This past weekend I had the joy and privilege of speaking five times for a church’s family camp at Mount Hermon. The topic was “Hearing the Voice of Jesus,” and my objective was to demystify the mystical, if you will. If God is alive and active, then surely God continues to communicate with his people. Prayer, after all, is not monologue but dialogue. The question is, How does God “speak,” what is he saying, and how do we know it’s God? I relied heavily on two favorite books: The Voice of Jesus by Gordon T. Smith and Hearing God by Dallas Willard. After an invitation on Friday night to take time to listen, on Saturday and Sunday I addressed God’s word of direction, correction, election, resurrection, and affection (and I’m pretty proud of the rhyme, too!—Once a preacher, always a preacher). My overarching framework came from Psalm 139, and it is from this text I make some new observations today, in light of recent national events.
The news is still dominated by the Boston marathon bombings, of course. Such a scary and damaging event for that fine city. And now, locally, the talk turns to how to secure San Francisco against such an attack when the Bay to Breakers race is held here next month. In a newspaper article this morning, San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr publicizes his request for “more security cameras along Market Street.” The purpose for these would be to enhance real-time surveillance, have a record to go back on if anything happens, and, presumably provide a deterrent against crime.
In that context, I am comforted and informed by Psalm 139:1-2:
1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
God always knows what is going on. God can see everything and process it in no time. God can do what humans wish they could: be everywhere at once and know even what people are thinking. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. The problem is that we mere mortals possess none of those attributes, and yet, after Boston we are compelled to erect the Babel-like structure to deters terrorists.