What does the biblical reference to “lilies of the field” mean? What was Jesus trying to tell believers?
In Matthew chapters five and six, Jesus gives the Beatitudes or sometimes called the Sermon on the Mount and there he asks:Why are you worried about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them(Matthew 6:28-29). The meaning seems clear in the context of this paragraph (Matt 6:25-34) for he had commanded his hearers (and us)”do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?(Matt 6:25). Sounds easy, but it’s so hard to do, isn’t it? What can help us consider lilies?
Look at the birds
By helping us better understand anxiety and hopefully learn how to deal with it, Jesus wants us to simply look at nature. He uses birds as an example saying “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than them(Matt 6:26). Yes, we are more valuable to God than the birds, not that he doesn’t value them too. We are not in a position to envisage tomorrow, but neither are the birds. Why worry about something we can’t control. They don’t care (if they could!). God always provides them. Maybe that’s what Jesus is telling us. How can worry help us? Our Lord said “which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to your lifespan(Matthew 6:27)? The answer is obvious. None of us can add even a second to our lives. It’s actually quite the opposite. Having anxiety and living in a state of worry will shorten your lifespan.
Trust in God
Fear can be about as opposite of trust as there is. If fear is directly north, then trust is south. I have to admit that I had moments of fear, but that tells God that I have a lack of trust in him, but when you really learn to trust, your fear can go away. Jesus asks his listeners (and us)”why do you worry about the clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them(Matthew 6:28-29)? Perhaps his view is that lilies do not toil in the fields and yet they fulfill their function in beauty. They seem to grow almost effortlessly. Solomon in all his glory needed to toil and spin but still could not compare to the lilies of the field.
Different or same?
We are told to come out of the world (Jer 51:45; Rev 18:4) as Paul writes:come out from among them, and be separate from them, saith the LORD, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you“(2nd Cor 6:17) but if we constantly worry”What are we eating?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear“(Matthew 6:31) how are we different from the world because”the Gentiles seek all these things” (Matthew 6:32a)? What a waste of energy because “your Heavenly Father knows you all need it(Matt 6:32b). Jesus’ conclusion to all of this is “do not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Enough for the day is its own problem(Matt 6:34) because we cannot control tomorrow; only today, so why waste time and effort on this? Consider lilies.
I hope you have been helped by this study on thrush. It should strengthen your faith in God by looking around you. You can see that God is faithful to his created creatures and always provides for their needs. Will he do less for you? He also wants to shower more blessings on you if you trust Him. If you are not born again, Jesus has a message for you; “Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him(John 3:36).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Editor of What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.