Knowing and being Known
In Psalm 139 David marvels at the Lord’s intimate knowledge of him. He writes,
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” (Psalm 139:1-4, NIV).
In awe of the scope of such Divine interest and scrutiny David confesses, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (v. 6). I rather like how The Message puts this verse: “This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!”
But such intimate knowledge ought not surprise us. We have been fully informed of it in scripture. How minute is God’s knowledge of every individual? “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” records Matthew (Matt. 10:30), a tax collector familiar with numerical precision.
In the depth of great trial a bewildered Job affirms “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10). Despite his troubles Job knew the Almighty knew Him, and in Him he would yet trust.
David knew his Lord was everywhere: “in the heavens… in the depths… on the wings of the dawn… on the far side of the sea… [in] the darkness … and the light.” (Psalm 139: 7-12, NIV)
Job felt the Lord was nowhere: “But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him. When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.” (Job. 23:7-9).
But both knew, whether God was hidden or revealed, whether they presently experienced His presence or not, the one most important fact remained: God knew them!
“You know me,” sang David to the Almighty’s Face. “He knows the way that I take,” declared Job to the silent darkness on all sides. Both were men of great faith… men of “that same spirit of faith,” available to you and I today. Whether we shout praise from the mountaintop or reach out through darkness. “…we do not lose heart,” knowing this: “…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:13, 16-18).
This too is our HOPE, in which we rest — this present week of Advent, and beyond.