Know My Heart
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
~ Psalm 139:1
God knows everything. Theologians speak of His omniscience — omni meaning all, and science meaning knowing about the universe. It is hard to quite comprehend this. As large as the universe is — and it is really big! — God knows everything. He numbers the hairs on our head, Jesus tells us; He counts every sparrow that dies. There is no question He cannot answer, no problem so great that He cannot solve it. He never gets confused and cannot be surprised.
Some people find this unsettling, but most Christians find great comfort that there is someone who knows what's going on.
Psalm 139 zeroes in on this aspect of God, especially how well he knows each of us. He knows what we are going to say before we say it. I have sometimes wished He would intervene before I could say something stupid, in fact; perhaps He could slap a piece of sacerdotal duct tape over my mouth, since he also knows I'm going to regret saying it.
But what happens to us, if we really ingest the idea that God knows whatever we do. Does anybody play Free Cell on their computer at work when the boss is watching? When you know there is a state patrol car with a radar gun a half mile ahead, do you keep on speeding?
God's omniscience, if we really take it to heart, can help us tremendously when we face temptation. If we do not know what to do in a certain situation, maybe the realization that God is with us, watching us and pulling for us, will help us figure out the right choice.
Or what if we know the right choice but face powerful temptation? Thinking that God is watching might be painful to us in the short run, but a big help in the long run; for sin hurts us, no matter how good it feels or how strong an obsession or compulsion that leads us astray.
Lord, let me always remember you are with me and know what I am doing. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer