Sparrows and Ravens
Daily Reading: (Luke 12:6-7,24):
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.”Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”
One of the most enjoyable activities for me is to watch birds come and eat out of a bird feeder. Taking care of God’s beautiful creation is part of what you and I were created to do and it can be so rewarding. As I was looking out at the bird feeder, the Holy Spirit reminded me that even in a difficult time in our life, God will care for me as He does even the birds.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).
Sparrows were a very cheap bird to be bought in Israel. You could get for one penny two sparrows, while for two you could get five. What a deal! Adam Clarke Commentary said: “yet even it, so valueless, was not forgotten of God.”
“Not forgotten by God,” the word forgotten (epilanthanomai) can mean to forget but an even richer definition of the word is not cared for. Worry stems from forgetting about, not being mindful of, or doubting God’s care for you (Luke 12:6). Another way to say it is when you receive God’s love, when you wrap yourself in it, the things that trouble you will leave (1 John 4:18). That is why the next verse, Jesus tells us to “fear not” (phobeō). You could have a phobia of a lot of things- but gaze out at the bird feeder at those tiny little birds getting their needs met and remember God has promised to do the same for you. A skeptic would say, “well you are the one caring for the needs of the little birds, what does God have to do with it?” Do you not think that God worked on my heart to be mindful of the birds? God gave me the mind to think of them, the resources to purchase the food, and my reward was the joy of seeing the birds be feed through the provision of what God has given to me, bird seed. As I view the birds being fed, I can think,” how much more valuable am I to God?” I used my resources to assist the birds because I believe in the promise that God will meet my needs. And I can use my resources to help others because I believe God’s supply doesn’t dry up.
Later in the same chapter we move to another bird, the ravens.
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds” (Luke 12:24)!
Maybe today as we consider the ravens and we consider the sparrows, believers and non-believers alike might see God’s care for them. For the believer their trust in God will grow and for the non-believer their restored relationship with God might begin. Consider the ravens how they don’t have to plan, they just go about their lives and know that what they need will be there.
So how does prayer fit in if God already knows you need something but you don’t seem to have it and now you are worried about it? This is an excellent question where the answer is directly in the text. “But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Prayer will focus our hearts on the Kingdom (Luke 12:31). When we know that God knows what we need and has promised to supply it, we will use what we have for the Kingdom.
Remember the raven and the sparrow have little monetary value, yet God cares for them. How much more valuable are you to God? Have confidence that your loving Heavenly Father will care for your needs. This will free us from worry. As we put our minds on the Kingdom we are enabled to live lives of generosity, storing up for ourselves treasures in heaven.