1 John 3:18-24l
“Multi-tasking” has come to signify the ability to do more than on thing at a time. My wife Valere and I agree that I am one who concentrates on doing one thing at a time, while she attempts to do several things at the same time. That is hardly surprising because it is generally assumed that men tend to be single-taskers, while women tend to be multi-taskers. It is also commonly known that they do not agree which inclination is best.
The other day it occurred to me that while I was pouring out my heart to the Lord, millions of others across the earth were doing so at the very same time. It boggled my mind to think that God would be hearing simultaneously the prayers of close to seven billion people on this earth! And if there is human-type life elsewhere in the cosmos, God’s task is even more unimaginable.
Furthermore, not only is God communing with innumerable beings throughout the universe, we believe he is also doing things: building-up and tearing down, smiting and healing, beginning and finishing, opposing the proud, giving grace to the humble – and so much more. God is surely the Ultimate Multi-Tasker. A PERSONAL PRAYER
Our psalm for this week, Psalm 139, one of the Bible’s major literary and theological treasures, is about the Psalmist’s personal and solitary experience: the God of the trillions is also his God. There are four parts to this psalm and in vs. 1-6, the Psalmist recognizes that God knows him fully and completely. He knows him inside and out, backwards and forwards: “O Lord, you have
searched me and known me. You know when I sit down
and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far
Theologians and philosophers speak of God’s omniscience and omnipresence: he is all-knowing and everywhere present. But the psalmist affirms this, not as a doctrine, but as his own experience.
God not only knows all things, but he knows the Psalmist and us. It is impossible to deceive him. He and he alone knows me completely, the best and the worst of me. Some would regard this realization with abject terror, but the Christian can find comfort in knowing there is One from whom nothing can be hid.
The second section, vs. 7-12, carries this a step further, asserting that there is nowhere to hide from God. “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee
from your presence?”
It is useless to try to hide from the Lord for it cannot be done. There is no hiding place where he cannot find us – not even in our churches. ONE OF GOD’S WONDERFUL WORKS
In verses 13-18 the Psalmist’s experience take another step deeper. “For it was you who formed my inward
parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”
and that is why the Psalmist realizes that: “I am fearfully
and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works”
and I am one of those works (vs.13,14). Or to put it another way: “God doesn’t make any junk!” None whatsoever!
Verses 19-22 are four verses that many wish had been left out of the Book of Psalms. “O that you would kill the
wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart
from me… I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them
Many the times I’ve skipped over vs. 19- 22, embarrassed because the spirit expressed is not compatible with that of our Lord. But that’s the point: the Psalmist did not and could not know Jesus! He was not acquainted with the Gospel, but we are and these four verses lift up for us the supreme and everlasting difference to which we are called by Jesus.
Verses 23 and 24 give us the opportunity to progress beyond the hatred that is still so common in these days: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and
know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked with me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
If we sincerely invite God to search our hearts and minds, we cannot cling to the hatred that provides us with enemies instead of the friends God intended for us.