Sunday, March 27, 2022

Hebrew Word Study: Nešer Eagle

The Lord of the Rings series is one of my favorites, the movies, absolutely amazing, I never did read the books, but I did read the Hobbit, but anyway, after the movies came out and people began to talk about the series, many on the web would ask the question, why didn’t Frodo and Sam just use the Eagles to fly to Mordor?

If you recall, Gandalf escapes from his fight with Saruman with the help of one of the eagles. Eagles came to the rescue at the battle for Minas Tirith in the 3rd film, and eagles come and bring Frodo and Sam safely out of Mount doom at the end of the 3rd film as well.

Eagles in the Lord of the Rings to me seem to represent God’s helping hand in times of great need. There are times in our lives when our cause has become hopeless. There is nothing more we can do. Our only hope is that God would do the impossible. It’s at those times, that we have to let go of our own strength, and allow God to rescue us.

As it says in our scripture today, from Isaiah 40:28-31, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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.”

Our Hebrew word for today, is “neser” Pronounced “neh'-sher”

In ancient Hebrew this word means eagle, or vulture, or other varieties of large, powerful birds.

So, those who continuously wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will rise up on wings like eagles. It’s important to understand the Hebrew word here used for “wait” or as my translation renders it “hope.”

The Hebrew word here is qāvâ “kaw-vaw” and it pictures waiting expectantly. wait, look for, hope, expect
A. (Qal) waiting (participle)
B. (Piel) wait or look eagerly for lie in wait for wait for, linger for collect, bind together
(Niphal) to be collected

Interestingly this Hebrew word can also relate to the binding of rope. Rope making was a common profession in the ancient world of the middle-east. There were many uses for rope. And rope makers would bind tightly together strands of cloth or animal hair to make rope. Often the rope would come unbound and have to be rebound together, renewing the strength of the rope.

How interesting that our battle with waiting on the Lord is often quite similar. It’s like we slowly bind together a long length of rope. And we’re traveling along the length of the rope toward God’s arrival, his answer. But from time to time, we lose our grip and the rope looses and begins to break apart. This is comparable to those times when we despair in the waiting and struggle to trust God. But as we seek God in the waiting, he helps us to tighten up, and continue waiting, our strength is renewed and we continue our journey along the length of rope.

We’re expectantly waiting then, for that moment when God renews us, and raises us up on wings like neser, like eagles.

Eagles are interesting creatures. They are one of the most powerful and strong birds. Eagles can lift almost twice their body weight. They can live up to 70 years. A male and female eagle that have mated will stay together their entire lives, building their nest in the same place every year. Eagles soar on the winds, they are able to sense the movement of air, and winds, catching updrafts to reach great heights, and travel at very great heights as they migrate from location to location.

As we hope in the Lord and wait on the Lord, binding ourselves to God and trusting in God to help us in time of need, we find ourselves protected under His wings, protected by his feathers, as he carries us to safety. The eagle flies, a rare gift, something we cannot do. Only God can lift us up and bring us to places that we could never otherwise get to.

During the time of the prophet Isaiah, who carried this word from the Lord to Israel, the nation was in great peril. The northern kingdom, Samaria, had been destroyed and captured by the nation of Assyria. Only Judah remained. And Judah was facing harassment and intimidation from Assyria, who were mocking them from the walls of the city.

How could the Lord save Judah from Assyria? Assyria had hundreds of thousands of soldiers. They couldn’t trust in flesh. They had to trust in the Lord. And God would deliver them, on wings like eagles, they would be victorious. And indeed, the Assyrian army was destroyed in the night, and they returned to Assyria. They never again tried to attack Judah. It was miraculous.

Are you waiting on the Lord right now? You can trust Him. I’m not saying God will necessarily give you everything you want. But God will do what is right, for his kingdom and glory. He has plans for you, plans for your blessing, not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future.

Trust in God. Wait on God expectantly. And you will rise up on wings like Neser, riding up into the skies of hope and victory and deliverance. God will certainly be with you as you seek Him and follow His will for your life. Amen.