by Tony Nester

You Are My Treasure
Tony Nester
Exodus 19:1-6

Let’s pretend.

Imagine that you’ve spent the morning hours climbing
the steep side of a mountain. You’ve been searching
for the topmost crag of the mountain and the tallest
tree living in that altitude. Then you see it —
nesting in the tree is an eagle’s nest. You’ve
arrived just in time to watch a mother eagle teaching
her eaglets to fly.

How does she do it? How does she teach her young to
fly when there is no margin of error — a crash to the
ground means brokenness and death?

I have the report this morning of someone who did
exactly as we’re imagining. Here’s what he wrote down
in his journal about what he witnessed:

The mother started from the nest in the crags and,
roughly handling the youngster, she allowed him to
drop, I would say, about ninety feet; then she would
swoop down under him, wings spread, and he would
alight on her back. She would soar to the top of the
range with him and repeat the process. Once perhaps
she waited fifteen minutes between flights. I should
say the farthest she let him fall was a hundred and
fifty feet. . . . I watched .. spellbound, for over an
hour. 1

In the 19th chapter of Exodus the Scripture tells us
that Moses climbed Mt. Sinai and learned a lesson
about eagles — and he, too, was spellbound.

Below him at the foot of the mountain were the
Israelites whom he had led from slavery in Egypt. At
the top of the mountain Moses waited for the Presence
of God to be made known to him. And the voice of God
said to Moses:

(Exodus 19:4 NRSV) "You have seen what I did to the
Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and
brought you to myself.”

“I bore you on eagles' wings.”

So that was how God saw what Moses and the Israelites
had gone through. When their escape route reached a
dead end at the Red Sea, God, like a mother eagle, had
swooped down and caught them on her wings. When t ...

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