“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31
Doing my “through the Bible in a year reading, Joshua 21 came across my radar. It is one of those passages of the Bible where there is much repetition. It concerns the allotting of cities and their pasturelands for the Levites who were not given a normal portion of the captured land of Canaan as the other tribes of Israel; for the Levites were the tribe which made up all the priests of Israel. Nevertheless, they had to be allotted many cities in which to live with their adjoining pasturelands for the raising of much livestock to support the sacrifices for worship. Reading this chapter, I was impressed with the thought of all the persons who lived and raised families in all these cities with very unfamiliar place names. But they each knew the name of their own city for it was their home.
Then I thought this is only 1/12th of Israel, or actually 1/13th, since Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh each were given an allotment of land in dividing the whole Promised Land. Then I thought, this is only one small nation, among the nations of the world. All this to say, in a convoluted way, there are many, many people in the world who have lived in every age, in all parts of the earth. You are just one of a very large number of total population on the earth at any given time. And especially when you consider the number who live today.
In light of this perspective of the myriads who have ever lived, how important are you? Are you just an obscure number making up the enormous whole of humanity. There are many who have some amount of fame, whose names appear in history books. But there are so many, many more who are never recorded in any history. Does this mean their lives are unimportant? That it does not matter if they had lived at all? And then consider all those who did not survive infancy? Or even all those who were conceived but never saw the light of day? I imagine you are important to you! Are you important to a mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter? I would imagine so. But the crucial and most important thing is you are known to God, whoever you are, no matter how obscure you may be in the eyes of the world. You may be equated in the Bible to a tiny piece of sand on a seashore pointing out how numerous are the descendants of Abraham, but you are by no means as discardable as a tiny piece of sand.
Contemplating this is so infinitely beyond our capacity to even imagine. But then the greatness of God is so far above and beyond us. You cannot plumb his depths, or measure his width, or picture his enormity. He is all in all. But what is that to you? It is just this: He knows who you are. His knowledge of you as a person, as an important being, is your everything. It does not matter if anyone else even knows you exist. The fact He does is what counts. You must treasure the truth, God knows you; and do what is necessary on your part to draw near to Him. The practical book of James tells you: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:8 & 10)
You really are obscure, just a tiny number among billions. But God knows you, and you can know Him. This is why you are important, and will not pass into oblivion. He cares for you, and you cannot get over the incredible knowledge of that.
“I am so glad that our Father in heaven tells of His love in the book He has given: wonderful things in the Bible I see; this is the dearest that Jesus loves me. I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me; I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me.”
(1st verse of Philip Bliss’ hymn “I Am So Glad That Our Father in Heaven,” 1838-1876)
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