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WHAT DOES GOD THINK OF YOU?
Intro: Population scientists tell us that there are over 6 billion people upon the face of the earth. This is a number that is almost beyond my comprehension. To try and get an idea of how many people this is, just imagine that you took every person in the world and lined them up shoulder to shoulder in rows of 100. That is, 100 people lined up shoulder-to-shoulder one row after the other. The line of people that would be formed would reach almost all the way around the world at the equator. That is an amazing mass of humanity.
Now, you may feel that among a number of that size, you are a pretty insignificant person. You may feel that the Lord doesn’t have time for someone like yourself. Perhaps you believe that the Lord is too busy looking after the universe and maintaining this thing to have time to be concerned about you. Yet, the Bible teaches us that God knows everything there is to know about each of the 6 billion humans upon the face of the earth today.
The truth is, this verse that we have read today teaches us that He does think about you. Of course, this is a word, which was spoken to the people of Israel concerning their Babylonian captivity and the promise of their safe return to their homeland. However, there is application here for the church and every person under the sound of my voice.
I want to park on verse 11 for our time together today. God makes a statement in that verse that encourages my soul. In fact, this is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. I would like for us to think about this question, “What Does The Lord Think Of You?”
You may feel that God does not think about you at all, but I would like to tell you that He does! Allow me to show you from the Word of God exactly what the Lord thinks about when He thinks of you. As I do, my prayer is that you will be encouraged to know that God has His eye on your life and that He is concerned about you.
In order to approach this subject, it will be necessary for me to ask and answer three important questions about the Lord’s knowledge of your life.
I. HOW WELL DOES GOD REALLY KNOW YOU?
God says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you.” Of course, God was writing to the nation of Israel. They were in captivity in Babylon. God is reminding them, that in spite of their pain and suffering, they are in His mind. He is working out His perfect will in their lives. When He is finished, He will change them. When Israel went in to Babylon as prisoners, the nation was guilty of idolatry. When they came out, they never resorted to that sin again. God used a time when they thought they were forgotten and forsaken to make them stronger and better for His glory.
A. God’s Knowledge Of Us Is Individual – This is a reminder that of all the people in the world, God has His mind on you. He sees you not as just another member of the vast human race; He sees you as an individual. He has specific thoughts about you. He cares about you. You, as an individual, are on His mind.
People often wonder just what God knows about them. The fact is, God know everything there is to know about you and me! The Bible is clear when it talks about the scope of God’s knowledge of our lives. If you let the following truths sink in to your soul, you may find them a bit overwhelming, but in truth, the knowledge of God is a very comforting thing!
B. God’s Knowledge Of Us Is Intimate – Matt. 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” These verses tell us of the value that God places upon His creation. Even the little sparrow that falls to the ground does not escape the attention of the Almighty.
The reality for us is that the Father is so concerned about our lives that He knows the very number of hairs, which are upon our heads. If He is concerned about something so insignificant as that, then we can rest assured that He will take care to watch over the more weighty issues of life. Since His knowledge of our lives is so detailed, then we can be sure that He knows every possible thing there is to know about us. The Lord knows our deepest and darkest secrets; He knows our thoughts, our motives, our plans, and our dreams!
C. God’s Knowledge Of Us Is Infinite – Psalm 139:1-19 – In this Psalm, David tells us that the Lord is everywhere, beholding everything. Even before we came into this world, God was looking upon us and had already determined exactly how we would turn out, v. 16.
While it is plain to see that God knows the most intimate details of our lives, we must never forget that He knows every detail of our lives. God misses nothing that we do. He sees it all and regardless of where we go, God is still watching our lives. Ill. Jonah - He tried to flee from the presence of God, but he ran right into the Lord. He is everywhere and He sees and knows it all!
D. God’s Knowledge Of Us Is Instant – Job 42:2; Psa. 139:4 – That is, the knowledge of the Lord in regard to our lives is always before the Lord, Pro. 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” If He knows when the sparrow falls to the ground, Matt. 10:29, then you can be sure He is aware of everything that happens in your life on a moment by moment basis. In other words, God’s eye is constantly upon the affairs of your life, Pro. 15:3.
This is an encouragement to me because I know that nothing that happens in my life catches the Lord off guard. He knows about it before it happens, Isa. 46:10, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” It had to pass through the filter of grace before it could even make it to me, Rom. 8:28.
I think David summed up what I feel when I try to grasp something this big, Psa. 139:6. If you are trying to hide something from the Lord, then His omniscience is a terrible thing, because you are going to get away with nothing. However, when you are striving to serve the Lord, His omniscience is a blessing, because the Lord knew everything that came to pass in your life before He ever allowed it to come your way.
I. How Well Does God Really Know You?
II. WHAT IS REVEALED BY GOD’S KNOWLEDGE OF YOU?
Since we can plainly see from the Scriptures that the Lord sees every single detail of our lives, what does this knowledge about us reveal to the Lord? There are three areas of life that are constantly before the Lord. Allow me to share them with you right now.
A. God Knows About Your Sins – Ill. God knew all about Israel’s sins! There was nothing in their hearts or their lives that He did not know.
People are really silly when it comes to their sins. They often act as if God cannot see, or isn’t aware of what they are doing. However, since the first sin was committed in the Garden of Eden, God has witnessed every single one, Gen. 3:8-11. God is no less aware today than He was then, Heb. 4:13. Job 14:16, “For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?” Psa. 90:8, “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.”
With this truth in mind, it is easy to see the futility of trying to hide one’s sins from the Lord. That is why the counsel of Pro. 28:13, which says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy,” is so valuable. Every person in this room should also deal with the admonition of 1 John 1:8-10.
B. God Knows About Your Situations – Ill. God knew everything there was to know about the sufferings of Israel. He knew about the wickedness of the Babylonians. He knew about heir cruelty. Nothing was hidden from Him!
Ill. Job 23:10 – This verse tells us that the Lord knew everything that was happening in the life of the servant Job. He knows all that is happening in your life as well! Nothing that has ever come your way has ever taken the Lord by surprise. In fact, He has allowed it to happen for His own purposes and for your good, Rom. 8:28. Often the sufferings and burdens of life are greater than we feel that we can bear, but in the midst of them, we have some pretty spectacular promises. A few that come to mind are:
1. He knows all about it – If God knows all about it then it must be part of His plan for my life. If that is true then I can accept it and trust Him to bring me safely through.
2. He is there in the midst of it – Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20 - There are times when the presence of God can neither be seen nor felt, but He is there nonetheless, protecting, providing and watching out after His own.
3. He cares about what we are facing – 1 Pet. 5:7, Heb. 4:15 – It may feel like God doesn’t care, but in truth, He cares far more than we could ever know.
4. He has promised grace to bring us through – 2 Cor. 12:9 – It may seem that the load is heavier than you can ever bear up under. However, the Lord has promised to meet the need and to give us grace sufficient for the trial at hand.
5. He has promised rest in the midst of toil – Matt. 11:28 – Even in the middle of the weary day of trial, the Lord has promised rest to his children if they will come to Him and lay their burdens down.
Sometimes there are storms that darken the way. Sometimes there are burdens that are hard to carry. Other times, there are sorrows and troubles that seem to hide the face of the Lord from us, but do not be deceived into thinking that the Lord doesn’t know or that He doesn’t care. God knows everything that you are into today and He will get you through it!
Think back over the lessons taught in the Word of God. Remember all the times where the Bible declares that the Lord was faithful on behalf of His people. As I share a few of these with you, please remember that we are serving the same God today Who did all these things!
1. When He parted the Red Sea – Ex. 14
2. When He protected the 3 Hebrews – Dan. 3
3. When He protected Daniel – Dan. 6
4. When He fed and watered the Israelites for 40 years – Ex. 16-17.
5. When He fed the 5,000 – John 6
6. When He came to the Disciples in the midst of the storm – John 6. Please note that He sent them to begin with. Did He know about the storm? Of course! He ordered it, Mark 6:45! There are many other passages that teach the same truth. God is always faithful on behalf of His people and He will see to their need. He knows about us in minute, infinite detail and He will take care of you and me!
I. How Well Does God Really Know You?
II. What Is Revealed By God’s Knowledge Of You?
III. HOW DOES GOD REACT TO HIS KNOWLEDGE OF YOU?
Since the Lord has this intimate, detailed, personal knowledge of each of us, what does He do with it? How does God’s knowledge of your life and mine cause Him to respond? Allow me to show you three ways that God moves in response to His knowledge of His people.
A. God Reacted Toward You In The Past – God moved in Israel’s past by choosing them over all the other nations of the earth, Deut. 7:7. He moved by delivering them from Egyptian bondage, Ex. 12-15. He moved by bringing them through the wilderness and into the Promised Land, Joshua 1:1ff. He had plans for this nation. Not plans of “evil”, but plans of “peace”. Plans that were designed to bring them to an “expected end.”
God moved like this in the lives of all His children. God took steps in the past to meet the deepest need we have, and that is our need to be saved. Before God had even made the world, He knew that He would make man in His image and that men would sin against Him. Therefore, before there was ever a man to save, or a sin from which to save him, God had already provided a means of salvation. The plan then was the same plan we have today. Notice: Rev. 13:8, Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
This plan was fulfilled when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary, shed His precious Blood and paid our sin debt. Three days later, He arose from the dead and ascended back to His Father to be the mediator between God and man, 1 Tim. 2:5. Now, anyone can have their sins taken care of simply by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith, John 3:16.
B. God Reacts Toward You In The Present – From Israel’s perspective, it looked as though the Lord had abandoned them. They were in captivity in Babylon. They were suffering cruel treatment at the hands of their enemies. It seems that their prayers were accomplishing nothing, and that there was no hope for the future. That is merely how things appeared!
That’s how life appears to us at times, isn’t it? That is only how life appears! As you go through life, the Lord stands ready and able to help you along the way. You do not have to face the burdens and trials of life alone! You do not have to face them under a heavy burden of fear and worry. God would have you and me to trust Him and to look to Him during the trying times of life, Matt. 6:25-33; Phil. 4:6-7. His promises, which I have already touched on, are as good today as they have ever been! He is there to supply that which you need, Phil. 4:19.
The question may arise at this point, “Why doesn’t God do something about this battle that I am fighting? I have prayed about it and I am trusting Him, but nothing ever changes.” The only response I have to that is this, “God’s train doesn’t run on your track!” He will move, but not when you think He will.
If there is what seems to be a lack of response from the Father, I would ask this question: “Is everything in order in your life?” If there is rebellion against something the Lord would have you do, if there is some secret sin, if there is some disobedience, then it may be that the Lord is using your valley to call you home. The Prodigal would have never gone home if it hadn’t been for the time he spent in the pigpen, Luke 15:11-24. All I am saying is that the Lord will often use adversity as chastisement for the sin and rebellion that is in our life. Therefore, before you accuse the Lord of being unfaithful, be sure that everything is squared away in your own heart and life.
C. God Reacts Toward You In His Promises – Israel probably thought the Lord had forgotten about them and about all the promises He had made to their fathers. This text was sent to them to remind them that God has not forgotten. According to our text, the Lord thinks “good” thoughts about His people. His desire is to “give” them an “expected end”. The idea here is that the Lord knew where they were and where He was taking them.
The same is true concerning us. Not a single promise of the lord will ever fail! He will keep every promise He has ever made. He will fulfill His Word! As He brings us through the valleys and through the troublesome times of our lives, we can rest assured that in the end, He is merely working out His will for us and that the end will more than justify the means, 2 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18. He has a plan for your life. You duty is to walk in His will, Rom. 12:1-2. In the end, we will end up right where He wants us, Phil. 1:6.
Remember the words of that old suffering saint Job, Job 23:10! God knows the way that I take, because God plans the way that I take. Everything God allows in your life and mine is in an effort to mold us more into His image, Eph. 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”
Conc: What does God think about you? When He thinks about you He does so with love. When He thinks about you He thinks of the great plans that He has for your life.
No matter where you are in this world today. No matter what you are facing or are what you are going through, there is help and hope in the Lord Jesus today.
It may bother you that the Lord knows about your sins, because you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior. Why not do that today?
It may bother you as a Christian that your sins are not hid from the Lord. Why not come clean with Him today, Pro. 28:13?
You may be walking through the deepest, darkest, longest valley of your life and wondering if the Lord cares, or even knows about it. Let me assure you that He both knows and cares. Why not bring that need to Him today? I am inviting you to come to a God who can and will help you if you will merely seek Him. He loves you! Why not let Him help you as well?