Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The God Who Knows

In reading the One Year Bible yesterday I came to the story of Hannah, who desperately wanted to have children. Her husband’s other wife was cruel to her and picked on her for being childless. In the story, she went with her family to Shiloh, so that they could worship. She went to the Tabernacle one day to pray. She poured out her heart to God, begging him to let her conceive. She promised to dedicate her son to God, if only God would so bless her.

In time, she does bear a son. She nurses him and weans him. Then she takes him to Shiloh, where he can give his life in service to God. She celebrates when she gives her son to God. She declares (1 Samuel 2:3) that, “the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.” The Lord knew her heart for him. He knew the suffering she endured at the hands of her rival. He knew her loneliness and helplessness.

God knows. He knows it all. Nothing ever occurs to God – he knows it already. Ironically, nothing is ironic to God. Nothing is unexpected to him. (He obviously delights in irony among humanity because the Bible is full of ironic stories. In Esther, the man who built the gallows is hanged on it. In Genesis Joseph, the runt brother, ends up as the big boss. There’s tons of irony in the Bible. Irony works on us because we don’t know everything. Unexpected things happen to us all the time.)

God knows. He knows my heart, just as surely as he knew Hannah’s. He knows my struggles. He knows who helps me and who wants to trip me up. It’s not a secret to God. He also knows the crud that’s in my sinful nature. He knows how often I indulge my selfishness. He knows what I really deserve.

God also knows that the heart he gave me is good. It is brought to life by the Holy Spirit who lives in me. The heart he gave me is life. “Above all else,” Solomon tells us, “guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

He knows everything, and he knows me. He is the standard by which my deeds are measured. Whoa. I really need to get to know the One who knows. He hasn’t forgotten us. He longs for us to experience intimacy with him, the intimacy made possible by the death and resurrection of his Son. He knows us, and he wants us to know him.