THE SCOPE OF GOD’S CARE
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Psalm 147:3-4, the Psalmist beautifully indicates the scope of God’s care and a balance in God’s nature. The same things are reflected many times in the life and teaching of Jesus. The psalmist says, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He counteth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.” Whether or not the author was consciously trying to do so, he shows that our God is tender and kind enough not to neglect the smallest individual, yet strong and powerful enough to care for the needs of the whole universe. In his omniscience, he knows every star by number and name, and at the same time numbers the hairs of my head (Matthew10:30). I could not but wonder if he named them too, as he did the stars!
There is another related lesson that is worthy of our extended study to which I shall barely call attention. It is interesting to read verses 3 and 4 together, for they seem to be separate and unrelated thoughts. It seems hard for us to think of two things that are so different and apparently unrelated as actually being closely related. But they are in God’s order.
We often allow the big things to push out the little, or vice versa. We either look at the stars and forget the little hurts and needs of ordinary humans, or we get so concerned with the small and trivial things about us, we forget the greatest things in the universe. We look at the forest and forget the individual trees, or we get so concerned with the leaf on one tree that we forget the forest. We, individually and governmentally get so concerned with society as a whole that we forget the needs of one individual, or we get so involved in one person (whether O. J. or Elvis) that we do not concern ourselves with the welfare of the whole. There are some who are so concerned about planning for the long years of retirement that we do not enjoy the present moment or use the present opportunity, or we are so short sighted that we live for the moment (as many young persons do), with no concern for the future.
When I meditate on how the Psalmist brings together the broken hearts of man and the stars of the heavens, it helps me to see more clearly that our heartbreak, or any need we may have, is the concern of the infinite God who knows each star and upholds the universe by his power. It helps me not to lose connection with the infinite and eternal because of excessive concern with the finite and transient. It also helps me to know that although I may think lofty thoughts and have high aspirations; I may have stars in my eyes or my head in the clouds, so to speak, my feet should be planted on solid ground. We have heard of those who claimed to have such heavenly thoughts that they were no earthly good. We need not be that way, and must not if we are Christlike.