Consider the Ravens
                             by Lois Tverberg

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have
no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much
more valuable you are than birds! Luke 12:24

Why do people need to work for a living when Jesus says that
God will care for us just as he cares for the ravens? Are we just
not trusting God enough for his sustenance? Should we
quit our jobs and wait for manna to fall from heaven?
A rabbi who lived in the 2nd century made an interesting observation that
is related to this issue. He said,

"Have you ever seen a wild beast or a bird who has a trade? Yet they get along without difficulty. And were they not created only to serve me? And I was created to serve my Master. So is it not logical that I should get along without difficulty? But I have done evil and forfeited my right to sustenance without difficulty." Simeon ben Eleazar, Mishnah, Kiddushim 4:14

Rabbi Eleazar is basing all his thoughts on the creation story in Genesis. According to Genesis 1:26, humans were made in God's image to reign over creation, so just as a king's subjects are his "servants," God decreed that animals are man's "servants." But unlike animals, Adam sinned by eating the apple, and his punishment was that he would have to toil for food instead of having it easily available. The rabbi is saying that because he is a sinner like Adam, he must work hard for his food, unlike the animals.

I think we can look at both of these statements together and gain from the contrast. It is a reality of life for us that we need to find work and make a living to sustain ourselves, and often our jobs can be toilsome and frustrating. We aren't guaranteed a life free of sweat and labor. But ultimately, we can trust that through the work that we are assigned, God is watching over us and providing for our needs, just as he cares for the birds. We are precious in God's sight, and we can worry about pleasing him because we know he cares for us.

     
   ©200
6 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
  reserved. This article is copyrighted and may not be redistributed
  without the express written consent of the author. To request
  permission for use, contact Tverberg@OurRabbiJesus.com.