Our God is a supernatural God. We see that throughout the Bible in the many miracles, signs, and wonders that He performs. In the Book of Exodus, He brings about ten terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt in the earth, the heavens, and upon man. No doubt, he can do anything, even what to us is seemingly impossible. Thus, in their exodus from Egypt, when the Israelites reach the Red Sea and are seemingly trapped, God parts the waters to enable them to cross.
Prior to that, the Israelites went from Rameses, Egypt where Pharaoh had a palace to Succoth by the Red Sea. According to various maps, that distance from Rameses to Succoth appears to be about fifty miles. There were 600,000 men that left Egypt. When women and children are added, the number of individuals likely totaled over 2 million people. It was a slow-moving caravan with all their goods and everything they brought out of Egypt with them.
For comparison, the caravans of illegal aliens traveling through Mexico these days to breach the U.S. border, typically travel 20-30 miles a day. These people aren’t hauling nearly the amount of goods that the Israelites did. Remember, God had them plunder Egypt before they left. They had gold, silver, and many goods. Also, although some of the illegal alien caravans are large, i.e. several hundred people, those numbers don’t compare to the number of Israelites fleeing Egypt in the exodus or in another incident I’ll note below.
This leads me to a question. Does it make sense that this group could have gone fifty miles in the natural course of things before Pharaoh came to his senses, sent chariots after them, and caught up? It seems doubtful to me.
Now listen to God speaking in 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.”
This verse triggers more questions in my mind.
- Is being carried on eagles’ wings simply an expression?
- Or was there something more literal that occurred?
- Could God have supernaturally transported this group some part of the way?
- He directed them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night—this was supernatural in itself. But did something else go on to get them to their destination?
There’s an interesting corollary, or subsequent event, to this incident in Revelation 12. Here, Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven. He greatly persecutes Israel, which is signified by the woman who had given birth to a Son. Recall that in Matthew 24:15-16 Jesus warns Israel through His Olivet Discourse to the disciples:
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
The abomination of desolation is the Antichrist wreaking havoc in the temple, desecrating the Holy Place with a pagan sacrifice. When he does that, Jesus says to the people of Israel, now it’s time to get out of Jerusalem. Flee to the mountains.
The most common understanding of where people will flee is to the mountainous enclave in Jordan known as Petra, which is about 102 miles away. I was there last year. It’s an incredible place where the Jews could easily live, be provided for by God., and be protected by Him. As an aside: if you saw Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that part was filmed in Petra.
Here’s the narrative: At this time the Antichrist is looking for blood. He wants to kill all the Jews. His time has come and bloodlust is upon him. Again, there will be women and children—how many total people we don’t know. As of 2015, there were about 850,000 Jews living in Jerusalem alone. There will have been much persecution of the Jews by this time and likely many will have perished in the Tribulation. Also, this warning certainly applies to more than just the Jews in Jerusalem proper, but to all in Israel. Even at the worst case where many have lost their lives, I’d certainly have to estimate that we could be talking half a million people—500,000. That’s a lot of folks to get from here to there. Everyone could drive but what if there are roadblocks? How do all these Jews get to Petra? Once more we ask: Does God supernaturally deliver His people?
Then we turn to Revelation 12:14:
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
As before in Exodus, we have the Israelites being pursued by a bloodthirsty tyrant, and God uses the same symbolic language. On eagles’ wings He brings them to this safe place.
My thinking is that there may be more going on here than we can see through simply a quick reading of these verses. God is jealous for those He loves. He does what He must to protect them.
I want you to remember this in difficult times in your life. God is jealous for you. He’ll do for you what He previously did and will do in the future for the people of Israel.
God will deliver you on eagles’ wings. Trust Him. Put your faith in Him.
Remember, 1 John 4:4 assures us:
Greater is He who is in each of us, than he who is in the world