Summary: David observes: 1. God knows us intimately. 2. There is no way we can get away from God. 3. There is no way we can hide from God.
A friend emailed me this week and told me about a conversation her daughter had with her young son. Megan, the boy’s mother, was addressing some mail and decided to find out how much her young son understood. She asked her son, “Where do you live?” “At my new house,” he replied. She agreed that he was correct, and asked if he knew on what street he lived. “Palmer,” he said with a look of satisfaction. “Right!” his mom enthusiastically responded. Can you say, “1314 Palmer”? Then his mom asked, “What is your last name?” There was a pause, and then he blurted out, “Douglas! Brent Douglas!” “Well,” she said, “that is your first and middle name, but what is your LAST name?” There was another long pause. Finally he said, “Come Here! Brent Douglas Come Here!” Well. . . if he didn’t exactly know who he was, at least he knew where he should be.
“Who am I?” “What am I doing here?” “What should I be doing in life?” These are the questions that we should be taking seriously, for God wants us to know the answer. They are important. These are the questions the Psalmist was asking. They have to do with our personal identity — and our eternal destiny. How we answer those questions determines how we will live and order our lives.
Let’s look at this psalm, and the three major observations the psalmist makes about God. The first is: God knows us intimately. David wrote, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” God is not impersonal to David. He is very personal — too personal, perhaps. He searches him and knows him perfectly. There is nothing hidden from the knowledge of God, so that there can be no excuses, justifications or fabrications. This is an important truth to understand. There are those, I suppose, who think that because they have hidden something from others, they have hidden it from God. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible says, “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?’” (Isaiah 29:15-16).
David went on to say, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” He knew that his every thought, as well as his every action, was known by God. David warned his son Solomon, as he was about to be anointed king of Israel, “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
Everything David could think of was known by God. He said, “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” God has perfect knowledge and he is everywhere at once. We often think of the vast expanse of the cosmos. We are told that there are one billion stars in one galaxy, and one billion galaxies in the universe. That God is not only aware of every star and planet, but is the Power which keeps each one operating is beyond our ability to understand. He knows each star by name. But what about the inner cosmos? Is not God also aware of every orbiting particle in every atom in each of our bodies? Is his mind not greater and his knowledge of us deeper than we can ever understand?
Dr. John Medina, genetic engineer, of the University of Washington helps us to understand a bit of the intricacies of the human body. He said, “The average human heart pumps over 1,000 gallons a day, over 55 million gallons in a lifetime. This is enough to fill 13 super tankers. It never sleeps, beating 2.5 billion times in a lifetime. The lungs contain 1,000 miles of capillaries. The process of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide is so complicated, that it is more difficult to exchange 02 for C02 than for a man shot out of a cannon to carve the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin as he passes by. DNA contains about 2,000 genes per chromosome — 1.8 meters [nearly 6 feet] of DNA are folded into each cell nucleus. A nucleus is 6 microns [one millionth of a meter] long. This is like putting 30 miles of fishing line into a cherry pit. And it isn’t simply stuffed in. It is folded in. If folded one way, the cell becomes a skin cell. If another way, a liver cell, and so forth. To write out the information in one cell would take 300 volumes, each volume 500 pages thick. The human body contains enough DNA that if it were stretched out, it would circle the sun 260 times. The body uses energy efficiently. If an average adult rides a bike for 1 hour at 10 mph, it uses the amount of energy contained in 3 ounces of carbohydrate. [So lay off the donuts.] If a car were this efficient with gasoline, it would get 900 miles to the gallon.”