His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair. De­spite their af­flict­ions, they lived hap­py Christ­ian lives, bring­ing in­spir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them. One day while we were vi­sit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the se­cret of it. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s re­ply was sim­ple: “His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.” The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­press­ion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the imag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mar­tin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Spar­row” was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence. -Civilla Martin

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Listen to my favorite version here:

Psalm 34 in the Context of 1 Samuel 21

This was 12 years after being anointed king. Saul was rejected. David was accepted. David was righteous. He obeyed God. He respected God. He feared the Lord. He defended God and believed God. And for years he doesn’t become king. He instead runs in fear, hunger, and lack of shelter. In this instance he flees for his life from Saul to a neighboring country/city of the Philistines, and there he encounters the same thing. The servants of Achish say, “Hey. Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands. ACK!!!” They get serious, and David fears for his life again. He acts crazy and is set free, and then he writes Psalm 34.

A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before [b]Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.

34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This [c]poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

I believe that this is an important line in the Psalm. This whole Psalm is a lesson from David. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Listen to what happened when I was so messed up I had to act crazy to not get killed for obeying the Lord. This is what the fear of the Lord looks like.

12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

He doesn’t prevent troubles from happening! He sees us and delivers us.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are [d]crushed in spirit.

He is near to the brokenhearted. He’s near to those who have already been hurt – who are in the middle of pain.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

This! Wow. David lays out a message we all need to understand. We will have a whole lot of hard times. That comes with a righteous lifestyle, but the Lord will deliver us out of all of them.

20 He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous will be [e]condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be [f]condemned.

Jesus says it like this:
Matthew 6:25-34
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The fear of the Lord is being faced with a 1 Samuel 21 and yet singing a Psalm 34. It is not being anxious. It is being happy in the midst of terrible times – not because we are actually crazy, but because Jesus is my portion. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

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