Summary: Several crises in our church family prompted the need for an encouraging sermon on God’s watchcare over our lives, even if we don’t understand what is happening at the time.
His Wonderful Watchcare
Deuteronomy 32: 10-12
by S. M. Henriques
Sometimes it seems as though God does not care anymore! Have you ever felt that way? Or perhaps you believe he cares, but at times you have difficulty seeing how he does. Every one of us is plagued with doubts and fears sometimes about the care or interest God has for us in our everyday problems. When circumstances don’t go as we feel they should, we have trouble understanding that God cares for us. When things go right, we have an easier time of it.
But God is good! How can we know that? Out of the many possible ways, today we will look at one of them. We can know the goodness of God through the way he watches over us. We call this “watchcare.”
When you’ve got enough money to pay the bills, or when you’ve just received a promotion, or the crops you just gathered are the best they’ve been in many years, or when family relationships are good, you don’t doubt what I just said. But when there’s no money, when things just aren’t going your way, when the kids are sick, when things are strained at your house, or when everything goes wrong with your crop, you might disagree with me. Then you’re more likely to ask “When can I know the goodness of God through his watch care?” When can you know how good God is because of the way he watches over you and cares for you? Here are some times:
1. One of the times we can know God’s goodness through his watchcare is when he removes our security.
Moses was delivering his farewell speech to the people of Israel, just before they were to enter the promised land of Canaan. He was reminding them of all the wonderful things God had done for them, and he compares God’s watch care over them to the mother eagle caring for her young, and teaching them to fly. He says, “like an eagle that stirs up its nest….” That sounds like a strange thing to say, and an even stranger thing to do. But let’s look deeper.
The first thing the mother eagle does is to find a good, safe place for her young. She soars high onto a ledge, away from everything that would harm or endanger her babies. There she begins to build her nest. She gathers briars, sticks, and sharp pieces of wood. When she has made this prickly framework, her next task is to line the nest with rabbit and squirrel skin and then finally with feathers, making a nice, soft, comfortable nest for her baby eaglets.
She lays the eggs, and finally the eggs are hatched. Everything is warm and comfortable for the babies. Everything is soft and safe! The mother feeds the babies until they are plump and growing without a worry or concern in the entire world.
But suddenly the situation changes! The mother eagle reaches down into the nest with her long beak, and jerks out all the lining from the nest and throws it out! The eaglets are left sitting on thorns and thistles, sharp, and prickly, and uncomfortable. Their warm and comfortable home has suddenly become a very unpleasant place to be!
They look up with questioning and doubting eyes to see their mother as they have never seen her before. She unfolds her great wings and flutters them majestically. Perhaps, if baby eaglets could talk, they would say, “Help us! You’ve always made our lives comfortable and given us everything we’ve ever needed. Why don’t you stop our suffering?”
But the mother eagle knows exactly what she is doing. So she reaches down again, and begins to pull the nest apart, stick by stick, briar by briar, thorn by thorn. Finally, not much is left of the nest at all, just barely enough to support her babies. And then by example she begins to teach her young ones how to fly. But why does she teach them like this?
She scatters the sticks of the nest so that her family might reach their full potentials as eagles! They were not meant to live their entire lives in a nest! They were designed and born to fly, to soar like, well, like eagles! And their mother knew that the only way they were going to learn to do that, was for her to free them from their nest, so that they could be all that God had intended them to be.
God sometimes has to do that to us. Just as He had to tear up the comfortable nest that the Hebrews had in Egypt, even so He sometimes has to do things that make us question Him. Things happen in our lives that make us say, “God, surely this time you’ve made a mistake!” But God knows what He is doing. He knows that unless our nests are disturbed, unless they are sometimes literally broken to pieces, we’ll never become the kind of people He wants us to be. It is so easy for us to become complacent and settle back to watch the world go by and think how blessed we are.