Messianic Rabbi: Our Turbulent Flight on Eagles’ Wings

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Shawn Akers

If your past few years have been like mine, then you have spent a good amount of time asking G-D “why” questions

For most of us, the last couple of years seemed to have become much more intense: more people sick, more people dying, more people losing jobs or businesses and more families in crisis of every kind imaginable. I cannot tell you the number of times I stopped what I was doing to look toward the sky and ask G-D, “Why?”

It isn’t as if none of these things had happened before. Most of us have dealt with sickness, disease, death and financial struggles in our past. But it does seem as if these things are happening more often and closer together than ever.

I remember just a few months back when two of our family’s closest friends died within weeks of each other. One was one of my closest friends and the other was my wife’s closest friend. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were praying for them and yet they both passed from this world to the world to come. In my brokenness, I ask the question to G-D, “Where are You”?

During this season, my faith had always remained strong; however, my vision had become distorted. I knew G-D was still there but it was as if someone had turned the focus knob on my spiritual eyes. I had really begun to understand what Paul’s words meant in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (TLV):

“For now we see in a mirror dimly.”

This week, as I was reading the Bible, I came across a couple of verses that helped me refocus my vision that has, in a real way, become like a kaleidoscope. I was reading Exodus 19:3-4 when I saw these words:

“Moses went up to God, and Adonai called to him from the mountain saying, ‘Say this to the house of Jacob, and tell Bnei-Yisrael, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.'”

These are the words that G-D instructed Moses to speak to the people of Israel just before they were to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai. As we read these words, they seem extremely encouraging. Just look at the phrase “I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.”

As we read those words, our minds imagine G-D swooping down from on high to scoop Israel up and carry them safely into the heavens while He destroys the Egyptian army. But is that what really happened? Yes and no.

If we read through the Exodus narrative in the book of Exodus, it doesn’t seem as if G-D swooped down and scooped up Israel at all. What we read about is Israel’s slavery; the death of all male Jewish babies; Moses’s eventual arrival and proclamation: “Let my people go”; Pharaoh’s response by making things more difficult; the plagues, of which the first three Israel endured along with the Egyptians; the Israelites having a rushed meal and running out of Egypt followed by the Egyptian army; the parting of the Sea, which they had to walk across; and then the wilderness journey, which at this point brought them only as far as Mount Sinai.

While we do see many miracles provided by G-D, most of us would not describe the above list as being scooped up and carried on eagle’s wings. In our minds, the concept of being carried on eagle’s wings carries with it the idea of soaring high above the world and its problems. Yet, even though we would not describe the above as being carried on eagle’s wings, that is the exact wording G-D used to describe His perspective of Israel’s experience from Egypt to Mount Sinai.

Because I know that G-D’s perspective is always correct, as I read these verses, I allowed the words to begin to refocus the lens of the eyes of my heart. Suddenly, I understood the words of Psalm 23:4:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me: Your rod and Your staff comfort me.”

The more I meditated on these verses, the more into focus the events of the past few years became. I began to understand the answer to my why and it became clear to me that the answer to “where are you?” was that G-D had never left. He was carrying me on wings of eagles, just as He carried Israel all those years ago. He didn’t carry them out of, or over, their problems. He carried them through them just as He was and is carrying me and you through, not over, the tragic events in our lives.

The answer to my “why question” was also made clear when I remembered that things became progressively and speedily worse for the children of Israel just before they were delivered from Egypt through the blood of the Lamb. We all know that the Bible tells us that things will get worse as the day of Yeshua’s return approaches. We must not allow ourselves to become overwhelmed as we watch the Scriptures become fulfilled in front of our eyes.

Rather, we must remember that no matter what is happening around us, G-D is carrying us on eagle’s wings, bringing us to Himself. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.

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