Saturday, September 22, 2007

Well-fed Starlings and the Surety of God's Care

“Now if he supply wild and brute beasts with sustenance in due season, by which they are fed to the full, his blessing will doubtless be to us an inexhaustible source of plenty, provided we ourselves do not hinder it from flowing to us by our unbelief.”
- John Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 104:27,28

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
– Luke 12:6-7

Earlier this week I walked out of Starbucks and looked down to see three well-fed starlings looking for more to eat. I think they were hoping I’d drop some of my scone for an early morning snack. As I watched them I was again struck by God’s faithfulness to feed even the most insignificant of his creatures. For a brief moment I was reminded of the intricacies of God’s providence over his creation. Birds are seemingly insignificant and yet they are the recipients of God’s special care. The starlings were well fed and not by any human intervention.

Are we any different than the starlings? Are we any different than sparrows? Do we have any guarantees that God sees us and cares for us? In God’s omniscience and omnipotence is it possible that the events of my life, from smallest to the greatest, come up on the divine radar screen? I believe that God feeds starlings, but do I believe that he cares for me? Are my needs evident to him? Is he even aware of them?

When Jesus says, “Fear not; you are of more value than sparrows”, he is telling us something significant. He is aware of our fears. He is aware that our tendency is to unbelief and trepidation. He is aware that our tendency is to think that he has forgotten us. Jesus is also making a judgment about man as the crown of creation. Birds are different than men and women. He is making a statement about man in desperate need for a Savior. Man’s sin and rebellion has alienated him from God, but the true value and worth of man would be estimated by Jesus Christ on a Roman gibbet. The sparrows and starlings are not forgotten, rather, they are fed. But man is of greater value. Man’s true need will be met, but not with crumbs from a scone. Man’s true need will be met on a cross. The Bread of Life had to be broken. Man’s true need is shown in the necessity of redemption by the Son of Man himself. In our most dire circumstances God has remembered us. He has not forgotten. God has seen our gravest need and made satisfaction for us in the death of his dear Son. God will never forget the smallest sparrow, and the cross guarantees that God will never forget us. We were once the objects of God’s wrath and judgment, but through the gospel we are the recipients of his effectual love and care. We are worth far more than sparrows, but not by anything inherent in us. We have our sins forgiven through an odious death and this assures us of God’s special care and affection towards us. Because of the cross we have become God’s treasured possession. If your temptation is to fear and the questioning of God’s character, remember the sparrows, and remember that God has remembered. Remember, the cross is the indicator of his unfailing love.

I'm grateful that God remembers.

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