Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19 – Do not be afraid!

Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.  (Luke 12:6,7  NET)

The coin referred to in this verse is the small Roman copper coin called the assarion.  It was a half hour’s wage of a common worker (a sixteenth of a denarius).  If five sparrows could be bought with two assarion, this meant that no living animal was cheaper than a sparrow in the marketplace.  In the same way, no one in their right mind would ever think of keeping count of the hairs on his/her head.  Each one is of so little value, and counting them would take so long that it wouldn’t be worth the time. Jesus is making the point that the most insignificant things are noticed and even valued by God.  If God cares about hairs on our heads and sparrows, how much more does He care about us, the pinnacle of His creation? 

In Isaiah 49 the same theme is echoed: Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast?  Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne?  Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you! 

How do you feel when someone complements you, or expresses how important you are to them?  When your boss gives you a raise because of your excellent work, all of a sudden all pressure and hard work are worth it.  When a husband looks into his wife’s eyes, and tells her with sincerity how beautiful she is and that there is no other woman in the world for him, the joy and confidence she feels is indescribable. (Husbands, did you get that?)  But today’s promise is far, far greater than these things.  The Creator, God Almighty, is telling us that we are more important to Him than anything else, and that His great love for us drives Him to watch over the smallest details of our lives.

God wants us to fear losing our salvation, to be afraid of drifting away from Him, not to be afraid of our problems or of what other people can do to us.  In a world where fear is at epidemic levels, and hundreds of thousands medicate themselves in a futile attempt to calm their fears, we are called to trust completely in our Savior, and in His great compassion and care for us.  Jesus is encouraging us to live in a constant state of confidence and joy in the fact that Almighty God loves us and is looking out for us.  When we do, we will not be afraid!

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