O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do]; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
The word searched in this beautiful psalm by King David is a mining term that means digging deep into the earth to find gold. David used it to describe God’s grasp of his life because he realized that God’s understanding of his heart was so deep that He dug into the very core of his soul. God knows each of us that way too.
We may feel that God has left us high and dry, but He hasn’t. He is as near as our breath. We may be afraid that He doesn’t care, but He cares so much that He is as attentive as a loving mother with her newborn child. We may believe that we’re getting away with things because God isn’t looking, but He knows every action we take and even every thought we think. Nothing escapes His notice!
We are completely, absolutely exposed in the sight of God. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we are naked before Him. However, unlike them in their us fallen state, we are often ashamed. God’s intimate and complete knowledge of everything about us, though, is combined with grace, forgiveness, and love. He knows us, and He forgives us for being so selfish, and making such foolish choices. He sees everything we do and perceives every thought, but He never turns away in disgust. A fresh grasp of the
omniscience of God, then, helps us gain a new appreciation for His great grace.
There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me; so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.
J. L. Packer
The song writer says, “Nobody loves me like You love me Jesus” reminds us that God’s love for us is beyond the love capacity of any human. We talk a lot about the love of God and yet for many, the idea that God truly loves them is beyond their grasp.
I truly believe that we can’t talk about how much God loves us too much especially in light of the fact that He is often blamed for or is at least it is attributed to Him when things go wrong or we face adversity. In the challenges of the pandemic the question of God’s love versus His punishment has become for many the question of the hour. We’ve heard that God has sent this plague upon the world to punish it for its evil or in some way to get its attention so that it will in some way turn to God for deliverance. The only problem with this kind of thinking is that we fail to ask why would someone turn to the source of their affliction? If we’re convinced that God is punishing us and we in some way turn to Him aren’t we doing so out of fear or at least trying to mitigate our suffering? In a human sense, we may comply to some rule so that we don’t receive punishment but that in no way creates a relationship between us and the one who institutes the rule. The Jews made their relationship with God one of rule and law but God never intended it to be so. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that God had a personal relationship with Abraham. Abraham is called the friend of God. We find the same relationship with Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. Even though the Jews chose rule over relationship, God spoke through Jeremiah the promise that the day would come when He would write His law on hearts of flesh instead of tables of stone.
There is an amazing transition when we come to know that God loves us and our relationship becomes love based instead of rule driven. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount sought to bring us to understand that our relationship with God and others is heart based. He taught that what was inward was more important than what we might do or see outwardly. He taught that while we may not follow through with the taking of someone’s life-murder, that the deeper issue was anger. He taught that while we might never have an affair that the greater issue was illicit desire. Many see these teachings as more pressure to live holy and in some way that is true, but in reality what Christ is teaching us is that God wants our whole being especially our hearts and we can never fully surrender our hearts to Him unless we first believe that He loves us.
Most of us in our human relationships hold a little something in reserve. We aren’t sure we are truly loved hence the reason we have to be frequently reassured, so we keep a little of our heart protected. Unfortunately many use the same thinking in their relationship with God. In the case with God, we find that the part we hold in reserve often becomes subjected to the deceitfulness of the world and the devil. The devil plays on the question of God’s love and far too many times convinces humanity that God doesn’t love.
How then do we come to this place of accepting the truth of the love of God? We look at the evidence rather than our feelings. The evidence of God sending His Son, the evidence of the Son dying for us even while we were sinners, the evidence of grace and mercy and forgiveness offers proof of Gods love and that love is inclusive. That love includes me and you. I pray for every reader that you will have the revelation of Gods love for you today and you will begin to live in that love. I pray that your walk with God will be that of two friends enjoying the journey together. I pray that you will discover that God loves you even when you fail and He will help you rise up again. I pray you will know the patience of His love and the power of His love and the infinite grace of His love. May our hearts become transformed by His love until the whole world sees a Father and child walking together in this journey of life.
Dr. John Thompson