Psalm 139:1, O LORD, You have searched me and known me!
How well do you know the people you are closest to? No matter how well we may know a person, there are times when their words and actions shock us. Can you think of any time a person you thought you knew really well surprised you with something they said or did? I’m sure you can. Back in high school, there was a girl I really liked in band. At the time, I had a friend whom I considered to be my best friend. We’ve been friends since I was 8-years-old. Since we were presumably best friends, I shared a lot with him, including the girls I liked. This one particular time when I told him about the girl I like, he went behind my back and they started dating; he hadn’t told me he liked her too. I thought I knew him really well, but not well enough to know he’d go behind his best friend’s back for a girl. He broke the Bro Code, as we men say. I’ve forgiven him since then and we remain friends (but not best friends), but his actions really hurt me and it was really hard for me to trust him after that.
How well do you think God knows you? One thing’s for sure: He knows you a lot more than you know yourself. God knows every detail of our lives, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar… For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:2, 13). God created you; He knows everything there is to know about you. This might seem a little scary to some of us. “Really? God knows me? Even that thing I did? Crap.” God knows all our flaws and failures, yet He also knows our strengths. Even though we are prone to failure, He still loves us and draws us to Himself through Christ to know His grace.
How well do you know God? Probably not as well as you think you do. God surprises me all the time with His lovingkindness. The biggest shock came when I finally realised the depth of His love for me in spite of my sin and self-loathing. We get to know God more and more every day. Whenever we blame God for something bad that happens, we don’t really know Him. Whenever we think God is indifferent about a situation, we don’t really know Him. Whenever we think God isn’t listening to our prayers, we don’t really know Him. When we think God only answers prayers with a “yes,” we don’t know Him as the one with the authority to say “no” or “not right now”—such responses are still answers to prayer, just not the answers we wanted.
Our relationship with God grows every day. He knows us to bone and marrow. “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Although we primarily think of God’s Word as something we read in order to gain knowledge and insight, we actually have it backwards. God’s Word reads us—it penetrates to our core and exposes who we really are. God knows you, and you can take comfort in this because He knows exactly what you need and when you need it.
There are so many things God knows about us (i.e. everything) that we cannot even begin to fathom how He sees us. Even though you fail, He doesn’t see you as a failure. Even though you sin, as a Christian He doesn’t see you as a sinner, but as His child baptised into His family and covered in the justifying blood of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 1:3-5). He knows you as His child, not as His enemy, and so He treats you as a Father would—with love, comfort, and discipline. We can always trust God completely because He knows exactly who we are and exactly what we need.