Sermon June 1, 2014: Does God know?

Posted in Sermons
[Dra. Awilda González-Tejera]
  • Presenter: Dra. Awilda González-Tejera
  • Date: June 1, 2014
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

And the title for what we are going to share today, it is entitled: Does God know? I invite you to go to the book of Hosea in the Old Testament chapter 8, we will read verses 1 to 4. Father: we give You thanks for Your Presence in this place. We've come here to worship You and bless Your Name, we've come also to hear Your Word. Open our hearts taking every though captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus so that the Word that You sent to us today will accomplish the purpose for which You sent it. Amen.

Hosea chapter 8 verses 1 to 4 says: “Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the Lord, because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law.
Israel cries out to me, ‘Oh God, we acknowledge you!’ But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him. They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval."

And these verses, specially in verse 4 it says that they had put kings and princes in place and God hadn't approved them, in the original it says: "I didn't know it." And we can ask the question: even though in the original language it says: They chose princes without Him knowing it, we ask the question: did God not know? and we know of course that God knows all things.

It could be possible in our own life, in our own christian life that we would do things and that God would say: I didn't know it. We see here the prophet Hosea using irony to capture the attention of the people of Israel. You see, obviously God knew so when He is saying: You did these things without Me knowing it, the point is that He didn't consent, they didn't inquire of Him first in seek of His approval.

But the importance of this context in this moment of the life of Israel in which this happens is that they had stopped worshipping the Lord and started worshipping other gods, but they wanted to try to have it both ways and keep trying to serve God too. So they made decisions to put in their own princes, their own kings without consulting God, and wanted to just keep making decisions in their own way, according to their own wisdom and still assume that God was on their side.

Now if we look at the historical background of how they chose kings and the life of Israel at this time we will understand a little better what's going on here. God had established a theocracy where He Himself was governing His people, but the people of Israel saw that other nations had a king to lead them and so they wanted a king too. So God gives in to their request but we see the first king of Israel being chosen more by the people and not by Him, and God warns them of the negative consequences that will happen from this election, this choice. And God makes the point, that by them choosing a human king, they are under valuating and in a way, rejecting God as their king.

So that's why in this verse, when God says: You chose kings and I didn't know it, He is emphasizing that He has been neglected in the process of them making this choice. The phrase: "I didn't know it" means that they have neglected God, they have under valuated Him and not taken into account His opinion, they had not sought His approval.

Now as we think about this in our own lights, what are the things that God "doesn't know" about our lives? We may not be in the same condition that Israel was in at the time, but sometimes even being christians and having a life of prayer, and seeking God, there can be times in our lives when there is a particular matter of our lives that we neglect to seek God about, that maybe if we don't tell God about it, then maybe God won't know; to say that God knows something, that He knows our lives implies a certain intimacy with God where we are not hiding anything from Him.

I'd like to use an illustration to the daily life of the relation between parents and kids. My son Jonathan, when he was an adolescent and he was riding his bike, he decided one day to go for riding in an area that was agreed that he was not allowed to ride in, the breaks gave up, he smashed into a car and we didn't know it. Now, when the police knocked on the door I was of course shocked and terrified that something bad had happened, and thankfully he was ok, but the fact was that I didn't know it until they showed up.

The fact is: when we neglect to consult God, when we try to hide something from Him, we put things at risk: our relationship with God, our relationship with family and friends, the different roles in our lives. We are taking a tremendous chance and it affects our relationship with God. When we don't consult with God and open up to Him about an area of our lives it's a way of neglecting His Lordship over that area of our life.

Now: I do wanna clarify. I'm not talking about God being like a policeman who's watching us and stalking us, and we've got a feeling like: oh my God He's behind me somewhere. The fact is that God is with us and aware of our lives in every intimate detail, but He does expect us to enjoy a certain intimacy with Him, come before God and open our lives to Him. We could ask ourselves: was Israel trying to play 'hide and seek' with God? looks like it.

We see it in Scripture, we see Adan and Eve hiding in the bushes after their sin, we see king David after his sin of adultery, trying to hide it from people and even from God, and we do the same thing. There's one area of our life or areas of our lives that we wanna keep inside, we don't want and put it in the open with God and keep it hidden from Him.

And my other son, Manuel Alejandro, when he was on the sixth grade, once he was sitting in the back seat of a car and we were going home. My daughter looked back while I was driving and we didn't see anyone there, she says: where is he? And I stopped my car because, where did he go? my son was in the back seat, now he is not there. So we were silent, we were looking for a while and then the seat lowers, and we see him in the trunk; he got in the trunk somehow. What a fright we had.

And we do wanna do that with God, we want to play hide n' seek but we can't hide anything from the Presence of God, nothing is hidden. God knows it, He knows everything, but He wants to know it from us, He wants us to consult Him, to bring it to his attention, every area of our lives.

And returning to Israel, God didn't know it and it continued that way. They were trying to have it both ways. They were trying to follow God but still follow false religions, worshipping Bale, the god of the rains and trying to also have a relationship with God, and have it both ways.

One of the things that brought them to this point of hiding from God. The first thing was the point of rebelling against God. In Hosea 8:1 it says that: "They had broken the covenant and had rebelled against God's law." The covenant was a covenant of love, it did involve law and stipulations and obligations but at the bottom of it all, it was a love relationship, a love covenant between God and His people.

So behind that expectation when we consult with God is a loving God who wants to take care of us, who wants to guard us, who wants to guide us in every area of our lives. I think often when we hide from God we are like Israel, we neglect to understand the magnitude of the love of God for our lives.

I will tell you about the experience of a woman that I knew. She got married and had a healthy marriage in every area except for the area of finances. And then another man came along who had much more money and who was able to entice her, and seduce her, and she left her home and what she had. She neglected the love and support of her husband to look for that kind of economic provision in a different way. And then one day I bumped into her at a restaurant and with tears in her eyes she told me: "I lost the best thing I had."

And sometimes we can do that, we can lose that intimacy with God, the closeness that He wants to have with us, that precious relationship with Him because we don't value the love and care He has for us.

What we also see that brought Israel to this point of trying to hide from God is the lack of congruence between what they say and what they do. In verse two it says: "Israel cries out to me and says: oh God, we have known You." Now this is something that they say because of the judgment that they are experiencing and because of their decisions, we have known You but we are not serving You; there's an inconsistency, there's not congruence between what they say and what they do. To have a relationship with God is not just knowing about God but having an intimacy with God.

That's why the whole book of Hosea is set in the context of comparing our relationship with God to a marriage, and the love of God for the people of Israel is described and compared to the love of a husband to a wife in this Book, and with that same image we see the unfaithfulness of the people of Israel being compared to marital unfaithfulness. In Hosea 11:7 God says: "The people of Israel have been unfaithful to me, even though they call out to me as God they don't want to obey me." It's one thing that they say, it's something else that they do. There needs to be a harmony between what we say and what we do. Jesus Himself says: "Why do you call me: Lord, Lord and you do not obey what I say?"

And another reason why we might not wanna talk to God about a particular issue: sometimes it's because we are afraid of the answer. We want something so bad, we want what we want so bad that we are afraid to ask because God might say: No, so we just put it off a little longer, little longer. A personal example in my life: there was a time when I wanted something from God and I prayed about it but not really directly, but then came that point where I was like: God I need to put this before You directly, I need to have a yes or a no, and nobody knew that I had prayed for this.

Then I got a call from a woman of God who God uses prophetically in the gift of knowledge, and I don't think we need to look for these things for every decision we make but God puts these gifts, God spoke to me. So, she said to me and I'm not going to tell you specifically what it was but she says: if I tell you A I know that you are going to be happy or not going to be happy, that you will be happy, if I say B, I know that you will obey me, you will like it. If God knew what I wanted; He knew what I wanted to hear, He knew the answer I wanted but if He didn't tell me what I wanted, if He told me what I didn't wanna hear, He knew though that I would obey Him.

And that touched me so deeply because it showed me that God wants to speak to me but He also understand how hard it is sometimes, He knows the struggle of my heart. Sometimes experiences we've had in life leave us emotionally wounded, and we are so emotionally sensitive that we are afraid to draw near to God in a more intimate way.

I remember a man in Church that whenever I would pray publicly, I would call God "papito" which is daddy in Spanish. And this man would hear me pray that way, he came up to me and said: you know, I hear you calling God with that intimate level of affection but I can't pray to God that way. And I found, as I talked to him, I heard that he didn't have, his earthly father was not kind and affectionate, he spoke to him roughly and was more strong in that way, and so it was hard for him to approach God in that way, he didn't have that positive paternal figure for his emotional relationship with God.

There's many other reasons why we might sort of hide something from God. Sometimes it's because we are deceived by the enemy. Sometimes it's because we just don't have an intimate life of reading the Word of God and we are just not that close to it to begin with, there's all kinds of different reasons that have us hiding parts of our lives from God. But now here I wanna talk about the main point of: what do we do if it is that God doesn't know about a certain part of our lives.

The first point that God speaks to Israel is: Come back, return, return to your God. And this returning to God implies a change, a change of attitude, a change of direction, a change of action. So we start by asking: in a particular area, does God know about this? I mean, have I made Him know it? if it's not, if it's hidden it's time to return, it's time to come back to Him in that area.

And the bottom line, another point I need to emphasize: it all comes down to asking the question: does God really occupy the first place in my life? He needs to be in charge of my life and I need to return to recognizing Him as my Lord.

The people of Israel worshipped literal idols, statues. Now, we can also setup idols, replacements for God in our own heart and affections, it could be our work, it could be our possessions, our relationships, all kinds of things could become idols in our hearts. We all run this risk in different stages and situations of our lives. We are gonna have new challenges and types of things that could replace God in our hearts and our affections, that become idols.

And I've seen often in events that we have had with women, womens' events, how when there is a healthy marriage they can have that good intimacy with God, but then when something goes wrong in the marriage, then their relationship with God can become cold, and distant, and affected. Or the other way are: people who when they are single have that intense relationship with God, but when they get married, then God takes a second place. Or an elderly person who sometimes may have to deal with different types of health issues that take so much time and attention, that that can become the first thing in life and start neglecting seeking God the same way.

Now, I'm not saying that any of us are strangers to the human needs that we have in our lives. There are emotional needs that we experience, we are human, that's okay. When I'm saying this with all honesty: what I'm saying, what I'm preaching, I have lived, but accompanied or alone I will serve God; the one that has ears to hear, hear.

When we have that intimacy with God we can trust in God and not in our own ways. The bottom line of coming to God and trust Him with a hidden area is trusting that He is able to help us in our circumstances. God has not come down from His Throne, He continues to reign.

Finally we need to recognize and obey the Word of God. In the Book of Hosea, in another point He says: "My people perished for a lack of knowledge." A knowledge of the Word of God should bring them to action.

So we come back to that principle of telling God everything. At times we don't wanna tell God something and that's just what might cause us damage and pain, by holding it back. If you have something that you feel like you don't to talk to God about, just be like when you are talking to a person and say: God, there's something that I don't know how to tell You, or say: God, there's something that I need to tell You but I don't know how to tell You and it's so hard to tell You; just be honest with the Lord! God knows your struggles, your problems, your agony. He is willing to help you with it.

Remember that our relationship with God is based on love. As you approach God He is not there with the accusing finger; He's open arms, ready to receive you whatever you've got to tell Him.

Another point I'd like to make is to appeal to the mercy of God. In Hosea it says: "I will come to you and tell you: because in you, the orphan will find mercy." Amen, and that image of the orphan that knows he will find a Father in God, how much more can He speak to us in the new covenant? where we have been told: You are not longer orphans, that we are adopted by a heavenly Father.

I wanna share the story about a woman in Costa Rica who had to appeal to the mercy of God because she had a terrible illness, a stomach illness, the doctors didn't know what it was. She was a christian but because of this situation she found herself separating from God and even, becoming angry with God. And the doctors determined that she had a bacterial condition but spiritually, she continued to be separated and distant from God. Her body was wasting away.

But one day she decided to return to the Lord. She reconciles with the Lord and she went to a womens' camp, a retreat. And when they made the altar call where women would come forward, she stayed at her place just waiting for the crowd to lessen so she also come up. And she said: God I need healing, but healing of my soul and spirit as well as my body. And when she came up and I was praying for her, God revealed to me: God heal her body, and soul, and spirit. And before saying those words without knowing God guided me to put my hand over her stomach. I didn't know but God knew.

The mercy of God is available for us. And when God knows His Grace is on our life, and we give thanks to God for that Grace that He gives to us. When God knows, we know that God is our helper. When God knows we have the care of God in our lives. We are productive people full of encouragement and positive expectation from God. When God knows we have divine guidance, we know more and more of what God wants for our lives. And when God knows we can have peace in any circumstance and accept the sovereign control of God over all things. Let's be careful to consult everything with God.

Before you do it, before you send that text message, before you post that on Facebook, start praying, consult with God first. Ask yourself first: does God know? every decision you may ask, does God know? Let's stand up.

We worship You God and give You thanks Lord, for Your Word. Thank You for the example of Israel Lord, it servers for us Lord, to help us realize that we need to be in constant contact with you God. We come before Your Presence recognizing, that if at any moment we have failed Lord, it doesn't matter how many times it's happened, Your arms are open to embrace us Lord. And Holy Spirit I invite You to minister every life right now, Spirit of God You will touch any heart that opens to You, that is recognizing that need Lord God, in their life to draw near to consult everything with You Lord, and in this time I minister Your peace, I minister Your Grace Lord, I minister Your Presence of Love over every heart Lord, and I declare that from now on we will walk in greater closeness with You, consulting everything Lord God, because in You we will find help. Thank You Lord, amen, amen, amen. Praise You Jesus, amen.

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