With all the gift giving of the past week, we have welcomed some new names into our homes: Cortana, Alexa, Siri and Google. The computers want to talk to me. They want to recognize my voice. They want to know where I am at all times, to track my browsing and shopping history on the web, maybe elsewhere. The computers even want my fingerprint and they are asking for my mug shot.
It reminds me of Hal in “2001 A Space Odyssey.” What are they up to? I remember when George Orwell’s 1984 was science fiction. Now it is ancient history. Big brother is here, and has been here for a while. I am not sure I want to be known that well. Where does all this information go?
But then, Jesus says the very hairs of my head are numbered. This once seemed hard to believe. How could God possibly know such intimate information about every individual on the face of the earth? How many people are there? Eight billion?
Eight billion seemed like an astronomical number. But then, our understanding of numbers changed. The first time I heard of a “giga” anything was in “Back To The Future,” the 1985 movie in which Doc and Marty leaped through time with a few gigawatts supplied to their DeLorean. But, we blew right by gigabytes into terabytes and petabytes. We aren’t familiar with exa, zetta and yotta yet. But they are out there.
A few billion is nothing in our information age. If such information capacity is possible for men with the aid of PCs and laptops, how much more is it possible with God?
The Bible says I have always been known. God said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” God knew me before I was conceived. God knew you before you came into existence.
God always knows where I am, what I am doing, what I am thinking. “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:2-3).
Here is a great mystery. God doesn’t just know about me, like some cosmic computer, He knows me. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
And here is a greater mystery: not only does God know me better than I know myself. He loves me. This is a cosmic leap. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3). “God demonstrated His love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Technology, economics and politics cannot deliver us. God alone is our deliverance and our hope.
On this Christmas and New Year, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).