Pastor’s Message

From latest newsletter: May & June 2019

What is the knowledge of God?  What does the knowledge of God tell us about Him?  What does the knowledge of God tell us about ourselves?  And what does the knowledge of God tell us about our relationship with God?  Various Bible passages and stories can help us to answer these questions.

The knowledge of God is complete and total.  He knows everything.  Not only does God know His created world totally, He knows each one of us individually.  He knows the good that we do.  He knows the bad that we do.  He knows what kind of relationship we have with His Son, Jesus.  He knows that we are saved.  The completeness of God’s knowledge brings us comfort and certainty in a world that is often uncomfortable and uncertain.

God’s knowledge of us begins even before we are born.  These are the words of God to the Prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5).  You may be thinking to yourself: “Jeremiah is a prophet and things happen to prophets that may not happen to ordinary people.”  Your thoughts are correct.  Prophets are special biblical characters with special abilities and a special relationship with God.  God appears to make known certain things about prophets that He may not make known about us.  But this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t know everything about us.  King David says this about God’s knowledge of him: “Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  What is true for the Prophet Jeremiah and King David is also true for us.  God’s knowledge of us begins even before we are born.

God knows both the good that we do and the bad that we do.  This knowledge of God is mentioned in the Bible as early as the sixth chapter of Genesis.  The sixth chapter of Genesis begins the story of Noah and the flood narrative.  God sinless world, created in the first two chapters of Genesis, is now corrupted and sin-filled.  The fifth verse of the sixth chapter of Genesis says that “the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”  This knowledge of God is also mentioned in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus’ vision for us of the final judgement (see Matthew 25:31-46).  God knows the bad that the goats do, even though the goats do not know it themselves (verses 34-40).  God also knows the good that the sheep do, even though the sheep do not know it themselves (verses 41-46).  The comforting aspect of this parable for us is that God knows the good that we do even before we do it.  We can do good things in the sight of God even though we do not realize that we are doing so.

Why does God know everything about us?  Perhaps it is because He sees us.  This is both an Old Testament and a New Testament concept.  In the story of Hagar and Ishmael from the sixteenth chapter of Genesis, the angel of the Lord finds a pregnant Hagar in the desert and blesses her and her unborn son.  In response, Hagar says this about God: “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’ ” (verse 13).  In the story of Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael as disciples from the first chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus appears to know what is in Nathanael’s heart.  In response, Nathanael asks Jesus, “How do you know me?”  Jesus then tells Nathanael, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (verse 48).  God knows everything about us because He sees us, both outwardly and inwardly.

The knowledge of God is complete and total and tells us that He knows us better than we know ourselves.  Do we know how many hairs are on our heads?  Probably not.  Yet, God knows.  When Jesus offer His disciples words of encouragement in the twelfth chapter of Luke, He says: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (verses 6-7).  The knowledge of God tells us that we are not God.  We do not know what is in someone’s heart.  Yet, God knows.  When Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees, He says to them: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts” (Luke 16:15).  God knows what is in our hearts, too.  He knows that we share His Spirit.  The Apostle Paul says that “whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).  This means that we are His.  We belong to Him.  Again, the Apostle Paul: “the Lord knows those who are his” (2 Timothy 2:19).  Thus, we can find comfort and certainty in the knowledge of God.

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