“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You
know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts from afar.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways”
At New Years, we spent two nights on the Queen Mary.
The ship’s cabins had surprisingly thin walls and the man and woman in the next
room were quite talkative. We didn’t want to hear what they were saying, but
normal conversation next door was as though no walls existed between us.
In the mornings, he announced, “Sweetie”
(giving her time, no doubt, to get as far away as possible), “I’m
going to blow my nose.” There would be a pause, and then, loud sounds
would start to occur, disturbingly reminiscent of the plight of an injured
We were forced to learn that “You
don’t care about my opinions and you don’t care about anything I say”,
was her estimation of their relationship. As time went on, we began to lack
sympathy for her plight, hoping merely that the conversation would finally end.
We inadvertently learned what they DID in the evenings
and mornings, and they helped us know the time of day. For instance, they went
somewhere early in the morning, and we know precisely when, for she asked, “What
time is it,” to which he answered, “5:12”
along with other information. This may be the point they finally left us for
good, because, after a lot of zipping and bumping, we didn’t hear from them
The people on the other side were very quiet, no doubt
finding US to be their loud neighbors; perhaps achieving final relief when WE
left for good.
Millennia ago, Our Lord shocked His hearers during the
“Sermon on the Mount,” telling them that God’s awareness of us is much more
profound than anticipated. Jesus said, “Whoever looks
at a woman to lust for her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart”
(Matthew 5:28). The walls are thin between eternity and this planet, and God
intimately knows your thoughts, counting them just as though you did the thing
you thought about. Your thoughts, to Him, are like He’s in the “room” with
you. And He is.
That He knows your thoughts is also stated in Psalm
139:1-3, where David observed, “O Lord, you have
searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You
understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and
are acquainted with all my ways”.
From God’s perspective, it is as though He is indeed in
the same room with us, hearing the whispers in our minds. We may look good when
we’re out with others, but from God’s perspective, people are somewhat like gang
members, continually up to no good. The gang member might be on his best
behavior in the presence of his little mother and others he cares for, but he
tends to act and speak differently when he thinks he is “alone”.
Another culprit, for the Lord, would be the business
person, who seems to be a loving spouse or parent in one context, but cheats in
business and defrauds the government in another. God sees our thoughts and
knows our intentions.
Can you imagine that? The thoughts expressed in the
next cabin on the boat were actually comparatively mild and were merely
tiresome, because it was supposed to be our time to rest in the quiet of our
cabin. Only two nights and one couple were involved, but it seemed like
hundreds of people that talked forever.
At present count, the Lord is experiencing the actual
thoughts and intentions of over six billion people. Even so-called “nice”
people of this world have negative thoughts, including annoyances at neighbors,
friends, relatives and casual strangers. We could not bear even ONE of them for
any time, but the Lord is enduring us all. “Enduring” is not the right word,
for He is God, and He loves you and me. This was shown when the Son of God
experienced your sins and mine on the Cross at Calvary.
A discussion among theologians has been: does God hear
the prayers of sinners? Will He respond to your request when you do not believe
in Him? In John 9:31, a man who had been blind and was healed by Jesus,
answered his accusers, "We know God DOES NOT HEAR
SINNERS; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."
In the Old Testament, the Lord said through Zechariah, "They
called out and I would not listen" (Zechariah 7:13). He knew they
"called out", but did not respond to their immediate need. The question is
answered when you consider that we are “ALL sinners”
(Romans 3:23) but He hears us anyway.
The real question is, does God ANSWER the prayers of the
unrepentant? The correct answer is, sometimes yes and in other situations no.
The reason God acts or does not act in relation to certain prayers, is always
found in His real purpose for your life. You were created to enter into a
relationship of trust and love with God that will last - forever! He WILL
answer the sinner's prayer, if it will lead the sinner to faith in the Lord.
The man who had been blind in John Chapter 9, was not
yet a believer in Jesus Christ. This is seen where Jesus later asked him, “Do
you believe in the Son of God?” He responded, "Who
is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" Jesus answered, "It is He who is talking with you." The man answered, "Lord,
I believe" (John 9:35-38). The man was healed (John 9:6 & context) and
then he subsequently believed (John 9:38).
It's obvious that God hears - everything! As discussed,
He even knows our thoughts. It is no use for you to be outwardly religious and
yet inside, harbor resentments, anger and lust. He knows us for who we are. He
is precisely “in the cabin with us” at all times. The only solution is to
simply GIVE your unrepentant heart to Jesus Christ. Just like it was for the
formerly blind man in John Chapter 9, it is for you - He loves you and will heal
Father, I know “You understand
my thoughts from afar” and “are acquainted with
all my ways”. I confess that I am a sinner, in need of Your love. I
accept the grace of God, offered in the Cross of Jesus Christ, and Lord, I
believe in You, now. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"