Summary: God’s understanding is limitless; nothing escapes Him. He knows the end from the beginning--the past, present, and future. And He knows us better than we know ourselves.
I once lived a few blocks from NSA, the National Security Agency, a place that tirelessly monitors, compiles and analyses information. I hope they’re reading the sermons I send out by email! We all know that knowledge is power. Presidents rely on trusted advisers to learn what’s happening in the world. God needs no information. He already knows everything there is to know.
God’s understanding is limitless; nothing escapes Him. He knows the end from the beginning--the past, present, and future. Imagine going to the library with the objective of reading every book. You could make this your life’s work, only to discover that an entire lifetime isn’t enough. Yet God knows it all, and more. “God’s understanding is infinite,” Psalm 147:5.
In the news this week is a story about a millionaire who inadvertently admitted on microphone that he murdered his wife. He thought he’d gotten away with it. There are many unsolved crimes, but nothing is hidden from God. He knows the secret deeds people do, along with the darkness of their hearts. Now and then some high-profile person’s sordid past is revealed to great embarrassment and shame. Luke 12:2 says, “There is nothing covered up or hidden that will not be made known to all.” Even if no one else knows, God knows. One day we’ll all stand before the One who knows everything about us—a good reason to seek forgiveness from Jesus, who paid the price for our sins on the cross.
What God knows about us is infinitely more important than what others think about us. People often misjudge our motives and actions. Not God. The very hairs of our heads are numbered by Him (in my case, subtracted). Every aspect of our lives is known to Him. We may forget Him but He does not forget us. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “God is intimately acquainted with our character; there never was a time when we were unknown to God, and there will never be a moment in which we are beyond His observation.”
If we don’t know much about God, we can’t appreciate who He is and what He expects of us. It’s even worse if we have a flawed image of God. A lot of people wrongly see God as an uncaring, harsh judge, or the other extreme--as a grandfather who overlooks everything. Some see God as a vending machine, obliged to give us whatever we desire. We need to open our Bibles and see God rightly.
If you found out tomorrow morning that you were getting a new boss, you’d want to learn who this person is. You’d ask around, maybe do a Google search, and discover what your new boss is like. In the Army I learned that success is to find out what your Commander wants--and then do it. That certainly applies to God. Fortunately He’s been clear as to what He expects of us. Our knowledge of God makes us “wise unto salvation,” II Timothy 3:15.
We may not know God very well, but God knows us. In fact, before our parents met, He knew who we would be (Tozer). I find this comforting. Sometimes we feel defiled, unclean. I John 3:20 assures us, “If we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.” Sometimes we feel lost, yet God knows where we are. We worry about tomorrow, but God’s already been there.
A group of teenagers were using a farmer’s land to park; you know--for smooching. The farmer wasn’t too happy with this, so he posted a sign with today’s Bible reading, Psalm 139:1, “You have searched me, LORD, and You know me.” The “parking” ceased. Nothing escapes God’s awareness. He sees things as they are. Hebrews 4:13 states, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything lies naked and exposed before the eyes of the One to whom we must give account.”
We especially show our ignorance of God’s knowledge in our prayers. We sometimes pray as though we were informing God, telling Him things He doesn’t know, even quoting Bible verses to Him. Jesus said, “Your Father knows what your needs are before you ask Him,” Matthew 6:8. He knows what we’re attempting to tell Him better than we do! Let’s make prayer simply spending time with God, mindful of His presence. Henri Nouwen said, “Prayer is primarily a time of listening to the blessing.” When we share our concerns, we know God “gets it.” When we ask for things, the wisest prayer is for whatever is best. We think we know; we often don’t. God’s will is best, so it is best to pray “Thy will be done.” The worst thing God could do is to give us something we wrongly think we need. He knows what that would do to us. Someone unwisely prayed: “Lord, let me prove to You that winning the lottery won’t ruin me.” God knows better.