And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
During this vision, John sees the woman (representative of God’s people) being given two wings which enables her to flee to a place especially prepared for her. This place is a place of closeness with the Lord that gives her a place of refuge, comfort and relief from the abuse and mistreatment that is given to her by Satan.
The “wings of an eagle” are spoken of several times in the OT in differing contexts. However, one of those OT references is clearly the source of this part of John‘s vision…
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa 40:30-31 KJV)
What a wonderful passage of encouragement for those of us who are facing great trials in our lives. The Lord promises that, if we wait upon Him, we will be strengthened and enabled to overcome the difficulties we face. We will be much like eagles with mighty wings who will be able to ascend above our trials and soar over them.
One of the key phrases in the Isaiah passage is “if we wait upon Him”… this is the key to a Christian overcoming life’s problems. What does it mean to “wait upon Him”? The Hebrew word translated “wait” means to be twisted or bound together. In other words, it is saying “if we are twisted together with the LORD” or “if we are bound to the LORD”. It is implying a close (inseparable) relationship with Him. This aligns itself with the idea found in our Rev text, where the woman flees, from Satan, into the presence of Christ where she finds comfort, strength, and nourishment in her time of need.
When Isaiah says “if we are twisted together with Him”, he is implying a type of waiting upon God. If we are “twisted together” with our Lord, we will wait when He waits, and we will move only when He moves. We will “wait” to see what He does and what He desires for us, and then we will proceed in lock step with Him. We will not get ahead of Him, nor will we fall behind in His will for our lives… we will simply “go where He wants us to go, and do what He wants us to do”… in other words, we will “wait upon Him”.
This is why a Hebrew word for “twisted together” can be properly translated “to wait upon”.
May we all seek to “wait upon our Lord” during the good times and the bad, when we can clearly see His presence or when it appears as if He is nowhere to be found. By waiting upon Him to lead us, we can be assured of remaining close to Him and know with certainty, we will be strengthened, protected and comforted during the times of persecution that come upon all of His people.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: