What are God's attributes?

Digging Deeper in God's Omniscience

Read Psalm 139:1-6

               

Paul Apple – ‘God knows me intimately so that He can take care of me perfectly.’

 

I. God examines us thoroughly, vs. 1.

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.

 

How well do you know other people, your spouse, your best friend?

                Just when you think you know them, they surprise you!

 

What has God’s examination produced? It has produced a report that is quite revealing. It is good for us to see what His investigation has concluded concerning us. We will simply concern ourselves with the results of that report according to the book of Psalms.

     A. God knows what we are made of, 103:14.

     "for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."

 

     B. God knows the length of our days, 39:4-5.

     4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. 5 You have made my days a mere    

     handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.

 

     C. God knows that our knowledge is limited, vs. 6.

     6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

 

     D. God knows what we are prone to do, 119:9-10.

     9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from

     your commands.

 

     E. God knows that we need a helping hand, 37:23-24.

     23  If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24  though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with

     his hand.

 

     F. God knows that we are sinners in need of a savior, 25:4-7.

     4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is

     in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth   

     and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

 

These are general truths that God knows about all people in general.  We can stop here concerning what God knows, but how does that help us. It is easy to say that God knows everything about us, but it does not hit home unless we get more specific. What does he know about us specifically? We will investigate God’s personal knowledge of us in the next few verses.

 

II. God knows us intimately, vss. 2-4.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 

 

Even though there are 6,355,000,000 people on earth, he knows you just as personally and intimately as everyone else.

 

God knows me intimately so that He can take care of me perfectly.

 

The ‘YOU’ in verses 2 through 4 are in an emphatic position. The emphasis is not so much on what God knows. The emphasis is not so much on what we are known for. The emphasis is on the ONE WHO KNOWS. YOU KNOW when I sit. YOU KNOW my thoughts. YOU KNOW where I go. YOU KNOW what I do. YOU KNOW what I will say.

 

In all of these truths about God’s knowledge of us, there is comfort and conviction. You will find comfort in these truths when you are walking with Him and are in trouble. You will find conviction in these truths if you are walking in disobedience and are struggling with sin.

 

Remember, in all of these truths, that God’s purpose is not to spy on you to catch you doing wrong so that he can punish you. His purpose is to love you by protecting you from the devil, the world, and even yourself.

 

What does God know about us?

 

                A. God knows everything I do (actions).

                               

                The author uses a figure of speech, in verses 2 and 3, called a merism. This is where opposites are named to represent                 everything in between them.

                            

                 You know when I sit and when I rise… You discern my going out and my lying down… God knows not only when                      

                we sit and rise, not only when we go out and lie down, but he knows all about us in between those times as well.

 

                It is not as if God has a blind spot between our sitting and rising or our going out and lying down. It is not like God                

                says, ‘well, there he goes. He just got up. I guess I’ll just have to wait until he sits down again so I can know what’s                

                going on with him.’

 

                                1. Conviction – we cannot hide anything that we do from the eyes of our God.

 

                                2. Comfort – we cannot be hidden by any person or circumstance from the eyes of our God.

               B. God knows everything I think (motives).

                Psalm 94: 11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.

 

                There was this show called the Outer Limits where this man once gained the ability to know what others were thinking. He                 used this power to advance his career at work and to manipulate other people. I thank God that He is the only one who can do                  this.

                              

                 Can you imagine what would happen to us if we could know what others were thinking? I can tell you what would                 

                happen. We would not have any friends. No one would want to be around you. Just thinking about that causes me to    fear and

                worship God all at once. HE KNOWS all of our thoughts and yet he still sent His son to die on the cross for                         us.

                               

                                1. Conviction – We cannot hide our motives from God; even if we hide our motives from ourselves.

 

                                                Scripture tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.

                                                We can even fool and lie to ourselves, but we cannot fool or lie to God.

 

                                2. Comfort – God knows our motives when we act even if others misinterpret our motives.

 

                                                Even if other people misunderstand your actions and judge your motives, God knows the real deal.

 

                C. God knows everywhere I go (activities).

 

                                1. Conviction

                                Psalm 65: 5 You know my folly, O God;  my guilt is not hidden from you.

               

                                   Just because you go somewhere God does not approve of, that does not mean that God is ignorant or absent                                 in His knowledge of what you are doing. It is not like God puts his hands over His eyes when you go to                                 sinful places. God knows.

 

                                2. Comfort

                                Psalm 142: 3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.

 

                                No matter where you go or no matter where you are taken, God knows where you are.

 

                                The missionaries in the jungle who were taken by the soldiers may have been hidden from the knowledge                                 of family, friends, and our government. But God knew exactly where they were.

 

                                You may feel like you have been taken to a place where God does not know you have been. You may feel                                 like despair, depression, anxiety, worry, fear, etc… has taken you where God does not go. But do not fear,                                 God knows.

                               

 

                D. God knows all of my habits .

                Psalm 44: 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21 would not God have   

                discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?

 

                                1. Conviction

                                  I could talk about a great many habits here and run out of time while discussing them, but let me simply                                   refer to one habit of the human race that we all have trouble with; idolatry.

 

                                Life has a way of redirecting our hearts. We will worship someone or something. We are prone to worship.                                 

                                 The question that needs to be answered is, ‘what or who are you worshipping?’

 

                                 Do you worship drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, television, yourself (selfishness/pride)?

                                                               

                                  You can find out what God you worship by evaluating your habits.

                                  Where do you go to find satisfaction? Where do you go to settle your fears, worries, stresses, etc.?

 

                                 If you go first to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, television, people, then you have found your god.

 

                  God knows the idols of our hearts. And while this can be convicting, it should also be comforting.                 

                   You see, God does not want us to keep those idols for He knows that they will hurt and disappoint                                                   us. So He calls us away from them.

                                                               

                                2. Comfort

                                God knows all of our godly habits as well. He is not ignorant of your works for him. Even if other people in                                 your family or church do not notice or acknowledge your service for God; know that God will.

 

                                Many of your sacrificial gifts of prayer, Bible teaching, counseling, working, giving of money and talents                                 may not be noticed by man but God sees and will reward you accordingly for your godly habits.

 

                                You may not feel like your daily quiet times in the word and prayer are doing a lick of good, but God                                 knows. And the Bible tells us that every secret work done unto God will one day be rewarded openly.

 

                E. God knows everything I say (words).

 

                This is one of the most profound insights into God’s scope of knowledge concerning us. He, not only knows, everything that                  we say but He knows everything that we will say. Before we speak a word, He knows what we are going to say. WOW!

 

                Have you ever felt like you knew what someone was going to say? I know a lot of people like that. I am surrounded by                 people who think they know exactly what I’m going to say. It happens all the time. Just when I am about to finish one of my                 sentences or thoughts and I take a breath, then it happens! Someone else finishes my sentence for me.

 

                Interestingly enough, they have no clue what I was going to say. They are usually wrong, but not so with God. He knows                 what I am going to say, even before I know what I am going to say.

 

                                1. Conviction

                                I realize that I am not worthy to be called one of His children. He loves me more than I love Him. He                                 shows me more love than I show for His other children.

 

                                He knew all of the bad things that I was going to say about Him when He was on the cross for me.

                                He knew all of the bad things that I was going to say about other people when He was on the cross for me.

                                He knew all of the good things that I was going to say (for manipulative and selfish reasons) when He was                                 on the cross for me.

 

                                2. Comfort

                                No matter what I say or am going to say, God will never leave me nor forsake me. He already knows what I                                 am going to say and he already made that promise to never leave me or give up on me. He will complete                                 His good work in me unto completion.

 

 

 

God knows you better than others know you. God knows you better than you know yourself.

God knows what you are doing, thinking, and saying.  He also knows why we are doing, thinking, and saying.

God knows this about you amongst the 6,355,000,000 people on this earth; all at the same time about everyone. WOW!

III. God protects us perfectly, vs. 5.

5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

 

God knows me intimately so that He can take care of me perfectly.

 

Psalm 138: 6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;

you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.

 

                A. God is our strong shield behind and before us.

 

                There is nothing or no one who can do anything to you without the knowledge and permission of God.

                               

“Thou hast beset me behind and before.” As though we were caught in an ambush, or besieged by an army which has wholly beleaguered the city walls, we are surrounded by the Lord. God has set us where we be, and beset us wherever we be. Behind us there is God recording our sins, or in grace blotting out the remembrance of them; and before us there is God foreknowing all our deeds, and providing for all our wants. We cannot turn back and so escape him, for he is behind; we cannot go forward and outmarch him, for he is before.

 

                B. God is our everlasting support.

 

               Who would dare attack us with His hand upon us? Can you imagine being in a place or position where you felt                 

               overwhelmed and over run? Then I want you to imagine that in the very instance where it seems that all hope is lost,              

               that a tall figure moves in next to you and lays his strong hand upon you and declares with burning eyes that your                

               enemy shall not come any closer. And without a word, the enemy runs in fear because HIS hand is upon you.

 

 

,—“And laid thine hand upon me.” God is very near; we are wholly in his power; from that power there is no escape. It is not said that God will thus beset us and arrest us, but it is done—“Thou hast beset me.” Shall we not say that our heavenly Father has folded his arms around us, and caressed us with his hand? It is even so with those who are by faith the children of the Most High.

 

Conclusion, vs. 6:

 

Have you ever met a know-it-all? No matter what you talk about, they have something to say about it?

What is the problem with know-it-alls? Why do we have such a problem being around this type of person?

              

  Because there is no such thing as a know-it-all.

 

God is a know-it-all. Unfortunately, people tend to avoid God just as much as a human know-it-all. Why?

              

  Because he really does know everything about all things about you. That can be intimidating and convicting.

 

It is true that we will respond to our heavenly Know-it-all in one of two ways.

            

    We will either try to run away in dread because of doing what is wrong or we will run to Him in joy because of doing what is            

    right.

 

Let me encourage you with these words concerning the knowledge of God.

                If you are living in sin, then take heart because God knew that you would be living in sin and HE STILL SENT HIS SON TO                 DIE ON THE CROSS FOR YOU.

                If you are living in trials, then take heart because God knows of your pain and HE IS ABLE TO RESCUE YOU.

 

How should understanding the omniscience of God affect us? We should proclaim the same words as the Psalmist in verse 6.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 

 

This should cause us to reverence Him above all others.