God Knows You

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

An image off green waters and riverbank with just the eye of a crocodile appearing above the water.

Do you know that sneezes can travel as fast as 100 miles per hour or that 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12345678987654321 or that you can’t make dynamite without peanuts? Or how about some big-time questions, like the ones God asked Job? Do you know the path to the source of light or where the home of the east wind is? Do you know how to direct the movement of the stars or the sequence of the seasons? Can you catch a crocodile with a hook and make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your children to play with?

If you don’t know the answer to every question in the universe, from the most trivial detail to the greatest mystery of the universe, relax. It just means you’re not God.

How can we begin to understand a Being for whom there is no such thing as mystery, ambiguity, or misunderstanding? A God who never needs to learn anything and from whom nothing is hidden? A God incapable of experiencing even a sliver of doubt or a moment of confusion?

As remarkable as God’s knowledge is, it is also remarkable to realize how intimately he knows us. Listen to what the Book of Hebrews says about Jesus: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses….”(4:15) If God is omniscient, if he knows everything, then there has never been a time when he didn’t know who we are and what we are made of. There has never been a moment in which he failed to sympathize with our struggles as human beings.

Paul tells the Philippians that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (2:7, RSV).  By becoming one of us, Jesus took it a step further, assuring us that his knowledge of the human condition is concrete not theoretical. His knowledge is intimate, caring, complete.

That knowledge, of course, extends to those around us, whom we are sometimes tempted to judge. Let’s resist the slide toward self-righteousness by reminding ourselves that God is the only one who can truly judge anyone’s heart.

 
Originally published June 12, 2018.

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