A Brief Meditation for the Month

November 2020

A little boy was asked the question, “How many Gods are there?” His immediate answer was “One.” The questioner then enquired how he could be so sure there was only one God. He responded, “Because there is no room for more, for the one God fills heaven and earth.” The answer of this little fellow corresponds with God’s own words, for He has asked: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24). These divinely spoken words remind us of the fact of God’s omnipresence and his omniscience. No creature can lay claim to these attributes. These belong to God alone.

When Adam and Eve fell in sin, the guilty couple attempted to hide from God in the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:8–10. Their action, however, testified to an immediate effect of the fall upon them, and upon all their descendants. They foolishly tried to do the impossible—to hide from their omnipresent and omniscient creator. Ever since that initial attempt by Adam to conceal himself, generations of his descendants have been endeavouring to escape from the presence of God. A sin-hating God is not someone with whom they want to have dealings.

How different is the case of the person who is reconciled to God: who is accepted through God’s dear Son Jesus Christ! When sin has been atoned for through the sacrificial death of God’s Son upon the cross, all condemnation removed and peace established between God and the reconciled sinner, there is no need to hide in fear and shame. For such, God’s omnipresence and his omniscience are sources of blessed comfort and joy. If we belong to this category, then we ought, when praying, to be aware that these immutable attributes belong to the one whom we are addressing. In any place, at any time, under any circumstance, we are privileged to have freedom of access to the one who knows all that concerns us. Simon Peter acknowledged that our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, knows all things, John 21:17. Even though Peter was somewhat unsure of himself when responding to Jesus’ probing questioning, he did have confidence in the perfection of the Saviour’s knowledge of what resided in his heart. Peter’s confession implied his understanding of who Jesus was—God manifest in the flesh, possessing all the attributes of eternal deity. Like Simon Peter, some of the Lord’s poor people have found themselves ensnared by the devil and have succumbed to temptation. Even when genuinely penitent, they struggle to know what their relation to the Saviour is. They may be deeply troubled over their failings and inconsistencies; and be tempted to conclude with a broken heart that they have no grace. They are afraid to say they love the Saviour. A broken heart, however, may be a true heart. The broken heart may be more evidence of love for the Saviour than one that is assured and confident.

Prior to his denial of Jesus, Peter never imagined he could do such a thing, yet that is what Satan succeeded in tempting him to do. Peter’s grief, shame, and remorse undoubtedly contributed to his hesitation to declare his love for Christ. Nevertheless, he resolved to trust the knowledge of his Saviour, who knew his heart. Likewise, when we are unable to explain all our inward conflicting thoughts and feelings or articulate what is in our hearts, the Saviour knows: yes, even what we are incapable of knowing. Dear friend, be assured, Jesus Christ knows the secrets of your heart, even when it feels broken.

G. G. Hutton.