Most Americans have heard at one point or another the famous scripture, John 3:16; even if it was only in the context of seeing it on a sign at a ball park. It is probably the most used and most quoted scripture ever. That however, does not diminish its truth or power but it has been known to be so used that many stop listening as soon as they begin to hear it. Some because they have been judged harshly by the same people who often quote it may tune it out, others because they think, “if He loves me, why would His people treat me harshly?” Other’s may have had a difficult, harsh or painful relationship with their own father and just can not imagine a loving Heavenly Father who is always looking out for their best interest, who wants them to thrive and be blessed in life. Still others suffer such difficult circumstances in life that they find it impossible to see or experience the wonder of God’s love. Finally, there are those who despite their harsh circumstances, whether illness, pain, or even poverty and lack, have found true joy and happiness in the wonder-filled love found in the Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus. Why the difference? What is it that causes people to see the Love of God so differently? Why do some see Him a bossy dictator; a harsh disciplinarian father? Yet others see His as a loving, kind Father who blesses their lives and always looks out for their best even when times are difficult or circumstances harsh?
Honestly, my musings have been triggered by my return to a Bible study that I first completed about ten years ago. A small group of ladies wanted to do a study; from the list of studies I had, they choose the one on the fruit of the Spirit. Today’s lesson drew my thoughts to Psalm 139. As usual, God always surprises me! No matter how many time you read a scripture or do a study, He can always draw out new nuggets that you did not see in the previous readings! Believe it or not, His Word is alive and active. There are always hidden treasures to be discovered as the Holy Spirit quickens and teaches us in the Word. That is just one of His marvelous wonders.
Another is God’s unconditional love and His intimate knowledge of each of us. I know I may use these verses a lot but it is only because of how greatly the words have impacted me, so let’s look at Psalm 139:
O LORD, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives. You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do. Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O LORD, being thoroughly aware of it. You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me. Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it. Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea, even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me. If I were to say, “Certainly the darkness will cover me, and the light will turn to night all around me,” even the darkness is not too dark for you to see, and the night is as bright as day; darkness and light are the same to you. Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb. I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence. How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God! How vast is their sum total! If I tried to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Even if I finished counting them, I would still have to contend with you. (Psalms 139:1-18 NET)
- He knows us intimately, He did not just create and forget us.
- He knows our every move, and NOT in a creepy way!
- He knows our motives behind our thoughts and actions. When I behave a certain He knows if it is from a pure heart, a broken heart, a selfish heart, or a mean-spirited heart. Many times we do not even know our motive behind our behaviors!
- He is aware of our travels and our rest. Not only that but He blesses His children with His Holy Spirit who is always with us. Also, His Word says He never leaves us or forsakes us and that He goes before us and He is our rear guard!
A. Goes before: Isaiah 41:10; John 6:37; Romans 8:38-39; Hebrews 13:5
B. Goes with: Deuteronomy 31:8; Isaiah 45:2
- He knew us before we were born; as we were formed in our mother’s womb; and if that were not enough, before the foundation of the earth He knew us!
- He says you and I are fearfully and wonderfully made, He made each one with value, worth, and purpose!
- Each of our days were ordained and written before we breathed our first breath. This is big! He knew everything we would ever do, or not do, yet He chose to give us life and breath.
How difficult to fathom His thought about me! How about you? This my friend, only begins to scratch the surface of the wonders of His love! He loves you with an everlasting love and has drawn you with loving-kindness!! Jeremiah 33: 3 Also, Zephaniah 3 tells us: “Don’t be afraid…Your GOD is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, He’ll calm you with His love and delight you with His songs. (Zephaniah 3:16-17 MSG)
Be blessed! Grace & peace to you!