Is God Stalking Me?
Is God Stalking Me?
† IHS †
May we revel in the presence of God our Father, who knows everything about us, and yet is determined to show us His mercy and love.
I could see you… WHAT?
You are walking up to someone, you have never met before. While the person is becoming famous, you aren’t sure why, matter of fact you are cynical about him.
You go to meet him, and as you are walking up to him, and instead of the meeting being all about him, he makes it all about you….
As He does, it becomes very, very personal….
So personal it is eerie…
We don’t know why Nathaniel’s attitude changed so rapidly in the gospel, or what he was thinking underneath the tree… yet…
It was so personal! it was so deep that Nathaniel only had two possible thoughts,
The first was that Jesus was stalking him… how else could he know…
The second was that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the one that Moses and the prophets promised, that Jesus was the son of God.
It is both frightening and yet comforting; to know that God knows each and every one of us that well.
The gospel reading this morning is a great illustration of the psalm, and this sermon about how well God knows each of you….
The depth of God’s knowledge
David’s psalm should frighten us a little
The psalm starts out with an amazing concept, that God has examined each one of us. The word there in Hebrew is rich! It pictures a legal investigation, not just the facts of the case. It is deeper than that, probing not just what we do, by why we do it. God examines our integrity, our heart, our emotions, and knows even those parts of us, that we don’t want to face. The parts of us that keep us awake at night, or cause us to shudder.
He knows those times…
God knows our movements, our thoughts, when we are praising Him and close, and when we try to rebel. God knows what we are going to say, and sing even if those words were going to be cuss words, or words that take His name in vain.
The one that hit me as I was reading it this time, was the phrase, “If I go down to the grave.”, or if I translated it, “if I took my place of rest in death”. The words of despair that King David knew all too well. This isn’t just a statement about location, there are words born of despair.
We can’t escape Him, we can’t get away from Him. Even though there are days we are so confused, so anxious, so in pain that we try to run…
We can’t get away!
He is here…. He is here…
Not to condemn, not to chastise, which we deserve, but as the Psalm says,
“You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
It’s too glorious for me
You will support me
If God knows everything about me, if He knows everything, then why doesn’t He give up on us?
If He knows us in the midst of our anxieties, in the midst of our doubt, or depression; if he knows us as we are about to sin, and do so, knowing it is sin, why does He continue to seek us out? He continues to be ready to catch us, even seems obsessed with the need to care for us.
God, the creator, the Holy One, the One who determines what is right and wrong.
David, the prophet-king-worship leader described as the man who knew God’s heart, thought the reasoning was beyond him. No wonder I don’t have a clue as to why God loves us.
Seriously, I can’t tell you why God loves us, yet we know He does. We don’t know why He has chosen us to be His people. We don’t know why our salvation and the salvation of our friends, our family, our peoples is His obsession. Why He decided to love us, and pour out His mercy upon us.
We simply know He has.
We see that love in the cross, in the very coming of Christ, and the promises that tell us why He came. To bear the stripes and nails, to satisfy the very wrath we deserve. We see it as well, as God promises time after time, to call us by name,
He places His hand upon our head… and marks us with His blessing.
No wonder some make the sign of the cross, the sign of our baptism, with such meaning…. For it reminds them of the wonderful things God has done to us!
The promise of His presence, of His guidance, of His support!
Even more… and invitation…
The idea of God stalking us, of God being obsessed with us may seem a bit odd. Yet that is what He does. His thoughts are of us, Peter says He desires that all of us come to repentance.
Not all of us at Concordia…. All of us… each one of us. Peter tells us that He desires all will come to repentance…
But salvation is not just God knowing us, it is about us knowing Him. About our being as in love with Him, as He is with us. I love how St Paul puts it:
May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
That isn’t what happens in sermons, but it is why we have them. It is what happens in the sacred times, especially the one we are about to share in…
Come my friends, to the table of mercy, and know something too wonderful, to glorious, something we struggle to understand, yet that brings us the greatest of comfort, the greatest of support, the greatest of joy.
God has examined you, and loves you, and calls you His own…. AMEN!