Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24 – He encircles us with His love

O Lord, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives.  You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.  Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.  You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me.  Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.  (Psalm 139:1-6  NET)

This entire psalm is full of beautiful promises of how close, loving, and intimately aware God is of our lives.  It’s for all those who claim that God has too many more important things to do than to bother with their insignificant problems.  Not only does He know every tiny thought and every word we utter, but His immensity and wisdom is far beyond our capability to understand Him.  His love is big and He IS big!

God is not only able to know all of our thoughts and motives, He deeply cares about them and carefully observes everything we do.  That goes for every human being on the planet, from the beginning until the end of time.  We can never use the excuse that God can’t expect us to do what’s right in a given situation, because He didn’t foresee this sort of predicament  would exist 2000 years ago when He wrote the “Manual.”  But as hard as it is to obey in circumstances that seem impossible, He already knows everything about us, and knew it long before we even existed.  He made no mistake when He wrote the Bible.  His principles never become invalid just because we can’t figure out how they’ll work. 

When Mark, our youngest, was born in South Africa, a wonderful assistant in our church worked in our home and took care of him as a baby when Evelyn had to be away for meetings.  As is the custom there, Fikile would snugly wrap him in a towel or blanket and tie him tightly to her back as she went about her business cooking or cleaning.  Her gentle movements and the warmth of being bundled up against her would quickly lull him to sleep.  He felt safe and secure, and many nights we’d return home to find him knocked out, with his little arms spread wide against her back.  It was easy to unwrap him and lay him straight into his crib with no disturbance.

God promises to “squeeze me in from behind and in front,” just like I picture our son, without a care in the world, warm and safe.  This is how we need to visualize God as our loving Father.  He goes ahead of us to guard us from danger, and He protects us from behind.  He encircles us better than any human parent could care for their child.  Other versions of this verse say He hems us in, or hedges us in.  If God’s Word is true, and we choose to allow Him to be our Father, then we have absolutely nothing in this world to fear.  Whenever the devil tries to convince us that God has left us or doesn’t care, we have these promises to fight back with.  

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