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Discovery Magazine 1/1/2000

Lessons From the Raptors

by  Rhonda Thompson

Hawks and eagles are two of the many different raptors or “birds of prey,” which means that they hunt other animals for food. Birds of prey are part of God’s great design in nature. Wise King Solomon wrote that “the way of an eagle in the sky” was “too wonderful for me, … which I do not understand”(Proverbs 30:19)

Hawks and eagles fly mainly by soaring, which means they glide upward on rising air currents. Their flight looks easy, as if it takes little or no effort. Their Flight looks easy, as if it takes little or no effort. But God gave them very strong muscles, and their wings and tails are specially designed by God so they can fly high in the sky. And often they are used in God’s Word to teach special lessons.

In Exodus 19:4, God spoke about delivering His people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt, saying that He saved them as if an eagle had picked them up and carried them to safety. Moses said in Deuteronomy 32:11, that God protected His people like an eagle mother spreads her wings over her babies to protect them.

Hawks and eagles have very sharp teeth and claws and can swoop down on their prey at high speed. God promised that if His people refused to obey Him, He would punish them by sending a powerful nation to come and carry them far away, like an eagle carrying away another animal in its sharp claws (Deuteronomy 28:49-50). He told the Israelites, through the prophet Jeremiah, that when punishment came there would be no place to hide-even if they tried to hide high in the mountains where eagles build their nests (Jeremiah 49:16).

Through His prophet Isaiah, God told His people that He could rescue them from trouble if they would only trust in Him. God reminded them that He was their Creator and was in control of His world. When they became discouraged or tired, He would give them the strength they needed-as if they could grow eagles’ wings to soar away from danger and difficult times (Isaiah 40:31).

We can learn a lot about eagles and hawks from watching them. They are special creatures designed by God. We also can learn how God wants us to live by reading about them in His Word.



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