In Matthew 10 Jesus sends his disciples out to the lost tribes of Israel. Amidst his words of instructions about how they were to travel (10:6-10) and what they were to do (10:11-15), we see words of reassurance about, of all things, the sparrows:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Look at how God watches over the sparrows! We read that God is in control and knows when each sparrow falls (the Greek word here could mean the death of each sparrow but it could also mean when a sparrow falls to land before climbing). Yet God's concern for us is greater. God knows the fate of each sparrow as he knows each hair on our head. This knowledge is not simply an intellectual knowledge or a predictive knowledge, but an intimate, relational and determinant knowledge. God knows my soul better than I know myself. He knows the skeletons we keep in our closets, the memories and moments we choose to forget about, those words we wish hadn't passed our lips ... he knows our thoughts and feelings about the future, he knows our worries, he knows the choices that we will make and the day of our deaths ... he knows every detail of our lives. As I look back over my own skeletons—the good I have failed to do, the thoughts that I have thought, the words that I have said (or left unsaid) and the deeds that I have done, I can't help marvelling that still, in spite of it all, God has set his love on me. And knowing the enormity and completeness of God's knowledge of us can only heighten, broaden and deepen our shallow recognition of what God's love is.
We read in Matthew 10:29 and Luke 12:7 that every hair on our heads is numbered by God—that is, God is concerned with us in minute detail. That God knows the number of hairs on our heads shows that there is a value ascribed to each one, and that he knows—even ordains—when any of them gets detached and falls to the ground is a demonstration of his absolute sovereignty. God is completely in control over everything—the family we grew up in, the job which we do, where we church, where we live, what our personality is like, who are our friends—and nothing we can do can remove us from his plan (see, for example, Psalm 139).
Our God does not slumber and leave us alone (Psalm 121:4). Instead, he is active, sustaining his creation. God will protect his children and bring them to his inheritance of eternal life. God is concerned for us—far more than the sparrows. Matthew Henry writes,
If God numbers their hairs, much more does he number their heads, and take care of their lives, their comforts, their souls.
(On verse 30, “Commentary on Matthew 10”, Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, 1706.)
Compare how well we know our hairs—we who number many other things: our wealth, our possessions, our CD collection. We may notice when we start losing hairs, but we do not know when a single hair falls from our heads. But God does, and he knows and cares for us in far more intimate detail than we know or care for ourselves.