The Short-toed Eagle - deadly enemy of all snakes.

High above the earth, above all the noise and bustle of everyday life, the eagle glides, quietly and untroubled, but with very sharp vision for what is going on below.” In Isaiah 40: 31 we read: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Just as the lion is regarded as the king of beasts, so the eagle is the monarch of the air. There are many different eagles but the Short-toed Eagle is one of the most interesting since it feeds almost exclusively on snakes.

After spending the cold season in tropical Africa, the Short-toed Eagle arrives in southern Europe in March, at the same time as the snakes of the region awake from their winter sleep. Gliding and hovering high in the heavens, the eagle searches for the slightest slithering movement. Once it has sighted its prey, it swoops down to grasp the snake with both feet. With one foot gripping the snake around the middle of its body; the other holding it down by the head, the skull is crushed by repeated blows of its powerful beak and it is then swallowed head-first. Flying back to the nest, the eaglet grabs hold of the snake's tail and pulls it out from the parent's gullet. The youngster has an enormous appetite and can get through two or three snakes every day. The parents teach the youngster to fly, to seek prey for itself, and to perfect the killing techniques.

Isn’t this a fine picture of the Christian life! We can compare sin to all kinds of different snakes that lie hidden in our nature. Jesus cleared his land of all snakes. When trials come and things “start to get hot”, then the snakes come out of hiding. Then we seize the opportunity to put that sin to death, to fulfil God’s Word, and have food to bring to others.

May we, through our example and the words we speak, train up many young eagles who can also "batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult" (Numbers 24: 17) - all high thoughts that cause strife, fighting, quarrelling and unrest. Then our life will spread blessing and help for others.

 Read also: Help from the throne of grace