The Lord is the author of freedom and even the second verse of Genesis implies his liberty. There we discover a word used to describe the Spirit of God’s activity. This word is used only one other time in the Torah and it describes an eagle (Deu. 32:11). Thus Genesis 1:2 pictures the Spirit of God like a bird, “hovering” over the face of the waters. The Rabbinical commentary, the Talmud (b. Hag. 15a), recognises this imagery and “likens the brooding of the Spirit over the waters at creation to the fluttering of a dove.” Later in the New Testament we read that the Spirit of God descended on Jesus at his baptism like a dove (Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22).
The Lord compares himself to an eagle in two places in the Torah. In one place, he declares to the Israelites, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself” (Exo. 19:4, NASB). Here God is describing himself like a mother eagle that carries her young to safety and protection. This imagery especially depicts the mother eagle’s actions when she is teaching her children to fly. The mother eagle would fly “under them with her wings spread out to catch them.”
The second time God describes himself as an eagle is in Deuteronomy 32:10-12:
“He found him [Israel] in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil [apple] of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up a nest, that hovers over its young, He spread out His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. The Lord alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him” (NASB).
God’s freedom means he can do whatever pleases him; there is nothing that can limit him. This may cause fear in some, but there is no need to be afraid. God’s absolute power is not devoid of love. Actually, as we read the above verses we see that God’s freedom means that he is free to love and nothing can hinder that love. The Lord’s freedom means that sin and evil cannot suppress, oppress or overcome him. Paul said, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20, KJV). The riches of God’s grace far outweigh the heaviness of sin and evil. Sin, like gravity pulls a person down so that they cannot fly; God in his freedom spreads out his wings and catches us as we fall, bringing us into the Lord’s own liberty.
Prayer: Father, we celebrate your liberty and freedom. You do whatever please you and what pleases you is to show us grace. Your like an eagle protecting and maturing us. You catch us when we fall; you enable us to participate in your freedom. Today, may I know your freedom in my thoughts, heart and relationships.