Summary: God knows us, loves us and cares for us before time began, what is our response?
When the 1960s ended, and San Francisco became very expensive to live, many of the hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, but in no particular sequence.
They didn’t name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee with kids named Time Warp or Spring Fever, Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school.
That’s when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand. Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy’s name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.
"Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?" they offered. And later… "Fruit Stand, how about a snack?" He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didn’t seem odder than the other names. At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses. "Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?" He didn’t answer. That wasn’t strange. He hadn’t answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn’t matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their children’s bus stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word "Anthony."
As we were on vacation God led me back to a familiar Psalm, Psalm 139. Psalm 139 starts out with a beautiful picture of how God knows us. He knows everything about us and He does not mistake our name for Fruit Stand or anything else.
I know I was to preach on 2 Corinthians this morning, but as I worked on my sermon God kept bringing me back to this passage and the beauty, wonder and the assurance of it. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me even though I have heard and read it so many times.
Pastor Lindsay read this passage before and I just want to highlight a few parts of it again.
I. All knowing 139:1-6 ¬
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
First I want to note that God is All-Knowing. He knows everything about us, what we are doing, where we are doing it. He knows our thoughts. Now other person thing can know your thoughts unless we say them out loud. Not even the devil can know your thought. Only God can know you’re your thoughts. That means that God has the attribute of Omniscience. This means He has complete knowledge or that He is all-knowing.
Only the God we serve has this power… that gives us something to think about. Not only does He know what you’re thinking, but He knows before you even think it. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. The all–knowing power of God should be a comfort for those who follow Him, but in retrospect also caused fear in those who do not follow Him.
Not only is God all-knowing, but He wants to know about us and our every move and every thought. He cares that much about us. In verses 1-4 we see that God is our Lord, the One that watches over us, He is our supervisor and He knows our secrets.
And then in verse 5 we see a transition: The Message puts verse 5 and 6 this way: I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going.
Not only does God know everything about us, but He is watching over us; He is our security! That is why the Psalmist says: This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!
Can you say that today? When you read these words and if they truly sink in we should feel like dancing and shouting the words: This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!
Like my friend Pastor Doug Webb use to say: “That is hanky waving, pew jumping good news for you”. If you want to do some pew jumping, we are going to need to see a doctor’s note first.