JUNE 2 – GOD KNOWS AND CARES

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

—1 Peter 5:7

And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee” (Isaiah 54:10).

Our Father in heaven knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. He knew our inborn treachery, and for His own sake engaged to save us (48:8-11). His only begotten Son, when He walked among us, felt our pains in their naked intensity of anguish. His knowledge of our afflictions and adversities is more than theoretic; it is personal, warm and compassionate. Whatever may befall us, God knows and cares as no one else can. KOH088-089

Lord, as David said, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me” (Psalm 139:6). Thank You for Your intimate knowledge and Your infinite care. Amen. [1]


5:7 Believers are privileged to cast all their anxieties on the Lord with the strong confidence that He cares. Once again Peter is quoting from the Greek version of the OT (Ps. 55:22).

J. Sidlow Baxter points out that there are two kinds of care here:

There is anxious care, in the words: “Casting all your care upon Him”; and there is affectionate care, in the words: “He careth for you.” Over against all our own anxious care is our Savior’s never-failing affectionate care.

Worry is unnecessary; there is no need for us to bear the burdens when He is willing and able to bear them for us. Worry is futile; it hasn’t solved a problem yet. Worry is sin. A preacher once said: “Worry is sin because it denies the wisdom of God; it says that He doesn’t know what He’s doing. It denies the love of God; it says He does not care. And it denies the power of God; it says that He isn’t able to deliver me from whatever is causing me to worry.” Something to think about![2]


Cast away anxiety

5:7

  1. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Of all the religions in the world, only the Judeo-Christian religion teaches that God cares for his children. In fact, he cares so much that he bids them bring all their problems to him. The Bible says:

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. [Ps. 37:5]

Cast your cares on the Lord

and he will sustain you;

he will never let the righteous fall. [Ps. 55:22]

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.… For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” [Matt. 6:25, 32]

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [Phil. 4:6]

Notice that Peter uses the term cast. In the Greek, the tense implies that casting is a single act. In true humility and trust in God, the Christian throws all his anxieties on the Lord. The Greek word for “anxiety” means “to be drawn in different directions.” Anxiety has a debilitating effect on our lives and results from our loss of confidence and assurance. If we doubt, we assume the burden of worries and thus demonstrate a lack of faith. Therefore Peter urges us to cast our worries on God and to trust in him.

The verb to cast signifies the act of exerting effort to fling something away from ourselves. It describes a deliberate act. Once we have thrown away our anxieties, although not our troubles, we know that God cares for us. In both the Old and New Testaments God’s promise to care for his children is sure (see Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5).

Practical Considerations in 5:6–7

The world regards humility not as a virtue but as a weakness that man should avoid. Just as he avoids arrogance and pride, so he should abhor humility. Humbleness is understood in the derogatory sense of a weak person who is groveling in the dust. Scripture, however, teaches that meekness is not weakness but moral strength. Moses was known as “a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3), and yet served as the greatest leader and lawgiver Israel ever had.

Scripture exhorts us to be humble before God and man. But in daily life, practice often differs from theory. For example, a pastor longs to be the minister of a large congregation but never receives a call; a member of a church openly campaigns for a position as elder or deacon but never is elected; someone vies for the editorship of a denominational paper but is not appointed. In these cases, pride and self-interest play a dominant role. A humble person knows that not man but God promotes and appoints people to work in the church. The words of the psalmist are to the point:

No one from the east or the west

or from the desert can exalt a man.

But it is God who judges:

He brings one down, he exalts another. [Ps. 75:6–7][3]


Trust

casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (5:7)

As believers endure humbly and submissively, they find their strength in the midst of trials, by means of confident trust in God’s perfect purpose. The psalmist David is surely Peter’s source, since this trust was his, and the apostle must have known his words well: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Ps. 55:22). David’s anxiety came from attacks by a Judas-like friend (see vv. 12–14), a most difficult trial to bear since it comes from one who is loved and trusted. Peter drew from that text to instruct all believers in all kinds of trouble to follow David’s example and give themselves to the Lord’s care (cf. 2:23; 4:19).

Casting (from epiriptō) means throwing something on something else or someone else. For example, in Luke 19:35 (kjv) it is used of throwing a blanket over an animal. Peter exhorts believers to throw on the Lord all their anxiety, a word that can include all discontentment, discouragement, despair, questioning, pain, suffering, and whatever other trials they encounter (cf. 2 Sam. 22:3; Pss. 9:10; 13:5; 23:4; 36:7; 37:5; 55:22; Prov. 3:5–6; Isa. 26:4; Nah. 1:7; Matt. 6:25–34; 2 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:6–7, 19; Heb. 13:6) because they can trust His love, faithfulness, power, and wisdom.[4]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2281). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 198–200). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 279–280). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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