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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knowing God~I Know His Name

We're getting into the Psalms now, my favourite book in the Bible, and the verse I'm looking at today is found in Psalms 9:10. "And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You."

The Psalms are a lot easier to read than some books, so the verses would seem rather straightforward. I'm curious, though, to see the context around the verse. Once I spent some time reading Job and Psalms and found a lot of Passion (crucifixion, resurrection) language in both of those books. Job has some very specific verses that point directly to Jesus' death, and it's interesting because Job is said to be the first book written in the Bible.

We know the Psalms are songs, the majority of which were written by David, and I wonder if this song was written after he had killed Goliath, and had victory in a few more wars, and perhaps was on the run already from King Saul. Psalm 9 starts out with David thanking God for all the things He has done for him, and then spends most of the time talking about David's enemies and how God has defeated them.

Here is just a brief list of how David describes God.

  • He does wonderful deeds
  • He maintains my just cause
  • He gives righteous judgment
  • He rebukes the nations & destroys the wicked
  • He blots out the name of the wicked forever
  • He roots out the cities of the wicked
  • He establishes His throne in judgment
  • He judges the world with righteousness
  • He judges the people with equity
  • He is a stronghold for the oppressed
  • He is a stronghold in times of trouble
  • He never forsakes those who seek Him
  • He avenges blood
  • He does not forget the cry of the afflicted
  • He lifts me up from the gates of death

What does it mean to know God's name? If I know someone's name, it means that I know at least who they are, I recognize them, and I attach significance to that name because it belongs to this person. To call someone by their name humanizes them. We don't call people, "It" or "Thing" because that would make it seem that they are an object instead of a person. When we are first introduced to someone, the very first thing we learn (usually!) is their name. Then we use that name when we are speaking to them or about them to other people.

Have you noticed that when two people are in love, they can't stop talking about the other person? Usually you can tell if a girl is interested in a guy, in that stage before they actually get together, if she won't stop talking about him. She will seemingly casually drop his name into conversation at every single opportune moment, and even though she won't come right out and say she likes him, you can tell by how many times she will say his name.

To know God's name must mean to know Him. And those who know His name trust Him. Is it because they know Him that they trust Him, or is it because they have already trusted Him in the past that they continue to trust Him? I am a very trusting person so, when I first meet someone, if I feel comfortable around them then I tend to trust them until they prove me wrong. Perhaps David is saying, if you know Who God is, you will trust Him because of His character.

But then here's the real reason why we trust Him. "You have not forsaken those who seek You." If I search for God, and get to know Who He is, I will learn to trust Him because He is there. He won't desert me if I am looking for Him.

There are many of us who are looking for someone in our lives. Perhaps we lost a parent to death or divorce, and we're still looking for that father or mother figure to fill that very important role in our lives. Even as adult children we can still look for that. Perhaps we didn't lose a parent, but perhaps they were not able to parent us because they chose to abuse us instead. Perhaps something happened to us when we were children and we were not able to grow and develop into healthy adults, and so we are looking for someone to help us move beyond our child-selves and become our adult-selves. Perhaps we are looking for a spouse, or a healed relationship with our child, or a friend to support us. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, I would venture to say 99% of us are looking for someone to fill a place in our lives that is empty.

When we go searching for those people, sometimes we luck out and we receive what we need. Oftentimes, however, we find ourselves still empty emotionally, still searching. Our vulnerable trust is shattered by the lack of other humans' ability to meet the needs we have. The relationships we are looking for never become a complete reality. We may know people, and trust people, and then they turn around and desert us. We're left sitting on the front steps waiting, looking out the living room window waiting, staying up late waiting, and they never come back.

The Bible is true. This is one thing that I know, even when I'm not sure about so many other things in life. The Bible is true and it cannot lie. This means that God will never leave me. When I look for Him, He will always be there. And finding Him there, time and time again, I will begin to understand that single aspect of His character, His name, that He is faithful. And then I will know that I can trust Him. Because God says, "I am here."

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