On His Providential Care, Birds, and Psalm 147

This morning I came across this poem during my devotional time.  I love it when the Lord effortlessly connects my different worlds together through a passage.  This morning, He did so through Psalm 147 and Spurgeon’s commentary on the psalms:

“He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.” -Psalm 147:9

Lately we have been studying birds at our feeder.  David has become particularly fascinated with them, so we are reading about John James Audubon, looking through our field guides, observing birds, and coloring pictures of different types.

This verse in the psalms brought to mind some of Jesus’ comments on birds, which are some of  my favorite passages in scripture:

“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 6:26-34

and this one….

“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.”  -Matthew 10:29-31

I think his point here is not to devalue birds in any way, but to point us to His meticulous providential care over all aspects of His creation.  Clearly He is a God of great specificity and detail–DNA, the architecture of snowflakes, the marvelous way that our bodies are put together, all of these things, for me, point to His care over the details of His creation.

Shakespeare saw it too, which is why he put these words in Hamlet’s mouth:

Horatio:
If your mind dislike any thing, obey it. I will forestall their
repair hither, and say you are not fit.

Hamlet:
Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in
the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to
come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come—the
readiness is all. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows what is’t
to leave betimes, let be.
Hamlet Act 5, scene 2, 217–224

I’m so thankful to serve such a God–His hand and eye is over ALL of the earth, including our own little worlds.  He certainly does not always act in ways that we can comprehend, and His ways are not  always easy ways, but all the same present, He is present–the buck stops with Him.

Oh–I almost forgot the poem from Spurgeon’s commentary that got me on this jag to begin with– and then I’ve got to go teach those children ; )

Behold, and look away your low despair;
See the light tenants of the barren air:
To them, nor stores, nor granaries belong,
Nought but the woodlands and the pleasing song;
Yet, your kind heavenly Father bends his eye
On the least wing that flits along the sky.
To him they sing when Spring renews the plain;
To him they cry in Winter’s pinching reign;
Nor is the music, nor their plaint, in vain.
He hears the gay, and the distressful call,
And with unsparing bounty fills them all.
Will he not care for you, ye faithless, say?
Is he unwise? Or, are ye less than they?
James Thomson, 1700-1748.

Advertisements

Ordering within the Creation (Ps 147:8)

Psalm 147:8 “He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.

In the order of the world there is an excellent chain of causes, by which all things hang together, that so they may lead up the soul to the Lord. – Thomas Manton.

I like what Thomas Manton says here about how the world should lead us to lift our eyes to God.  Instead of looking for God literally within His creation (as a pantheist would) we are to marvel at the intricately woven chain of dependency and then marvel at God.

What does this mean for an earth increasingly burdened by “broken links” in the chain (environmental problems, eradication of species, etc)?  I’m not sure.   Also, isn’t it sad that evolutionary theory has done its best to turn God’s glory as revealed by His creation upon its head?  Instead of seeing His handiwork as a source of praise, we end up burdened with a head full of questions about how to reconcile carbon dating, fossils, and plate tectonics with His word.  Sad.