Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

He Knows Our Name

January 18, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 6
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
He Knows Our Name
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
He Knows Our Name
Jan 18, 2021 Season 5 Episode 6
Pastor Dave Tucker

God is so big, so far beyond our human comprehension, that we cannot possibly understand the full mystery of God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… God is glorified when we think and talk about God… even though our human understandings fall short.

Based on Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 and John 1:43-51

Show Notes Transcript

God is so big, so far beyond our human comprehension, that we cannot possibly understand the full mystery of God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… God is glorified when we think and talk about God… even though our human understandings fall short.

Based on Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 and John 1:43-51

HE KNOWS OUR NAME
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; John 1:43-51

This morning I would like for us to continue the work we began last week and take a magnifying glass to just a portion of what we studied last Sunday. Before we begin let us invite Holy Spirit in to be with us as we open the word of God this morning. 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

I want for us to begin our time this morning looking at the Psalter lesson. Here the Psalmist is overwhelmed at the understanding of how intimately God is involved with our lives. I included this passage from Psalm because it reinforces what we were talking about last week. If you have yet to watch last week’s devotional, I would encourage you to go back and watch it… because it is very much a prequel to our devotional this morning. There are 5 things in the psalter lesson that I believe deserve a closer look. So, let’s get out our magnifying glasses out and take a look at them one at a time. The first thing I would like for us to hover our magnifying glass over is, verses 1-3. The psalmist is saying, “O Holy One Whose Name is too Holy to Pronounce, you know everything about me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. The thing that strikes me about this part of the psalter lesson is that the Psalmist utilized the name of God that is unpronounceable, YHWH. Then followed it up with, You know everything about me. 

My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years. Sometimes I get upset when she can’t read my mind! Then, as we go to bed, I’m upset… My wife asks me, “What’s going on? Why are you so upset?” “I was kinda hoping, dear, that you would have made me some stew on this cold night and we could have eaten it together by the fireplace.” To which she says, “That sounds like it would have been nice! You should have told me! I can’t read your mind!” Yet, here in this passage, the psalmist is acknowledging that the name of the divine is too holy to pronounce… and yet knows the psalmist so intimately that the divine knows his very thoughts! Friends, it doesn’t get any more intimate than that! 

The second thing I would like for us to hover our magnifying glass over is Verses 4 and 5. The psalmist is saying, Even before a word is on my tongue, O Holy One, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Have you ever been so distraught, so worried, so overwhelmed with grief that you know you need to pray, but you just don’t have the words? I have! And yet I can’t help but wonder here if the psalmist has experienced God in such a way that God knew what he was praying even before he could formulate the words? Not only that, but I love the next imagery here. God hemming him in, and laying God’s hand on him. I remember when my children were little, at bedtime, I would tell them to run to bed and I would tuck them in like a burrito. Then I would go into their rooms and get their blanket and tuck it under them, as tight as I could, then I would take the bottom of the blanket and tuck it in around their feet so they literally looked like a Taco Bell burrito! They would wiggle a little to settle in and I would stoop over to kiss them good night. Sometimes, when I am afraid, I like to think of God wrapping me up as a burrito kissing me on the forehead, and telling me that everything is going to be okay. I also like to imagine the God of the universe sitting there with me, watching me sleep. 

The third thing I would like for us to hover our magnifying glass over is Psalm 139:13-14, The Psalmist says, “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. This is literally a continuation of what we talked about last week. The God of the universe, created us in the image of God. The act was so intimate that scriptures tell us in Genesis 1, that God got on God’s hands and knees, formed us out of the clay of the earth… God got God’s fingernails dirty! Then God bent over and breathed the breath of life into our lungs! It doesn’t get any more intimate that that! Then God declared the creation of humans VERY GOOD. When God thinks of us, God still gets a big smile across God’s face as he thinks about how very good we are in God’s sight. For, you see, we were fearfully and wonderfully made!

         As we move forward to the fourth item for us to explore deeper with our preverbal magnifying glasses, we see something that I will admit, I have really struggled with for some time now. in verse 16, the psalmist says, “In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.” Here is where I struggle: If God wrote my story before I was already born, where does our freedom of choice come in? And if God has already written the story of our lives, why did God allow all the atrocities and difficult times to happen in my life? Why was all the bad already written in my story before I was even born? On the other hand, perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that God already wrote my story. You see, when God created the heavens and the earth, there was nothing… Which means that the God who created the universe also created space and time. God, being outside of our space and time continuum, has experienced each and every one of our stories already… all at once. Perhaps, the comfort comes in when we realize that wherever we are, whatever life experience we are going though, we can be assured that God is already there! NOTHING catches God by surprise. We never hear God saying, HMMM! I didn’t see that coming. So, I wrestle with that concept of my story already being written. This much I can tell you, it’s okay to have questions… It’s okay to not fully understand God. 

         …Which leads us to our 5th point. Let us hover our magnifying glasses over verses 17 and 18: How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you. The Psalmist struggled with the mind of God too! God is so big, so far beyond our human comprehension, that we cannot possibly understand the full mystery of God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… God is glorified when we think and talk about God… even though our human understandings fall short. One thing we do know… The psalmist confirms it! One day, we will say goodbye to this world… and we have the promise of an eternity with God. When we come to an end, we will still be in God’s presence!

         Jesus was on his way to Galilee, He was about to perform his first miracle there at the behest of his mother. Water to wine… in abundance… the best for last. On his way to Galilee, he met a young man, Philip and simply said, follow me. Phillip went to his buddy Nathaniel and told him all about Jesus and how this teacher could very well be the one whom the prophets talked about. At first Nathan was skeptical. “Wait!” he said, “This dude is from Nazareth?! Does anything good come from Nazareth?” Finally, however Nathan’s curiosity got the best of him and he followed Phillip to meet this Jesus. When Jesus saw Nathaniel, Jesus proclaimed, “Now here is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathan looked around a bit to see if Jesus was talking about someone else. Then he straightened his collar and approached Jesus, “Hey Jesus, How is it that you know so much about me?” Jesus replied, Oh, I just saw you sitting under yonder fig tree.” To which Nathaniel exclaimed, “Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus, with a grin on his face responded, “You are impressed because I told you I saw you sitting under a fig tree?! Come follow me Nate, you’re really going to see some impressive stuff!”

         Today, the God of the universe calls us to follow him. God is crazy in love with us. He knows the hairs on our head, he knit us in our mother’s womb, God knows the sound of our voice, he knows our name, he has written our story! How can we not follow?