A Bible Verse Every Hunter Should Memorize

Every hunter should memorize Matthew 10:29, which reads (in the ESV) as follows: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Another translation renders it this way: “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission” (emphasis mine).


What’s the context in which Jesus said this? Jesus had sent out his disciples to proclaim the gospel (Matt. 10:6-7), and he knew that as they did so, they would be persecuted, even to the point of death: “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (v. 22). In order to encourage them to stay faithful to his call, even in the midst of suffering, Jesus assured them that nothing would happen to them without their heavenly Father’s permission.


To paraphrase, Jesus was telling them, “Look at those birds. Not one of them can die without God allowing it to die. Of course, you are far more valuable than those birds. So, don’t be afraid, for you can’t die without God knowing about it and allowing it to happen” (see Matt. 10:31).


The words of Jesus have practical implications for all of us—and that includes hunters! So, if you are a Christian who hunts, here is what you should learn from this verse:

  1. Hunting can be dangerous, but remember that you cannot die and an animal cannot kill you without your heavenly Father’s permission.
  1. As you shoot an animal, remember that you cannot kill that animal without God’s permission. After all, every animal ultimately belongs to him. “For every beast of the forest is mine….I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine” (Ps. 50:10-11).
  1. When you realize that God owns every animal in the forest, it should motivate you to pray before you go hunting, and perhaps even to ask God for permission to kill one of his creatures. You might pray something like this: “Heavenly Father, thank you for creating animals as a blessing to us, and for allowing us to enjoy some of them as food. Will you please keep us safe as we hunt today, and permit us to shoot a deer or two with which we can feed our families?” Have you ever done this before? Since everything that moves in the field is his, don’t you think you should pray to him first before you hunt?
  1. Recognizing that God is sovereign even over the lives of animals should make you a humble hunter. The chief reason that you kill animals when you hunt is not because of what a skilled hunter you are, but rather because God permits you to do so. So, before you start boasting in your own competence or showing off photos of you and your kill on Facebook, take the time first to thank God for allowing you to kill one of his animals. Interestingly, we claim to be Calvinists who acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things, but when we shoot a dear we forget to attribute our achievement to God. In short, we act like Arminian hunters, slighting God’s sovereignty and giving too much emphasis on our ability. Are you a humble hunter who gives the credit to God for your success?
  1. The realization that no animal can fall to the ground without God’s permission should also give comfort to hunters when they return home without a kill. After hunting for many hours, or perhaps even days, it can be very discouraging to go home with nothing to show to your family, and no fresh meat to share as food. However, when this happens, a wise family member can comfort the hunter by saying, “It’s okay. You worked hard and you did your best, but it was clearly not God’s will for you to kill an animal on this trip.”

So, dear hunters, the next time that you go out hunting, please remember to meditate on Matthew 10:29 and to give God all the praise for the blessings that you experience!


Note: This post is part of my sermon entitled “God’s Providential Care”(Matt. 10:26-30), preached on November 20, 2016.





God's sovereignty Hunting

Waiting for God Is the Best Part about Faith

By Greg Forde (guest blogger)

I never thought that I would find myself in agreement with anything the Rev. Al Sharpton had to say; and politically, I’m pretty sure I still don’t. But in a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the political commentator returned to his first calling.

While discussing the reactions to the recent shootings in Newtown, as well as those in New York and Pennsylvania, the conversation turned to God’s role in the shootings and His attendant grace and comfort towards the survivors. Their conversation basically centered on the age old question, often asked by both faithful and unfaithful liberals,—“How does a loving God allow bad things to happen, and how do Christians maintain their faith without a clear answer to that question?”

Sharpton’s response was immediate and direct. Sharpton reminded the panel that God is everywhere, in the good and in the bad, and faith is especially for those times when we do not have the answers.

In the fallen world we live in, God’s presence in evil is a hard concept to grab a hold of. For unbelievers, and I fear, even for believers, we don’t like operating without answers. Even worse, we don’t like waiting for answers. Actually, most of us don’t like waiting for anything. For instance, in a restaurant we want our service faster. When we are driving, we want the car in front of us to go faster. We even want our worship service to go faster. We just don’t like waiting for anybody, or for anything including God. This attitude is sad because waiting for God is the best part about faith.

Sharpton is right. When we can’t find an answer, when we can’t understand a circumstance on our terms, that’s when we need to turn to the gospel—to turn our eyes to the cross of Christ and remind ourselves and others that God has a wonderful plan and that He will show it to us on his schedule, not ours. Easy to believe, harder to do, isn’t it?

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”  Psalm 46:10-11



With his wife Pat, Greg Forde resides in Alto, Michigan and serves as an elder at Dutton URC, Caledonia, Michigan.

Death God's sovereignty Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

God’s Sovereignty Behind the Tragedy in Newtown

By Greg Forde (guest blogger)

Whenever we experience a tragedy, we turn to God for comfort. Aware of His sovereign power, we pray to Him for strength to overcome our struggle. We seek His help to move forward. Yet, some of us question God for allowing a tragedy (like the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut) to happen. We sometimes ask (perhaps not vocally, but silently), “God, why did You allow this murder to happen?” The ultimate answer, of course, is because He is sovereign and does whatever pleases Him. The psalmist says in Psalm 135:5-6: “the LORD is great….Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth.”

To some people this answer is not comforting; and therefore, they look for another answer, ignoring the fact that God is in control of everything. Ironically, they want strength from God but deny that He has the power to control everything. They cannot accept that it was God who ultimately took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In Genesis 50:19-20, at the culmination of Joseph’s journey from a pit to a palace, he comforts his brothers who sold him for 20 pieces of silver: “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Here Joseph describes how the all-powerful God used the evil work of his brothers for their good and for God’s glory. In God’s wisdom, sovereignty, and providence He utilizes evil to accomplish His holy purpose. We see this truth at Calvary in which God was pleased to use the evil of the cross to conquer the Devil. God used the death of His Son to bring eternal life to those who believe in Him.

So, you may ask, “What is the good that comes from the Newtown shooting?”  We do not know how God’s plan will continue to unfold, but we do know that God, in His awesome power, can use this event to get each of us to turn our eyes to the cross of Christ.

Remember, God wants more faith. He wants not just a lip service in our homes, schools, and government, but a true return to Jesus Christ. We are not afraid to turn to Christ on our terms, but are we willing to turn to Christ on His terms?



With his wife Pat, Greg Forde resides in Alto, Michigan and serves as an elder at Dutton URC, Caledonia, Michigan.

Death God's sovereignty Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting