On Eagle’s Wings

On Eagle’s Wings

Several summers ago, I hosted a weekly series of bible classes after worship at my church that focused on a different song each week.  We considered both hymns and contemporary pieces.  The following is a sample class using “On Eagle’s Wing’s” .  Being summertime, we limited the duration of the classes to about 20 minutes.  We finished each class by singing the song that was covered that day.

On Eagle’s Wings

By Michael Joncas (1951)

 

1.  Opening Prayer:

Luther’s Morning Prayer

My Heavenly Father, I thank You, through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, that You kept me safe from all evil and danger last night.  Save me, I pray, today as well, from every evil and sin, so that all I do and the way that I live will please you.  I put myself in your care, body and soul and all that I have.  Let Your holy Angels be with me, so that the evil enemy will not gain power over me.  Amen.

2.  Song vs. Psalm Comparison

Song Lyrics Psalm 91
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, Who abide in His shadow for life, Say to the Lord, “My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust.”
1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
The snare of the fowler will never capture you, And famine will bring you no fear; Under His Wings your refuge, His faithfulness your shield. 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You need not fear the terror of the night, Nor the arrow that flies by day,
Though thousands fall about you, Near you it shall not come.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,  6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For to His angels He’s given a command, To guard you in all of your ways, Upon their hands they will bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

 

3.  What is the significance of the title “On Eagle’s Wings”?

Exodus 19:4  You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

Isaiah 40:31  But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

4.  Comments on Eagle’s Visions (see Job 39:27-29)

5.  Questions on Luke 4:9-13

       1.  What part of Ps 91 did Satan quote?

       2.  Satan misused scripture in an attempt to trick Jesus.  What is the proper interpretation of Ps 91:11?

 

The Importance of Angels

Notice that Martin Luther uses the phrase “Let Your Holy Angles be with me, so that the evil enemy will not gain power over me” in both morning and evening prayer.  Luther knew the importance of angles – they guard us against the devil.

When the psalmist declares that the angels attend us in all of our ways, the understanding is that we have their coverage as we exercise our God-pleasing, Christian vocation.  The promise does not extend to activities that are sinful or that put God to the test.  When Satan tempted Jesus to leap from the highest point of the temple, he quoted this passage but left out some important words.  Our Lord refused to yield to this temptation, for He knew the omitted phrase “in all your ways” did not assure Him of angelic protection for so foolish an act.

The function of angels is threefold: to praise God, to carry out His commands, and to serve mankind.

6.  Closing Prayer:

Luther’s Evening Prayer

My Heavenly Father, I thank You, through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, that You have protected me, by Your grace.  Forgive, I pray, all my sins and the evil I have done.  Protect me, by Your grace, tonight.  I put myself in your care, body and soul and all that I have.  Let Your holy angels be with me, so that the evil enemy will not gain power over me.  Amen.

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