His Eye is on the Sparrow

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

For years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have counseled members to have a year’s supply of food and other essentials stored for emergency preparedness and independence. Joseph Smith, the first prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints taught that “The Church and its members are commanded by the Lord to be self-reliant and independent” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:13-14). I have always called this “Squirrel Syndrome”.

In this day and age martial law seems to be imminent, we have a president (Barack Obama) who appears to be ineligible for office and cares nothing about the rule of law, natural disasters seem to be striking more frequently, the entire world is experiencing economic depression and war seems to be likely between many countries. Given these conditions, I believe it is indeed prudent to plan ahead a few days.

Storing a years’s worth of food and essentials is overkill. It is expensive, unnecessary and shows a lack of faith in God’s Providence for His creation.

If a person makes the right choices in this life there is no reason that one should be anxious. Yeshua provided two fortiori arguments in Matthew 6:25-34, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” and “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” These fortiori arguments show that since God cares even for the birds and the lilies, how much more will He care for His own. To be anxious demonstrates a lack of faith in God, who promises that he will graciously care for all these things.

Yeshua said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 ESV). In his epistle to the Romans the Apostle Paul wrote, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 ESV). In their epistle to the Philippians the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Timothy wrote, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:5-6 ESV).

Human beings are of more value than animals because only humans are created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), because God gave the human race dominion over all the earth and all its creatures (Genesis 1:28), and because God loves mankind so much that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the ultimate price for our sins (John 3:16).

There is scarcely any sin against which our Lord Jesus more warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting, distrustful cares about the things of this life. This often insnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich. But there is a carefulness about temporal things which is a duty, though we must not carry these lawful cares too far. Take no thought for your life. Not about the length of it; but refer it to God to lengthen or shorten it as he pleases; our times are in his hand, and they are in a good hand. Not about the comforts of this life; but leave it to God to make it bitter or sweet as he pleases. Food and raiment God has promised, therefore we may expect them. Take no thought for the morrow, for the time to come. Be not anxious for the future, how you shall live next year, or when you are old, or what you shall leave behind you. As we must not boast of tomorrow, so we must not care for to-morrow, or the events of it. God has given us life, and has given us the body. And what can he not do for us, who did that? If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more than the body and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as an encouragement to trust in God. We must reconcile ourselves to our worldly estate, as we do to our stature. We cannot alter the disposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resign ourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the kingdom of God, and make religion your business: say not that this is the way to starve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to his wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 10:28-33 ESV)

It is not food, clothing, shelter, cars, and other personal possessions that we need to be concerned with in this life, that is materialism. God has promised to provide our needs already, and God always keeps His promises (Joshua 1:1-6; Numbers 23:19). We need to concentrate our efforts to walk as Messiah Yeshua walked. Tomorrow will worry about itself and today is more than enough trouble already.

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