…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? …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, Matt 6:25-32.
Jesus is making a point we often miss in that passage. “For the Gentiles seek after these things,” He says. The pagan gods were notoriously capricious, vindictive, and malicious. The whole idea was to appease them. The best a Gentile could hope for was that the gods wouldn’t notice him at all. If he kept his head down, minded his own business, and made the required sacrifices, maybe he could stumble his way through life without too much trouble. Certainly no one expected those gods to actually care enough about him to provide his needs.
Then Jesus reminds his disciples, “Your heavenly Father knows…” Did you catch that? Your God is not a capricious god; your God is your heavenly Father. If He is your Father, of course He will take care of your needs. Any time we worry—just like the Gentiles worried—we are insulting God, calling Him no better than those heathen gods who didn’t love their subjects, and certainly never thought of them as beloved children.
What would your earthly father have thought if, as a child, you came home from school every day and wondered aloud if there would be any supper on the table that night? How hurt would he have been if you didn’t trust him to love you and provide for you any better than that? Why do we think God would feel differently? Why would He not only be insulted, but angry, and wouldn’t it be understandable?
We may not have everything we want. Some of us will be more comfortable than others. But God is your Father, a Father who is able far beyond any pagan god to care for His people, and not only that--He wants to. Don’t insult Him, treating Him like nothing more than an idol, and a spiteful one at that, by worrying about the necessities of life.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust, Psalm 103:13,14
(For hints, help, and instructions on using this blog, click on the FAQ/Tutorial page on the left sidebar)