’t born as a man in a babe’s body. Jesus actually grew up and matured. The One who would rescue the world had to be dressed, had to have His dinner cooked for Him, and had to be taught how to walk. Jesus also had to grow into His identity, into the fullness of His life with God and with others. He had to grow, and so do we.
Perhaps we can have a little more patience with ourselves (and others) as we consider that truth. Growing into our life, into the life God has for us, will take time and His power to be realized.
The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man’s sin, but that the nature of sin, namely, my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race through one man. But it also says that another Man took upon Himself the sin of the human race and put it away— an infinitely more profound revelation (see Hebrews 9:26). The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it always has a common basis— my claim to my right to myself. When our Lord faced either people with all the forces of evil in them, or people who were clean-living, moral, and upright, He paid no attention to the moral degradation of one, nor any attention to the moral attainment of the other. He looked at something we do not see, namely, the nature of man (see John 2:25).
Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch— only God touches sin through redemption. It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so. From that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. “This is the condemnation [and the critical moment], that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…” (John 3:19).