Daily Devotional Exodus 19:1–8
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin once proposed that a turkey should represent the United States on our national seal? Most Americans are probably grateful that instead, in 1782, the bald eagle was selected to adorn the Great Seal. The eagle has been a symbol of power and strength from ancient times.
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
In Exodus 19, we read about another nation, Israel, that arrived at Mount Sinai. In this important passage, God summarizes the covenant relationship into which He was inviting Israel to enter with Him. He reminds Israel what He had done: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings” (v. 4). Here God compares His actions in the Exodus story to an eagle, symbolizing the speed and power of His deliverance.
God makes an important point about why He delivered Israel. He did it not only to save Israel from slavery but also to bring them to Himself (v. 4). He desired to be in a close relationship with them. When we think about our salvation, it is important to remember the same truth. God delivered us not only to save us from sin and judgment but also to bring us into a relationship with Him (1 Cor. 1:9).
In the remainder of the passage, God outlines His purpose for calling Israel. He called Israel to be His special people so they would be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (v. 6). They were not to ignore the rest of the world but represent God to them. They could do this through example, witness, and by keeping and proclaiming God’s Word.
>> We are grateful that our God has brought salvation for His people. As those who hope in Him, we can claim this promise: “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” (Isa. 40:31).
Pray with Us
Lord, we read these wonderful promises of strength, hope, and courage—but we often still struggle with weakness, doubts, and fear. Help us in our weakness and show us how to find strength and courage in You.