This week we will spend time exploring our core value of LOVE. When we speak of love, we place a big (Biblical) emphasis on valuing life, ultimately by valuing persons. One of the ways in which Scripture guides us in valuing persons is by taking the time to intentionally know them.
Wednesday, November 20th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Psalm 139
Focused Passage for Reflection - Psalm 139:13-16
Reflecting on the Text:
Do you long to be known? On some level, all of us have this desire. Some are just more honest about it than others. But why do we long to be known? Maybe we could answer that by asking another question. How do you feel when you are not known? Invisible? Devalued? And that answer tells us what we know instinctively…to be known intimately, as scary as it may sometimes seem, is to be valued. When someone takes the time to know us, they are making a statement that we are worth the effort. Isn’t that what we all really want?
Psalm 139 speaks to this profound truth by celebrating the One who knows us most intimately. In verse 1, the psalmist opens by singing, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” In verse 23, he closes by inviting the Lord to do what he knows He has already done. “Search me, O God, and know my heart!” It is a confident longing. It is also the most vulnerable prayer we could pray, because the God who knows is also the God who knows intimately.
Actually, the whole of the psalm sings of this truth. Our God knows us intimately, and there is no place we can go to escape His knowledge. The psalmist takes delight in this truth, essentially singing, “There is no place I can go to be apart from you. You have always been with me…even when you created me.”
Verses 13-16 speak of the intimate knowledge which only the Creator could have. With intimate and intricate care, He formed the psalmist (and us). The psalmist speaks of knowing. He speaks of valuing. He speaks of life. And did you notice there is no debate here of where life begins. Life in the womb is simply assumed. Life in the womb is treasured. Life in the womb is valued because the life in the womb is known.
If we take a break from the public debate, isn’t this really one of the most powerful statements for the value of the unborn? They are known intimately. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and powerful in its profundity. A life which is known is a life which has value.
This truth has import for our understanding of abortion. The Scriptures call us to value life…all life. (We’ll tackle this subject more on Sunday as we begin to unpack what it means to value life and truly be pro-life.) But this truth also has import for understanding of how to love our neighbors.
Not only does the unborn baby have a life of value, but also the elderly, the sick, and the outcast. Life has value, and we express that value when we take the time and effort to know one another. The psalmist understands this blessing and sings of it. Let us sign along with him. With the psalmist, let us open up our souls to be known by the One who has known us since the womb. And encouraged by the psalmist, let us bear God’s image by investing the time and effort to know and thus value others who bear the image of our Creator God.
Questions for personal reflection:
In what ways have you invited God to search and know your heart? What holds you back from praying verses 23-24?
In what ways have you invested the time and energy to know others in your church body? What holds you back?
In what ways have you allowed others in your church body to know you? What holds you back?