Do I Really Care?
Sand Beach, Acadia. Maine
Although the Bible speaks some amazing words, it raises some mighty big questions! The Psalmist said, “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.. “(Psalm 139:17-18) Is that just poetry, or is it truth? Those thoughts challenge even the most devout believers! Does God inhabit humanity’s fallen and broken circumstances? Is His goodness present in moments of pain, suffering, grief and injustice? What is the evidence? How can we know His thoughts? A provocative question is do we really care what God thinks? Are we like those of whom Job spoke? “They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ (Job 21:14-15 (ESV)
A read of the entire 139th clearly indicates that the Psalmist had a relationship with God on multiple levels. God was his Creator, his ever present caring, all knowing Sovereign, and his Savior. The Scriptures were vital to his discovery of God, whose wisdom, and insights for living brought value, stability, and joy to the Psalmist’s spirit.
“The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb…They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.” (Psalm 19:7-11 (NLT2) “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
The 139th Psalm draws us to the reality that even though God’s purposes and plans are good, they may not be convenient, comfortable, or understood. As the hymn goes, “There are things as we travel this earth’s shifting sands/That transcend all the reasons of man.” Yet, throughout Scripture and the historical narratives, God has cherished humanity and has opened His nature, His thoughts, His compassionate purposes, and His unfailing promises to us.
The enormity and the intensity of His mercy and grace and His faithful pursuit of us are most vividly illustrated in the nature, life, and sacrificial work of Christ, whom Scripture identifies as the Word or the image and expression of God in humanity and the one whose words are “spirit and life.” Jesus said that believing in him and his word sets one “free” and bring eternal life. (John 1:1; 3:16; 8:32; 6:63; 11:25; 15:3) His words are powerful and redemptive.
God as a good Father is active in His creation. He illuminate minds, exposes character weaknesses and the inadequacy of our righteousness to redeem ourselves. Through believing faith, which the Apostle Paul calls “more precious than gold,” He lifts us up, and enfolds us in His eternal protection. His words teach and correct us, show us that He desires ultimate good for us, and give us hope. And understanding and applying God’s Word show us how to live rightly.(1 Peter 1:7)(2 Timothy 3:16-17(Hebrews 4:12)(2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16)
Although God’s Word is as important today as it was in the days of the Psalmist, the question remains: are we too entwined in the business and “reasons of man” to discover His wonderful thoughts toward us?