Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June Devotional "Each tiny creature’s life.... is seen, and known..."

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Luke 12:6

There’s a word of tender beauty
In the sayings of our Lord;
How it stirs the heart to music,
Waking gratitude’s sweet chord;
For it tells me that our Father,
From His throne of royal might,
Bends to note a falling sparrow,
For ’tis precious in His sight.
    In my Father’s blessèd keeping
I am happy, safe and free;
While His eye is on the sparrow,
I will not forgotten be.

         It is significant that Christ marked with so much interest the more lowly and homely of the creatures around us. He does not say, ‘Consider the eagle’ –the monarch of the air, the symbol of empire and victory; or, ‘Consider the nightingale,’ the sweet bulbul that floods the Jordan banks and the shores of Galilee with passionate music…Who but Jesus would of dreamed of getting poetry and theology out of ravens and sparrows! Who but He would have compared Himself, as He did in the most pathetic utterance of His life, to a hen vainly calling her heedless brood to the shelter of her wings!  But this fashion of speech became Him who was ‘meek and lowly in heart’; and who, moreover, being one with the Author of Nature, interprets best her deepest and simplest lessons.
         That Christ should have thus had an eye and a heart for ‘the lilies’ and for sparrows and chickens, being what He was, and having such an errand in the world as He had, is in fact full of instruction in itself, and profoundly reassuring as an index to the mind of God. Such language from His lips should help to correct our pride and thoughtlessness, and teach us a faith more considerate and humane, more open-eyed to the kindly and affecting aspects of the daily life of Nature, while it serves to enlarge and deepen our views of the universal providence of God.
         We are apt to fancy that the value, which we put upon a creature so small and so abundant as a sparrow, is the value which God puts upon it. We do not think much of it because it is so common, and therefore we suppose that God does not think much of it. But there cannot be a greater mistake. The very commonness of a thing is just the best proof of its high value in God’s sight.
         The little bird mentioned is most insignificant; and the Lord selected it, just for its insignificance, to bring out thereby a truth which overwhelms the reason. He took out of His immense universe an object so poor, so small, that nothing could be less important, to illustrate the truth on which the system of Christian morals is built. And the truth is this: God is in intelligent relation with everything that exists; there are, practically, no limits to His providence; and in the universe nothing is so minute as to be overlooked or forgotten. ‘Not one of them is forgotten.’ That is a marvel, a miracle of knowledge. But more than knowledge is in the phrase ‘not forgotten.’ It implies a knowledge which lasts, though the thing known may no longer exist; care, consideration, particulars retained in the faithful memory. In the ephemeral history of the poor little bird of whom the great God and Savior deigned to speak not one item is forgotten. Each tiny creature’s life, in all its extent, is seen, and known, and borne in mind by Him to whom it owes that life.

         The providence, the knowledge, the unforgetting, the all-remembering, perpetual vision, must cover the entire life of each creature, and all the things that live, and all that has been and shall be…’all things’ in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, ‘are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’; not to believe this is practically to be left without God in this world or the next.

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