We cannot escape from God
Published 6:00 am Friday, April 23, 2021
How well do people know you?
I think we go through life and we kind of like our privacy. We don’t want people to know everything about us, and we sometimes feel violated when we find out someone knows something about us that we didn’t want them to know, particularly if it is one of the many warts or blemishes we all have.
But the fact is, God knows us completely.
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That is what the psalmist knew when he wrote this intimate prayer, Psalm 139. O Lord, you have searched me and known me. And this knowledge is complete, perfect. You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you know my thoughts from far away. Even before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely.
God knows you inside and out. It was you, the psalmist says, who formed my inward parts, you knew it right from the start, you were the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb. You knew every single molecule that makes up my body, even before it was formed. You know everything about me from the moment of conception to the end of my days — in your book is written all the days that are formed for me, even before any of them existed.
God knows everything about you, and that is kind of scary, isn’t it? It’s not only the good stuff, it’s the bad stuff. And that knowledge can get claustrophobic — you hem me in behind and before and you lay your hand on me. With that kind of knowledge, you want to escape. But you can’t.
The psalmist knows this — Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? I go to heaven, of course, you are there. I make my bed in hell, and you are there. I go to the farthest reaches of the sea, even there your hand leads me, your right hand holds me fast.
You try to escape, but you cannot. And the question is, is that scary, does that frighten you, or is it a comfort that no matter where you are, no matter how abandoned you may feel, God is there, knowing you, leading you, holding you?
For the psalmist, in the end, it is a comfort, go ahead, search me, O God, know my heart. Test me, and know my thoughts. If there is any wicked way in me, deal with it, and lead me in the way everlasting.
You can’t escape from God, and that should be a comfort for you.
REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.