THE HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Luke 21:16-18, Jesus says, “But ye shall be delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends, and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. And not a hair of your head shall perish.”
Here Jesus is pointing out that His Apostles would be persecuted, put into prison, betrayed by relatives and friends, and put to death. But, in spite of all that, He says, “Not a hair of your head shall perish.” I do not know whether it ever crossed their minds to ask, “What difference will it make that not a hair of our head perish, if we lose the whole head — if we are persecuted and murdered?” What would the promise mean to you?
When the shipwreck came in Acts 27:39ff, they had been told by Paul that not a hair would fall from the head of any of them. But they still went through shipwreck and suffering. Let us be aware that although our hairs may be numbered, and it may be that none will perish, this does not in any way suggest that we shall escape difficulty, danger, disaster, or death! It is easy to feel that if we do not get all we feel we deserve in an earthly way, God has deserted us. He did not keep Shadrak, Meshach, and Abednego out of the furnace of fire, but He walked with them in it! So it was with the sweet singer ofIsraelthrough the “valley of the shadow of death.” So it can be with us!
We suppose a traveler through the Western Plains where the Sioux or theCheyenneor the Arapaho in another era might lift the scalp would have found it hard to accept the idea that “not a hair shall perish,” but even then the truth is still the same. The truth is, if you are God’s, and do what you do in obedience to HIS will and for HIS glory, no matter what may happen to you, nothing that is really essential to you will be lost. In our lesser moments, we wish this could prevent us from suffering “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” but in our better moments we would not trade the promise of God in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you” for any comfort, convenience or honor the world might have.
Romans 8:35-39 is probably a fairly good commentary on Luke 21:12-18. “Not a hair of your head shall perish” although the brethren may “scalp” you! Not a hair of your head shall perish, although the head itself may be removed! There is no power on earth or in hell, and no circumstance that may confront, confound or confuse you that will remove you from God’s love and care! This is the meaning of the expression, and has nothing to do with whether we lose any or all of our hair.