January 12, 2008

The Eyes of the Lord

Deuteronomy 11:8-14

[It] is a land ... that drinks rain from heaven.
Deuteronomy 11:11


You watch your garden carefully. Rabbits and woodchucks have learned to appreciate the neighbor's greens and leave yours alone. Weeds emerge at their peril. In late spring and throughout summer and fall, your flowers are the envy of the neighborhood, your romaine lettuce is delightfully crispy, and your tomatoes promise a pungent spaghetti sauce.

But all your care wouldn't go far if the Lord's eyes were not on your garden. That's what Israel heard: the land of promise would not be like Egypt. There you irrigated the land to produce your daily bread. But in Canaan there is no great river to soak the soil. God cares for that land by sending the spring and autumn rains from heaven.

But Israel had trouble remembering that. When wicked king Ahab believed that the fertility god Baal looked after the land, God withheld the rains from his own people for three years (see 1 Kings 16:29-18:2).

Of course, the rains still come from heaven to water your garden, your precious flowers and tasty greens. God cares more for your garden than you do. More than that, he considers you to be his special garden. His eyes are on you every day. All people on earth daily drink from the showers of heaven, the only source of life, daily bread, bodily health, and spiritual well-being.

Help me to cultivate well the gardens you have given me, Lord, whether they are gardens that I plant or the garden of my heart. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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