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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 119:28’

Group of sparrows.

Group of sparrows. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father…So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29, 31).

Why did Jesus choose sparrows for this illustration?

They’re so small and common.  (Have you ever felt unimportant and ordinary?)

Sparrows were of such little value in Jesus’ day, they were sold two for a penny.  The poor would buy them to eat—a cheap source of protein.

Nobody much cared about sparrows in Bible times; most folks still don’t care today.  They’re just drab little birds we see every day—hardly worth our attention.

But the smallest, drabbest sparrow doesn’t slip by God’s attention.  Not one can fall to the ground without God knowing.  And if he knows and cares about the sparrows, he certainly knows and cares about each of us.  Verse thirty-one makes it clear:  “You are worth more than many sparrows.”

There’s a modicum of comfort in the knowledge that God sees our situations.  To be honest, though, the fact that he just knows isn’t all that helpful.

Better yet is the news that not one sparrow can fall without God’s consent.

Nothing happens to us that hasn’t first received the stamp of approval from God Almighty.

“Wait a minute,” you might say.  “If a sparrow falls, he’s likely to die.  Not much comfort in that either– knowing that God gave his OK!

Here’s what I want to embrace:  we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b), right?  When it’s my turn to fall off the branch, I want to be able to affirm, “Yes, Lord.  Whatever you think is best is A-OK with me.  I know I can trust you because you love me.  And I rejoice in the promise that whatever happens, you will bring good from it.”   (Remind me of that truth when I start to wobble, will you?)

But here’s the best news:  Notice that Jesus didn’t speak of God as some detached, omnipotent being.

He said, Father.

It is our gracious and kind Heavenly Father who tenderly watches over his little sparrows.

Red Bike

Red Bike (Photo credit: swanksalot)

Think of a loving mother who witnesses her small son falling off his bike.  When he gets up with a scraped knee, she won’t just say, “Oh, I saw that happen, Johnny.  I’m so sorry you’re hurting.”  Small comfort in that.

No, that mother will run to her son, hold him in her arms, talk to him reassuringly, take him to the house, and patch him up.  That’s just what a loving parent does.

When trouble comes, our loving Heavenly Father is right there with us, just like that mother.

He holds us.  Isaiah wrote, “He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (40:11).

He talks reassuringly to us, especially through His Word.  With the psalmist, we can pray, “Strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28b).

God is our refuge and sanctuary; he is our home, our dwelling place. (Psalm 91:1-2).

And God patches us up; he restores our souls (Psalm 23:3).  He renews our energy, purpose, and hope.

So, “Don’t be afraid,” he says. “If I take care of the sparrows, I will most certainly take care of you, because you are worth more than many sparrows.”

See? You’re not small, unimportant, and ordinary–not at all!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Thank you, Lord, for not playing favorites.  What glorious news that each of us is precious to you!  Thank you also for being an attentive God who tenderly watches over us.  And especially thank you for being an involved God, always acting on our behalf, and always for our good.  We are in awe of you, our loving, gracious Heavenly Father!    

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