The Wonder of GOD
INTRODUCTION: In Job 36:26 we read, "Behold, God is great…" How great is our God today? We often sing the hymn “How Great Thou Art!” Here are the first two stanzas
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made;
I see the stars and hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power thro' out the universe displayed.
When thro' the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou art! How Great Thou art!
In Psalm 77:13-14 we read, "…who is as great a God as our God? Thou art the God who doest wonders…"
In Psalm 86:10 we read, "For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone."
The aged Apostle John, exiled on the Isle of Patmos. penned this hymn of praise in Revelation 15:3-4, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name…"
As we read these passages and see the greatness of our God, we must come to the conclusion that,
OUR GOD IS greater than our PROBLEMS.
OUR GOD IS greater than our FEELINGS.
OUR GOD IS greater than THE THOUGHTS WE HAVE ABOUT HIM OR THE WORDS WE USE TO TALK ABOUT HIM, OR EVEN TO PRAISE HIM.
No wonder we read in Psalms 147:5, "Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite."
Now when we think of the greatness of our God, we must call to mind the 139th Psalm, where the major theme is the WONDER OF GOD. This Psalm is not just a lecture on theology. Rather it is the record of what happens to a believer when he takes time to think on the WONDER OF GOD. David shares with us four wonders of God and applies these truths to our lives.
FIRST: The WONDER of God's KNOWLEDGE is spelled out in verses 1-6,
“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (2) Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (3) Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. (4) For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (5) Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
In theological terms this is called the OMNISCIENCE of God. It simply means God knows everything. If God is God at all, than certainly He must know everything; otherwise, He would be a "limited God," and thus not God at all.
Here the Psalmist considered the wonder of God's knowledge in a personal way. Five times in these verses, he stated God knew him. God knew him because He searched him, verse 1, "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me." And in verse 23 we read, "Search me, O God, and know my heart…" What does God actually know about us?
He knows WHAT WE DO, verse 2, "Thou knowest my down-sitting and up-rising" God knows our daily activities of life.
He knows WHAT WE THINK, even before we think it, verse 2, "…Thou understandest my thought afar off."
He knows WHERE WE GO verse 3, "Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways." God knows where we go and He passes judgment to approve and disapprove our actions.
He knows WHAT WE SAY, and like our thoughts, He knows our words before we speak them. Notice verse 4, "For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether." This explains why we must constantly pray as we read from Psalms 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord…"
He knows WHAT WE NEED, and therefore, He keeps His guiding and restraining hand on us. In verse 5 we read, "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thy hand upon me." The word "beset" means "hemmed in like a city under siege." God in His providential care PROTECTS and PROVIDES for us even when we do not realize it. We are surrounded by God!
In verse 6, when David tried to understand the greatness of God's knowledge, he found himself overwhelmed, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” But this is nothing to apologize for, because WONDER and WORSHIP are the proper responses to the glorious attributes of God.
SECOND: The WONDER of God's PRESENCE is spelled in verses 7-12.
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?(8) If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (9) If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; (10) Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (11) If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. (12) Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Notice again verse 7, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
The theologians call this OMNIPRESENCE: God is present everywhere at all times.
An atheist wrote on a chalkboard: "GOD IS NOWHERE." To which upon seeing it a Christian using an eraser made a significant change to make it read, "GOD IS NOW HERE."
Is it possible to go to a place where you will NOT find God?
Jonah attempted to flee from the presence of the Lord, only to discover God was with him to bring him back to the place of obedience and service.
Our first parents attempted to hide from God, but God in His grace found them out.
In Jeremiah 23:24 we read, "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."
In verse 8 the writer tried the HEIGHTS and the DEPTHS, heaven and the underworld of the dead, and he discovered that GOD WAS PRESENT.
In verse 9 the writer decided to travel from east to west. He met the dawn and traveled with the sun toward the "uttermost parts of the sea." This would be the Mediterranean Sea west of the Holy Land. Even there God's hand according to verse 10 would lead and protect.
The writer had investigated the heights and the depths, the east and the west, the land and the sea, and found NO PLACE WHERE GOD WAS NOT.
Now the writer learned that darkness is light to God! Notice verse 11-12. WE CANNOT HIDE FROM GOD IN THE DARKNESS.
“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. (12) Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
Think about it. The truth of the omnipresence of God is a most frightening thought to an UNBELIEVER but a COMFORTING thought to a Christian. No matter where we are, GOD IS THERE.
Isaiah 41:10 tells us, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
God is not only the GOD WHO IS THERE, but He is the God who is EVERYWHERE. The last stanza of the hymn "The Mighty Power of God" reads, "and everywhere that man can be thou God art present THERE.”
There is a story told of a teacher in a Sunday School class who said to one of his enterprising students, "Son I'll give you an apple if you can tell me where God is." The boy thought for a moment and said, "Teacher I'll give you a whole bushel of apples if you can tell me where God isn't." Now that's what you call a smart aleck kid, but he was right.
We must be mindful. There are VARIOUS degrees of God's PRESENCE. In most cases the unsaved person or the backslidden individual cannot DETECT the presence of God.
They are UN-MINDFUL of His presence.
They do not sense it.
They do not feel it, and in most cases they do not care.
However there is to be something to be remembered here and it is simply this, "NO ONE ESCAPES THE PRESENCE OF GOD," “NO ONE.” Sooner or later God ENCOUNTERS every life, He CROSSES every path.
There are some people who go through life and it appears that they have been successful in AVOIDING GOD. They live as if GOD DOESN'T EXIST. You know people like that. It seems that they have a knack of turning you down whenever you invite them to church. They have NO TIME for God. However:,
There is going to come that moment of need and they will cry out for someone to pray to God on their behalf, or
There is going to come that moment of death, and they will be confronted by God.
NO ONE ESCAPES THE PRESENCE OF GOD. Someone said, "God is like the hound of Heaven, tracking a man down." He cannot escape God. Therefore, if you are without Christ today, may I say with the prophet Amos, "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD." You can, if you would look to the Cross of Calvary and accept the finished work of Christ as payment for your sins.
On the other hand, to those of us who KNOW the Lord and who LOVE the Lord, His INESCAPABLE PRESENCE is not a BURDEN but a BLESSING. OMNIPRESENCE is one of the great blessings for those who by faith are in the FAMILY OF GOD, because
God is there for every trial in life.
God is there for every circumstance in life.
God is there in the hospital room.
God is there in the funeral home.
God is there in the despairs and even in the joys of life.
Praise God HE IS THERE, he is the OMNIPRESENT GOD. To the child of God, this attribute of God is a BLESSING and COMFORT.
The apostle Paul in Hebrews 13:5 writes these words of Jesus where he said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." From the original language, Jesus is saying, "I will NEVER, NO NEVER leave thee, NOR EVER forsake thee." By using these negatives, God is making a point:
His sustaining presence, enabling grace, strength and support will always be there!
It will always be our portion, not because we deserve it, but because we are in Christ. Then in Hebrews 13:6 we read, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Yes, God's presence is there. Wherever we go, whatever we are doing, however difficult the circumstances and pressures may be we can say, His presence is there.
Though all around me is darkness
And earthly joys are flown
My Saviour whispers His promise
Never to leave me alone.
THIRD: The WONDER of God's POWER is spelled out in verses 13-18,
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
God is not only OMNISCIENT and OMNIPRESENT, but He is also OMNIPOTENT "He is all powerful." In describing OMNIPOTENT the Psalmist might have used God's vast creation as an example of God's great power; but, instead, he used the miracle of birth.
These verses make it clear that God, THE AUTHOR OF LIFE, is personally concerned with the CONCEPTION, DEVELOPMENT, and BIRTH of each child.
The word "possessed in verse 13 means "formed or created." God formed our "reins" which means our "inward parts." In other words God arranged our genetic structure. The word "covered" means God "wove us together, shaped us."
This verse is also saying, before God formed me in the womb, before conception, HE KNEW WHO I WAS.
In Jeremiah 1:4-5, we read, "Then the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Before I formed thee in the womb, I KNEW THEE…"
In Isaiah 49:5, we read, "And now, saith the Lord who formed me from the womb to be his servant…"
Verses 15-16 are a poetical description of the development of a child in the womb,
“My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
The word "substance" in verse 15 refers to the skeleton of a child.
In verse 16 the word "substance" is a different Hebrew word which means "an unformed mass folded together."
Now in verse 16 we have to ask, is this verse talking about the members of the body being ordained by God, or the actual days of a person's life or perhaps both, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
God has made us as we are, and we must accept ourselves and be ourselves. We must never complain to God about the way we are made, that is saying to the creator you made a mistake. Rather, we must surrender to Him and let Him use you and I to accomplish the purposes for which we were made.
God has ordained the days of our lives. God makes us as He wants us to be; then He plans for us a life here on earth that will best fulfill all that He put into us!. Paul parallels this truth in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
If you think about that, you should immediately recognize the incredible application this truth has to abortion, suicide and "mercy killing of the elderly."
Since life comes from God and He supervises the growth of the fetus, therefore we have no right to interfere – there goes abortion.
If God has ordained life, man should not "play God" and start prescribing death, hence there goes suicide and euthanasia.
What was the psalmist's response to the omnipotence of God? GRATEFUL PRAISE! Notice again in verse 14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Instead of crying and complaining because he was not made some other way, the writer actually gave thanks that God had fashioned him the way he was.
Then in verse 17-18 we read how all this wonder stirred the writer to worship:
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
FOURTH: The wonder of Gods JUDGMENT is spelled out in verses 19-22.
“Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. (20) For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. (21) Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? (22) I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
In the final verses 23-24, the writer again asks for a spiritual investigation.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
He was grieved by the evil deed of the wicked in verse 21, but he wanted to be sure that his own sins were not grieving God. Thus we have a wonderful prayer that ought to continually flow from out of our heart and from our lips. This is a personal prayer Notice the six personal pronouns,
"Search ME, O God, and know MY heart; try ME, and know MY thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in ME, and lead ME, in the way everlasting."
Now if we are caught up in the wonder of God, HIS KNOWLEDGE, HIS PRESENCE, and HIS POWER, how can we be afraid or worried when we belong to such a great God?
He knows everything and cannot make a mistake.
He is everywhere and will not leave us or forsake us.
Oh, the wonder of GOD! When we think of the greatness of our God, we cannot help but think of the GRACE and MERCY of God in providing our "SO GREAT SALVATION" through the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me go back to my opening statement. In Job 36:26 we read, "Behold, God is great…"
We began this message by quoting the first two stanzas of a hymn that spoke of the greatness of our God. Let me conclude with the last two stanzas:
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died, to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, MY GOD, HOW GREAT THOU ART!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou art! how Great Thou art!
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “The Wonder of GOD” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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