Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: but your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
~ Matthew 6:30-34
I got into a long discussion with a friend in a Bible study group recently. We were talking about why God took offense at David taking a census in 2 Sam. 24. Someone told him it was because of pride and self-reliance, but it made no sense to him. “Anyone in his right mind who wanted to fight a war would want to know how many men he had,” he said.
Someone else mentioned the story of Gideon, and how God forced him to reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 to fight the Midianites. And actually the reason is stated in Gideon’s story. The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2)
“But that doesn’t make any sense,” my friend said. Whereupon I gave one of my favorite opinions. The Bible doesn't make sense. This is exactly what Paul means in 1 Corinthians, when he says, “Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Where God tells us to do one thing, and our minds tells us to do something else because it makes more sense, we must follow God, in faith. My friend was committing what I like to call “the Greek folly”: letting logic impede his faith.
There are two things, here. First, God demands that we do things that make no sense. Why? From faith in His word. We must be obedient to the Word of God whether or not it is logical, or makes sense to us.
Second, God promises that He will take care of us if we act out of faith. If our faith is sufficient, Christ tells us, it will move a mountain.
I do not know many — and by “many” I mean “any” — Christians who come anywhere close to following this recipe for life. Have utter and complete faith in God, follow His word, and do not worry about anything: about what you will have to eat, about what you will wear, about the future in general. Yet, that is exactly what the Bible tells us we should do. And, coming full circle to today’s Devotion, where we remember John the Baptist, it is exactly what John did.
He took life one day at a time, as Christ intended for us to do. In the marvelous poetry of the King James Version, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to always grow in faith, until, like John the Baptist, I put my faith completely in You. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer