The Raptor and the Captor

September 17, 2009 at 9:54 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Biblical Violence, Micah | 11 Comments
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Lemuel Briggs was a farmer in Mendocino County, California, in 1895. He had a lamb and two sons. Bald eagles were not as scarce in those days as they are today.

bald eagles

One day, a bald eagle left its nest in the mountains near Mr. Briggs’s farm, soaring on wings that measured over eight feet across, and carried off Mr. Briggs’s lamb. He was furious.

He sent his sons, Willie, aged 13, and Eddie, 11, up into the mountains to find the eagle’s nest. They obeyed.

However, as they went up the narrow mountain path, they neared the eagle’s nest before they realized it, and the eagle attacked. It circled around them, swooping in relentlessly, talons tearing and beak pecking. The attack ended with Eddie permanently scarred, having lost an eye.

One can only imagine the grief felt by Lemuel Briggs every time he saw his boy’s patched and scarred face. In the Bible, there was a tradition among the Jewish people of cutting off their hair or shaving their heads during times of devastating grief. As God’s people faced the chastening of God for their idol-worship and spiritual adultery, the prophet Micah used a bit of holy irony to drive home what would have been a sore point.

Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Micah 1:16

The irony has to do with his description of their children as “delicate.” Parents who are not strict with their children when it comes to Bible study, church attendance, and Christian conduct, may gloss over the suggestion that they are spoiling them. However, when the enemy comes to take them captive, it will quickly become apparent that children who were too “delicate” to be subjected to discipline, are likewise too delicate to withstand the rough treatment they will experience at the hands of their captor.


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