Wisdom And Grace From Above
June 25, 2019
Wild animals have always been a marvel to many people. The power, strength, wisdom, and overall ability of many creatures is quite amazing. People have always been in awe about the strength of great beasts like bears and lions. People have always been amazed by the speed of cheetahs and even some snakes. The grace of many birds has always drawn the gaze of many people. It is incredible to see how many birds just glide through the air effortlessly. The Bible recognizes these awesome skills and attributes too, pointing to God as the cause for these things. The bear is strong because God made it so. The lion is powerful because God made it so. The cheetah is fast because God made it so. The birds are able to glide because God made it so. The point that the Bible makes is not that each animal is amazing in its own right, but that God made each animal amazing. It is not that God is the source of power and so He made all animals powerful. The diversity of God’s creation speaks to the magnitude of His wisdom and unique provision. God is able to provide power, strength, speed, grace, and wisdom for each creature to live in the varying manners that they do.
In Job 39:25-30, God reminded Job of this truth by referring to two birds in particular. God pointed out that His creation of hawks and eagles show amazing attributes of God that are unique to Him. God pointed out a few subtleties concerning these birds, to show that His wisdom, power, and provision is far superior to that which mankind can do. Since God is sovereign, and supremely wise and able, mankind is in no position to question Him, criticize Him, or chide Him when things don’t go the way we want in life. Job had suffered greatly in his life, but allowed the difficulties of his suffering to change his attitude towards God. Job felt that God was being cruel, administrating an excessive amount of difficulty into his life. Job felt that, as a faithful servant of God, he was entitled to certain benefits from God, one of those benefits being exempt from severe suffering. Job never cursed God and prayed to him with dependency and desperation, but also with an attitude of self-entitlement. Job had faith, and so he was willing to forsake the things of this life in order to enter eternal life, but demanded that God deliver according to his personal desires as if Job’s current circumstances were wrong and inappropriate. God spoke to Job to remind him that EVERYTHING God does is right and good, even if we suffer in the midst of His work.
God pointed to hawks and eagles to remind Job that, while some people might have been impressed with Job’s opinions and wisdom at one time, God isn’t. Since God’s wisdom is supremely exalted above all people, then we are in no position to criticize the manner of His work in our lives. In Job 39:25-30, God first mentioned the hawks. God asked Job a simple question:
Does the hawk fly by human wisdom?
Does any bird require human intervention to do what it’s supposed to? Does the baby hawk wait on the scientist to teach it to fly? Does the adult hawk watch videos of human instruction to keep fresh in their flying technique? Wasn’t it mankind that looked to the birds to learn how to fly? God also pointed out the wisdom that the hawk has in addition to its ability to fly. How does the hawk (and many other birds) know to follow the sun in the winter? How do birds know to fly south when the weather gets cold so that they can live better in the heat in the south? Is there a school that birds attend where humans educate them on the rotation of the earth? Are birds reading books written by people to learn about the changing seasons? Are the birds of the air dependent on human GPS devices to know where south is and how to get there? The point is, God built this ability AND wisdom into the birds Himself. God didn’t seek human beings for counsel. Birds know how to survive because God provided instincts when He made them, and it is these instincts that come from God that cause us all to marvel. If we all marvel at the basic nature and functionality of the hawk, how can we boldly and arrogantly criticize the omniscient and omnipotent God of all things?
The Lord also reminded Job about the simple works of eagles. God asked Job a similar question about the ability of the eagle:
Does the eagle mount up at your command?
The eagle is able to fly higher that any bird of its kind and does so in such an effortless manner. The eagle has the power to thrust itself up and down. The eagle has the ability to handle the changes in temperature and air as it ascends. Consider the promise that God made in Isaiah 40:31 as He used the eagle to compare the majesty of His promise:
“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Notice that it is those who trust in the LORD that have ability comparable to an eagle. This means that God is the source for such ability. Those who trust in self are merely spectators of eagles. Those who trust in the LORD are able to effortlessly glide through trials and opposition unto the heavens. Without the ability that God provides, mankind, nor the eagle are able to do anything.
Also notice that God compared His supernatural provision and grace to the eagle, not another person. God did not base the value of His promise on the attributes found in other people. God did not say to trust in Him so that we can soar up like kings, politicians, and athletes. God, as the Creator of all things, showed that the ability He gave to eagles is far greater and more admirable than the ability seen in other people. So then, does the eagle depend on people for such majesty and ability? Does the eagle learn from people in how to soar, rise, and endure? God reminded Job that the eagle builds its nest way up high so that even its babies are more highly exalted above people. They don’t need tips and tricks for how to endure those environments because God alone is their teacher, and His wisdom is sufficient for all things without our help.
It is important to consider the nature of these two birds. Both the hawk and the eagle are predators. They are considered birds of prey. For all of the beauty, majesty, and grace that these birds exemplify, they are also vicious and horrific in some respects. While mankind might admire the power and elegance of these birds, God pointed out that they are quite harsh as well. Both the hawk and the eagle fly high in order to spy from above. They hunt from their elevated position. They look from afar off to spot unsuspecting and weakened creatures that they can snatch up for their own fulfillment and the fulfillment of their young. They teach their young to do the same. God pointed out the manner in which the young eagles learn to survive. They suck up blood from the mouths of their mothers. God also reminded Job that these birds go where the slain are. They are not vultures, but are like them. Hawks and eagles don’t seek prey that is superior and powerful. They seek unsuspecting weak animals that are often wounded and destined for death. Consider how the Lord Himself uses birds as part of His work in judgment in Revelation 19:17-18:
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all [people], free and slave, both small and great.’”
God uses these creatures and their scavenger-like nature to clean up the mess of His judgment. God’s judgment will bring great carnage and death. He will use the birds of the air to clean up the results of this death. It is interesting that the hawk and eagle are considered majestic and superior, having great power and wisdom that comes from God, but in God’s economy, they are merely creatures intended for waste disposal. While people revere such great birds to a certain degree, God has made their nature like hypocrites and marauders. They elevate themselves to scan that which is beneath them in order to consume them like the hypocrites that Jesus criticized in the Gospels. They move in to utterly consume and destroy, taking from that which is already weakened and dead for themselves.
The scriptures show that, when God speaks from His perspective, our human wisdom and understanding looks really weak and foolish. Since this is true, we as God’s people should be careful in how we address God, speak of Him, and pray to Him when life is not going the way we had hoped. He is God and there is no other. He alone is wise. He alone is able. He alone is unchanging. Though the factors of our lives might seem confusing, difficult, and unclear to us, all things are exactly as God has determined before the worlds were formed. Nothing is out of control for God. Nothing is unknown to God. Nothing is confusing to God. Knowing this, and remembering that He alone is good and right, we are called to trust Him, seeing what great ability and wisdom He has always provided, even to creatures that seem as majestic as eagles, but are mere scavengers in God’s eyes.