What comes into our minds when we think about God is the
most important thing about us. So says A.W. Tozer in his classic book
on the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy. Why would he
make such an extreme pronouncement? Tozer goes on to say, Mans
spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever
been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the
worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
In our hearts we know that this is true. Last week, I tried to make the distinction between being a believer versus being a follower. But it is really not enough to just follow god. That word has come to mean so many different things today that it actually means very little. If we just make up our own minds concerning what He is like, then we are just creating an idol in our heads.
Jesus came to reveal the God of the Bible. And God has revealed Himself in His book. Any deviation from that insight from Him is a made-up god. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy finds 18 characteristics of God in the Bible. Today we are going to look at just three but for the sake of knowledge and education let me give you all 18:
It is knowing and believing that this is who God is that shapes our view of God. Any other view is more than likely our fabrication of who God is and leaves us with a false concept of God. Today we conclude this series from the Psalms with a look at Psalm 139. In this Psalm we find a glimpse of three of the most important attributes of the God we claim to serve and follow.
Lets look at them together and discover three of Gods most desirable qualities. I am including the theological words because its important that we know them even if we don't use them on a daily basis.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. 3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:1-5 NLT
What does the fact that God is all knowing, mean in our lives?
There is both comfort and conviction in these verses. For the person that is truly following Christ on a daily basis and surrendering their lives moment by moment the writer says, You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
What a way to live ones life! There is no substitute for living in the center of Gods will and not having to look over your shoulder to see if He is watching what you do.
There was a time when people knew the character of God and trembled at the thought of His presence being in their lives 24/7. I am not sure what happened along the way but it seems to me that we have become way too comfortable with God.
Psalm 53 says, God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. Psalm 53:2 NLT
During the last census, a mother was asked by a census
taker how many children she had. She had a very large family, so she
started to go through all her children, "Oh, lets see now, there's
Billy, and there's Harry, and there's Martha, and there's..." And
the census taker got a little impatient and annoyed with her, "Never
mind their names, just give me the number!" Well, the mother got very
indignant and said to the man, "They don't have numbers, they all have
And that's the way it is with our relationship with the Lord. You might be a number to the I.R.S., but with God, He knows your name! You are a person to Him. He knows you personally and individually by name. He knows everything about you.
Lets say verse six together in response to the omniscience of God. What is the omniscience of God? He is all knowing.
Our Response: 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
There is yet another attribute of God that we should be familiar with:
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. Psalm 139:7-11 NLT
What does it mean to know that God is everywhere, all the time? Grasping and believing this concept truly will drive your theology of God and your daily choices of behavior.
This is something that some of the new theology thinkers of our day have tried to find a way to attack and denigrate. Somehow they find comfort in trying to teach that God doesn't pay attention to everyone in the world at the same time and that He doesn't really care about your daily actions.
He not only cares but He wants to be intimately involved in your daily life. This is basic Christianity 101. I would encourage you to do a study on the Omniscience of God. You can start by going to www.whatthebibleteaches.com and looking up these attributes. You will find all the supportive scriptures for this concept.
Let me give you a story that will help you think about God be always present.
I heard this story about a farmer who had a small patch of
corn that hadn't done very well one year so he decided he was going to
"borrow" some corn from his neighbors field which had a much better
yield of corn. So with a large sack underneath his arm, he took his son
with him to "borrow" some of his neighbors corn. He quietly went to the
farthest corner of the field. He looked carefully to the right, then to
the left, then ahead of him, then behind him. As he as reaching out to
get that first ear of corn, his son piped up, "Daddy, you forgot to look
And I wonder, how many times, this week, we forgot to look up.
Before we respond to this let me give you one other attribute of God:
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mothers womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16 NLT
The power of God is shown here not in storms, earthquakes or even His ability to create the universe but in His ability and involvement in our birth. God is all powerful but the psalmist chooses to focus on His attention to details and in this case it is the detail of our physical body being knit together.
(Abortion) For a moment let me just say that if you need a biblical reason not to have an abortion this is it. These verses certainly answer what is inside of a pregnant mother. I also never mention this subject without being sensitive to the fact that if you made this choice that there is healing and forgiveness available for you. (Heartbeats)
How do we respond to the omnipresence and omnipotence of God? What is omnipresence? (Always present) and what is omnipotence? (all powerful)
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I cant even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalm 139:17-18 NLT
A Caution: Something weird happens in this psalm in verses 19-22. It appears that the Psalmist is empowered by his high thoughts of God and he decides to try to think like God or at least what he thinks God would think like.
The Psalmist invents God in his own image. George Bernard Shaw wrote, God created man in His image and then man returned the favor. Feeling empowered by his encounter with the character of God the writer begins to project his feelings onto God.
O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn't I hate those who hate you? Shouldn't I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. Psalm 139:19-22 NLT
Obviously this is not a clear picture of God or what He thinks or even how He acts. This outburst is pure humanness as spurred on by a God-encounter. Too often people will take an encounter with God and let it go to their head instead of their heart. When it goes to our head we become proud and arrogant about our faith but when God touches our heart we humble ourselves. The Psalmist comes to his senses and gives the proper response.
His response should be our response:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 139:23-23 NLT
God knows us!
He knows our every thought we think, even before we think it.
He knows everything we do, even before we do it.
He knows every word we say, even before we say it.
And He knows our every need.
He knows our every emotion.
He knows our every motive.
He knows our every intention.
He knows our every desire.
He knows our every decision we face.
He knows every trial we suffer.
He knows EVERYTHING!
That can be a convicting thing cant it? I mean, we can sneak around and try to hide things from each other. We can pretend. We can put on airs. We can put on false fronts, as if everything is just fine. We can fool one another. But, you know what, we cant fool God! He knows everything!
It can be convicting, but it can also be a comforting thing for us. To think that He knows us and understands everything about us can be an encouraging and comforting thing for us. He knows when our motives are pure when maybe others are questioning our motives. When others misjudge or misrepresent us, God knows the truth. He knows. He knows every sincere effort we make to please Him, to praise Him, and to glorify Him.
When unjustly criticized, God knows our hearts. He knows us!
He knows whether or not we are His children.
He knows whether or not you have turned from your sins and trusted Christ as your Savior and Lord. He knows!
He knows those of us who might be incorrectly putting their faith not in Jesus and His work on the cross, but rather putting their faith in their good works. He knows!
He knows if we have accepted His gift of grace, His gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."
So, the question is, "Have you accepted the gift of God, His salvation?" God knows whether or not you have done that.
I began with Tozer so let me end with a quote from him: and to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father know us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.