Sunday, January 4, 2009

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

I'm not trying to pick on anybody, but not too long ago I read a blog in which the author discussed the acquisition of a new pet cat. The author attributed certain events in the pursuit of this acquisition as being the will of God. Their reasoning was that if God cares about the sparrows, He has time to care about their cat acquisition. That got me thinking. Does God really care?

While it's true that the Bible says (Matthew 10:29) that God knows when even a single sparrow will fall to the ground outside the will of the Father, I don't know that it means that He cares one way or the other. I imagine the text to be properly understood as, "Nothing happens against the will of God." I don't think that means God really cares about the sparrow one way or the other. The point is that if God did care, He would control the situation to please Him.

The larger theme of the passage is "Do not be afraid of them" (Matthew 10:26). I don't think it's accurate to interpret the Bible--here or anywhere else--to say that God will prevent evil people from harming us. He may, at times, choose to protect certain individuals or in certain circumstances, but I think the historical record clearly illustrates that God is willing to allow people to exert their free will, even at the expense of His people. For crying out loud, people killed His own Son! If the Father will allow them to kill His Son, why in the world would you think you're safe? Instead, I think that we are to live free from fear of our co-inhabitants on this planet not because they can't hurt us, but rather because in the grand scheme of things, if they do hurt us it doesn't really matter.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I do think God cares about even the minor events in our lives, such as our pets. Some pets are horrible little creatures, while others bring us more joy than our spouses. ;) I don't think, however, that God would take steps to thwart your free will to stop you from doing something, even if you are making an incredibly stupid choice.