165. Known by God.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5) We were known by God and chosen by him even before we were conceived in the womb and he set us apart and appointed us to his service, even before we were born. And after we were born, he called us in keeping with the purpose of his will. When Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, he looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas." When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, he said, "Here is a true Israelite in whom there is nothing false." "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." (John 1:47-48) God knows those whom he has chosen, predestined, set apart and appointed. He searches their hearts 'for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.' (2 Chronicles 16:9) Therefore David said: 'O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely.' (Psalm 139:1-4) But unlike men, his familiarity doesn't breed contempt but rather compassion! 'As a father has compassion on his children (because he knows their weaknesses), so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.' (Psalm 103:13-14) God knows our weaknesses and 'he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.' (1 Corinthians 10:13) He assures us that he knows us; that he knows what we can endure, when we face trials or shoulder responsibilities, that we fear might cause a breakdown. Burdened by the task of leading a vast community through the desert, Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead this people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favour with me.' ... The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you and give you rest." (Exodus 33:12-14) The Holy Spirit, who is the 'Presence', searches our hearts and knows us. Amazed by God's foreknowledge, David says: 'Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?' (Psalm 139:6-7) We too may not comprehend it fully but we can definitely pray, saying : "Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is anything offensive in me and lead me in the way everlasting." (Vs 23-24) Amen.