From Gordon Curry
In an encounter with a Samaritan woman, Jesus tells her, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22). Although that’s not the key scripture for today, the idea of worshiping a God that we know echoed throughout my mind as I reviewed the passages for today. When we know someone, we relate to them on a deeper level than just as a casual acquaintance. When we know someone we aren’t tossed to and fro by assumptions about their character. Why? Because our experience has allowed us to distinguish what is true about them. When we know someone, we allow them the space to teach us more about who they are. Now all of these things can be said of those that we know that we don’t have a positive relationship with. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s take the perspective that knowing involves an intimate connection that can’t be easily replaced. So it is with God.
I saw these scriptures as a lesson on the character of God, in essence, so that we may worship what we know. We open to Judges 10:6-16 to find God upholding his promise to Israel. Just as He made promises to bless them for their obedience, he made a promise that that their obedience would lead them to destruction. I also see a God grieving deeply over the misery of His people in verse 16. So God is a promise keeper and He grieves over our misery. Make no mistake here. God’s willingness to allow destruction on His people speaks more negatively to the disobedience of the Israelites and not negatively about the love of God. God’s love didn’t try to control them or force a choice on them. God loved them so much he allowed the Israelites to make a choice toward him or away from Him. Still he grieved over the misery they went through as a result of not choosing Him.
So that brings us to the Psalms, which we may look at as the words of someone who is proclaiming the character of God. Because the psalmist knows God, he speaks all of these wonderful sayings about who He is and how those in the world should relate to Him. If you have any questions about the integrity of God, Psalm 92:15 says, “The Lord is upright, He is my Rock, there is no wickedness in Him.”
When your strength runs out and you have exhausted every possibility for help Psalm 93:4 states, “Mightier than the thunder of great water, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty.”
The psalmist says, “The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” (Psalm 94:21) The same psalmist lets us know that God has got our backs and will take care of us. “But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them.” (Psalm 94:22-23)
Even in our attempt at self sufficiency God lends out his hand. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94: 18-19)
So here we are, with an opportunity each day to worship what we know. What we know now is that God is a promise keeper. He grieves over our misery. He is a God of integrity. He will repay the wicked. He offers Himself as a place of refuge. He seeks to bring us joy and this doesn’t even scratch the surface. We aren’t on our own in this. God wants us to know Him and He doesn’t leave us on our own to do this. Will you accept His offer to know Him?
A Virginia native, I live in Roslindale with my wife, lover of the arts and practical jokes and my Myers Briggs is ENFJ. What’s yours?