Does God Care?

It did not look like it:

The accepted man, Abel, murdered in jealous hate by the refused man, Cain. It seemed for the moment to be a sorry price to pay as the cost of God’s acceptance, though this latter was by virtue of his offering, type of our standing in God’s favour through the excellency of Christ’s offering. Abel was murdered, and this only hurried him into the everlasting peace of God’s presence. Was his usefulness on earth then cut short? Nay, he has preached longer than any preacher ever known. For one thing he began earlier than any; he was the first to die, and he being “dead yet speaks” (Heb 11:4). His lips are more eloquent in death than they could have been in life. Ask Abel, “Does God care?” What answer will he give? There is only one possible answer, earnest and emphatic.

It did not look like it:

The rough spoken lord of Egypt made it impossible for Jacob’s sons to return for corn, unless Benjamin was with them. The old man, bereaved of his loved wife, Rachel, and her firstborn, Joseph, clung with passionate affection to Benjamin, the sole link with that particular past. When at last he was compelled to part with him, he gave vent to his grief, “Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me” (Gen 42:36). Were they against him? He could not see far enough. Little did he think that the shadow of dreaded bereavement resting on his spirit, was in reality but the breaking of the clouds. Instead of losing Benjamin he was about to regain Joseph, and in regaining Joseph, every pinch of want would be a thing of the past, as he lived in the land of Joseph’s providing, and received of his bounty, even though all the rest of the earth was famine stricken. Ask Jacob, “Does God care?” Hear him say to Joseph for answer, “I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God has showed me also thy seed” (Gen 48:11).

It did not look like it:

The children of Israel groaning under bitter bondage, smarting under the whip of the cruel taskmaster, their would-be deliverer doing nothing more heroic for forty long years than keeping the flock of his father-in-law at the backside of the desert. And when he made his first effort to gain release for his oppressed countrymen, it was only to make their plight still worse, as the word went forth that no more straw was to be given to the people, and yet the number of the bricks was not to be diminished. When the people murmured against Moses, they did not look far enough. Could they have seen what lay before them, how differently they would have viewed things! To the question of “Does God care?” the song on the Red Sea’s banks gives triumphant answer.

It did not look like it:

God’s anointed hunted like a partridge on the mountains, a king without a throne; at best a motley crew around him in the cave of Adullam, those distressed, in debt, discontented, all with their lives in their hands. It was a rough experience, and patience and endurance were sorely tried; yet tribulation taught David happier lessons than the prosperity of the throne. Those years of tribulation produced the Psalms, which have comforted the saints of God well nigh three thousand years. When Doeg, the Edomite, tells Saul that David had come to the house of Ahimelech, hear the answer of David’s heart to the question “Does God care?” “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually” (Ps 52:1); when the Ziphims come and say to Saul, “Doth not David hide himself with us?” his response is, “Behold God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul” (Ps. 54:4); and when he flees from Saul in the cave, he can sing, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Ps 57:7). So it ever is. God does care, spite of appearances to the contrary.

It did not look like it:

What a scene of imposing splendour! princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs, and rulers all going one way. But three men stood against the swiftly flowing tide.

How easily might the three Hebrew children have asked in doubt “Does God care?” Would it not be well to submit, and bow to the image of gold? But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had but one thought. To bow to God? Yes! to bow to Nebuchadnezzer’s golden image? Never! The king, full of fury, commanded the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than its wont. What must the feelings of the three Hebrew children have been as the most mighty men in the army bound them in their coats, their hosen, their hats, and their other garments? But God was sufficient even for a pass like this. The fiery flames with their scorching breath destroyed the mighty men, whilst they burned the bonds of those devoted youths, and set them free to walk where never mortal man had walked before, upon a pavement of molten fire, without the smell of fire upon them, not a hair of their head singed, and in the best of company, that of the Son of God. The inside of the furnace was better far than the outside. Not victims, but victors were they! delivered by their God; the king’s word changed, and his decree altered into giving universal respect to a God who could so act—this was the unexpected result of their faithfulness and constancy. God cared! And what will He not do for us if we stand true to Him?

It did not look like it:

At the end of a faithful course, after years of evangelising and planting churches, the apostle Paul had to say, “All they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Tim 1:15). “I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even to bonds” (chap. 2:9). “Demas has forsaken me—only Luke is with me” (2 Tim 4:10). What a contrast, he, who had been in the forefront of the fight, to be forsaken and alone! Yet when he writes, a prisoner, from Rome, with martyrdom before him, he can say to his beloved Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4); and, as we read the epistle, we can note the long vigorous stride the aged spiritual athlete takes as he exultingly cries, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).

Should this not encourage us? Are we forsaken, left alone, isolated? Then is the time to lean upon the Lord Himself. We may with grief see the multitude turn away, but like Paul we may unmoved press on. In whatever circumstances we are, He is sufficient for us. To have His company, and His smile, is essential. Nothing else is.

Scripture teems with illustrations of how God cares, and how short-sighted man is in looking at events happening to him. Yet with such a wealth of illustration, how little we are prepared to bring God into our calculations; how we leave Him out, thus losing both in peace of mind and steadiness of purpose.

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).

“We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom 8:37).

Surely we need never raise the question, “Does God care?” but henceforth calmly rest in the abiding sense of His ceaseless and untiring love.


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