I was sitting in my study at 5:15 this morning and the silence was golden. I’m not sure what time it was when I heard the first break of the silence but it was the beautiful sound of a bob white quail. Their call is so unique because you can hear the “bob whiiiite” so clearly. I looked out my study window and there it was. I walked to open the back door onto the patio, and out flew the swallow that I’ve allowed ( if you can’t beat them join them ) to nest on the patio support beam for the past 2 years. Out from the patio I saw purple martens, bluebirds, quail, robins, scissor-tail flycatchers, and several other species of birds flying from tree to tree. But the bird I always see the most of are sparrows. Sparrows surpass all other birds. So today I have chosen to learn from the lowly sparrow.
I pondered of what I knew of the sparrow and then looked up what I could about the despised bird. Even bird-watchers wonder why The Lord God created them. The U.S. imported the bird in 1850 from Europe in hopes of them eradicating a plague from tree stripping caterpillars. They are the most common and geographically dispersed of all birds. Many birds have beautiful songs and tunes, while the pesky sparrow just chirps. The sparrow multiplies prolifically and are known to damage crops of grain. They are very adaptable eating almost anything, if need be, and they will nest about any place they can find a hole or crack.
Yet, this is the bird that Jesus speaks of in His teaching in Luke 12:6-7:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows”.
Jesus chose the most insignificant little bird and said that we are of more value than them. Thanks, Lord! That really makes me feel good. You can buy 2 sparrows for a penny, or get a discount deal on 5 for two cents. So I’m worth at least 3 cents. Wow!! What worth I have?
One of the terms we hear so often is self-esteem. Everybody has dealt with it in one form or another. Some have an inflated self-esteem while others have a terrible inferiority. Instead of having either Paul instructs us:
“For not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned”.
On one hand we have dignity being created in the image of God as a human being. On the other we are depraved sinners under the judgement of God. We are both the fruit of God’s creation and the fall of Adam.
Of the two extremes, I think that the feeling of inferiority reigns supreme today. Many feel unloved, worthless, nobody wants me, ugly, dumb, you name it. Yet, Jesus is teaching us that if the almost worthless sparrow can’t fall to the ground without his notice, how much more important are we than them. We do have value to Him. He even knows the number of the hairs on each of our heads. (It doesn’t take much counting to number mine.)
I found this old-fashioned lyric by Civilla Martin: ” His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me”.
If God cares for the sparrows being a very insignificant bird, how much more does He care about us? He proved His love for us at the Cross. We are so valuable to God that He gave His only Son. Now that is real worth. Our true worth is what we are worth to God, and that is priceless since Jesus died for us.
I have loved my study of the birds and what they have to teach us.
Until next time, Lord willing,