God Knows
Tuesday of Pentecost 6
23 July 2019
God knew what would happen to His creation from the foundation of the world in all its awful detail, far more than we can know or fathom and yet He still is the God for us. He knows what we have done. He is more fully aware of our sins than even we ourselves can be, because we lie to ourselves about our own sin. God neither lies to us, nor to Himself about us, not even before the world was founded. He knew what the final score was, before we even started the game. He knew that we would be murderers, have hearts perverted by sexual impurity, desire to possess the things that are not and should not be ours, despise our parents and other authorities, misuse God's name, abuse His precious Word, and even despise God Himself. He knew we would hate Him precisely for His unending love for us, yet He still loved us with an unending love. The apostle Paul says: "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Rm 5:7-9). Christ died not for the good people but for sinners and He knew before we were created that that would be the deal. What a mystery this great love for us sinners is.
God often hides Himself in the humility of His self-revelation. He discloses Himself to us in ways that are helpful to us. God knows everything about us, He often is looking for us to recognize it about ourselves and to recognize the miracle of His grace to us, and so He keeps reaching out to us by His Word, seeking us, calling us, agonizing and waiting like the father looking for His prodigal son to return home. He calls for Adam and Eve in the Garden: "Adam, where are you?" even though He knows very well where Adam is. He asks, "What have you done?" even though He knows what Adam has done. He wants Adam to recognize what he has done and confess His horrible transgression so that His heavenly Father can begin to tell Him about the Seed of the woman who would come to redeem sinners.
What did God know and when did He know it? He always did, the whole sordid tale and yet still offered Himself in Christ to us. God knows us in Christ and always has.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"The words 'Where are you?' are words of the law. God directs them to the conscience. Although all things are clear and are known before God (Heb 4:13), He is speaking according to our way of thinking; for He sees us considering how we may withdraw from His sight. Therefore when He says: 'Where are you?' it is the same as if He were saying: 'Do you think I do not see you?' He wants to show Adam that though he had hidden, he was not hidden from God, and that when he avoided God, he did not escape God. It happens naturally in the case of every sin that we stupidly try to escape God's wrath and yet we cannot escape it. It is the utmost stupidity for us to imagine that our cure lies in flight from God rather than in our return to God, and yet our sinful nature cannot return to God. In what frame of mind, therefore, shall we suppose Adam to have been when he heard this voice? He had stupidly hoped to be able to hide; and, see, he stands before God's judgment seat and is now called in for his punishment." 

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, 3.9
Genesis 3:6-15

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (ESV)
Lord Christ, You foreknew our fall, yet committed Your precious life to us in eternity. Grant us in our day to deliver into your gracious hands all things that plague us, that confident of Your care for us, we might confess Your name in all the world. Amen.
For Robert Brimberry, that the Lord would protect him
For Michael Koutsodontis, that the Lord Jesus would strengthen him as he undergoes therapy for cancer
For President Matthew Harrison of the LCMS, that holy angels would keep watch over him as he presides at the triennial convention of the LCMS in Tampa, Florida
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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