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Known


J.I. Packer's foundational work Knowing God (Intervarsity Press, 1973) helped me to put a couple of my spiritual life questions in context. Packer wrote---

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I

know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that he knows me. I am

graven on the palms of his hands [Isa. 49:16]. I am never out of his mind.

This is the central thought of Psalm 139---his knowledge of us! It is King David's great expression of God's omnipotence, omnipresence. and omniscience, his total guidance of our lives. To know him is our life aim, the object of our being here. But, in a world of mobility and anonymity the truth that he knows us is the most liberating and blessed fact of life.

Even more, with the Planned Parenthood mess so visible, it reminds us of his hand in shaping and preparing us for life. Over the last couple of weeks as the thoughts and images of human infant body parts crossed my mind, this Psalm registered there too. It is the supreme expression of the miracle of human procreation, his shaping us in our mother's womb.

Please read this Psalm with great reverence---

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I

rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying

downand are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold,

O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand

upon me.

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

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 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.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O omen of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

In the week a ahead, when you're facing the demands of daily life, remember that you are always on his mind. His thoughts of you are more than the sand.

Now, worship him.


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