Monday, June 05, 2017

We're under some pretty special care

Rock hyrax mother and child
Rock hyrax mother and child from Wikipedia
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 104:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "…The stork has her home in the fir trees. The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers." Psalm 104:17-18.

The stork is a large bird that makes a huge nest (it can be over 6 ft. in diameter and 10 ft. in depth). It needs a sturdy tree like a cedar to hold that nest (info from  Stork on  Wikipedia).

Goats have a hoof structure that makes it possible for them to climb to places most animals would never go. Thus wild goats can roam the hills for their food (info from Goat-Antelope on Wikipedia)

The rock badger of this psalm is most likely what we call the rock hyrax. These guinea pig-like rodents live in habitats with rock crevices in groups of ten to eighty, forage as a group, and use sentries—one or more animals to take up positions on vantage points—to warn the group when danger is approaching (info from Rock hyrax on Wikipedia).

In drawing our attention to these creatures the psalm writer gives us examples of what we call God's providence. [The dictionary defines providence as "The care exercised by God over the universe.]

Though the word providence isn't found in the Bible, it is the word that is traditionally used to describe God's continuing relationship to His creation. Wayne Grudem defines providence in his Systematic Theology:

"God is continually involved in all created things in such a way that he 1] keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; 2] cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and 3] directs them to fulfill his purposes" - p. 315"

God's providence doesn't include only to animals but extends to people too. Jesus said: "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" - Matthew 6:26.

In what ways do we experience God's providence? Consider these (condensed from Grudem, pp. 320-321):

  • In our daily provision - Matthew 6:11; Philippians 4:19.
  • In God's knowledge of and plan for our existence before we ever came into being - Psalm 139:16; Job 14:5; Galatians 1:15.
  • Even our minutest actions are performed under His watchful eye and direction: - Acts 17:28; Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 10:24; 16:9.
  • He sends success and failure - Psalm 75:6-7; Luke 1:52.
  • He gives us our talents and abilities - 1 Corinthians 4:7; Psalm 18:34.
  • He influences the decisions of our rulers - Proverbs 21:1; Ezra 6:22.
  • He especially guides the desires and inclinations of believers - Philippians 2:13.

Most of the time I take all this for granted. Perhaps you do too? Today, let's pause, consider God's providence, give thanks, and worship.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the extent and detail of Your care for the universe and that it covers every aspect of my life. You are beyond amazing! Amen.

MORE: Good to be Alive by Jason Gray



The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.

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