Knowledge

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 139:1–24 (ESV)
1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!


God knows us thoroughly. He knows us inside out. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our futures when we cannot envisage them ourselves. Who of us successfully predicted 2020 would turn out the way it has so far?

God is awesome, and the reality of His omniscience is staggering. We can’t escape His comprehensive gaze. We can run, but we can’t hide.

We’re not just the product of chance, or the fertilisation of an egg by some sperm. We’re crafted by our Maker. Our parents might provide the raw ingredients, but God cooks us up in our mother’s wombs!

God is amazing how He has formed us and how He knows us completely. We can never fully mine the depths of God’s thoughts, fascinating as it is to attempt it. It’s amazing as God’s chosen people to think that, sinners that we are, God thinks enough of us to sacrifice His Son on our behalf.

We long for the day when God’s enemies and ours are no more. But we are to love our enemies and seek to convert them into friends of ours and of God. I love how open and honest the Psalmist is.

He might hate his enemies, but to his credit he asks God to reveal any grievous way in him. Considering that God commands us to love our enemies, for us to hate people is grievous. We long for God to lead us in the everlasting way.

“O Lord, You know us through and through and yet You love us still. Thank You so much for Your sovereign care of us, in Jesus’ name, amen.”


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Knowledge

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 131:1–3 (ESV)
1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.


It’s human nature to want to know all the answers, and to understand everything. But it’s also because we are mortal, finite beings that we don’t know all the answers. We don’t understand everything.

It requires humility to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. It’s good for us to “let go and let God” be God and recognise ourselves for who we are. We might like to think we are omniscient, or at least that Google is, but that quality is reserved for God alone. Even Google isn’t fool proof.

The alternative to seeking to be a “know-it-all” is to calm and quiet our souls. We might not know all the answers, but God does, and He cares for us. We can rest in His love like a small child with their mother.

Who or what is our hope? That we know everything? Or that we know our loving heavenly Father who knows everything? It’s liberating to know God and to know that we don’t need to know all the answers.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing all things, and that we don’t need to. May we hope in You, both now and forevermore, amen.”


The Lord Who Is There

Psalm 1399–10 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 139:1–12 (ESV)

1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In verses 1-6, this psalm reflects on God’s omniscience. He knows everything about us. Then in verses 7-12 this psalm considers the Lord’s omnipresence. He is everywhere. There is nowhere we can go where he is not.

What an amazing thing to consider God’s knowledge and presence. It is such a comfort! Consider that there is nothing that can happen to you or me that the Lord is not aware of. He knows. And there is nowhere we can go where he is not right there with us. No matter who you are or where you are, God is there and is available. And he is the same God who sent his one and only Son into the world to save you from your sins. Why? Because he loves you. Turn to him and you will find peace.

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The God of Vengeance

Romans 1219 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 94:1–10 (ESV)

1 O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! 2 Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve! 3 O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? 4 They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast. 5 They crush your people, O Lord, and afflict your heritage. 6 They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless; 7 and they say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.” 8 Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise? 9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see? 10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge—

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is a prayer for God to give justice to his people. The wicked have taken advantage of them and believe that God does not know what has happened. But God does know. The One who created the eye and the ear has seen and heard. He is fully aware and he will bring judgement upon the wicked.

The children of God can find peace and assurance in knowing that God is omniscient. There is nothing that happens without his knowledge. And there is nothing that happens that will not be brought into judgement. This is why Paul can write in Romans 12:19, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” So let us live our lives in such a way that give glory to God while we trust in him to right the scales of justice in the end.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Not Hidden from You

Psalm 695 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 69:1–6 (ESV)

1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. 6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm describes the plight of David, who is wrongfully accused. He describes himself as up to his neck in deep water where he has no footing because of the deep and slippery mud. He calls out to God for help, but he has grown weary and his throat is parched from calling out. God has not answered him and he is growing faint. David is not literally drowning, but we we understand the desperate situation he is facing through this figurative description.

Why does David feel this way? Because his enemies hate him and have falsely accused him of theft. Now, it seems, they want to force him to pay back what he did not take (verse 4). In the midst of this, David calls out to God and proclaims his innocence in the matter. He mentions that God knows David’s folly and his wrongs, but he knows that he did not do what he is accused of.

Perhaps the most surprising thing we read here is not that David is in this situation. The surprise is what we read in verse 6. There, David tells us his main concern. He is most troubled that, through the accusations, God’s people would be shamed. He is most concerned not with himself, but God’s glory and honor. May we have the heart of David as we seek God’s glory in all that we do.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Secret Plots of the Wicked

woman dark eye spooky

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Psalm 64:1–6 (ESV)

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers, 3 who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, 4 shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear. 5 They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see them?” 6 They search out injustice, saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.” For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.

Understanding and Applying the Word

David calls out to God with a “complaint”. His enemies are secretly plotting to cause him harm. These evil doers are sure that there schemes will remain hidden and that no one can see their secret snares.

God sees what we cannot. There are no secrets that are kept from God. When we are faced with an enemy who is plotting evil, we can be sure that God sees the truth of the situation. We can be encouraged because we know that God is good and He is just.

God sees into our minds and hearts. We may believe that our thoughts and feelings are hidden, but they are not. We may hide them from our fellow man, but God sees even into these deep places. This is a warning to us all. We will all give an account to the righteous Judge who knows every detail to the full, even the things we keep in the depths of our minds and hearts.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!