I Know Whom I Have Believed
As I have been feasting on Psalm 23, I was struck by a phrase in the first line. He didn’t say the Lord is ‘A’ Shepherd, but the Lord is ‘MY’ Shepherd. We know David was himself a shepherd on the hills of Judea and he knew what it took to be a good shepherd. What caught my attention was the personal nature of this expression. The tumultuous years of David’s life, he had experienced the care, provision, and protection of God. He and his followers had been pursued by Saul and been forced to live in caves and remote places, but God always guided them safely and provided for their needs. God was their Shepherd and a Good one.
As I pondered this truth, I felt the Holy Spirit ask me what I knew about God. I responded that God was King, and He was good, and He was near, and then many other attributes of God’s character began to form in my mind. But the Spirit patiently brought me back to what did I know about God, not what I believed about God. Everything I was thinking was true and revealed in scripture, but the probing question which led me to think deeply, was what did Steve know?
I thought of other people in the Bible who knew different attributes of God. Hannah knew that God answers her prayers because He heard her petition for a son and gave her Samuel, “Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the LORD.’” (1Samuel 1:20)
Joseph knew God was sovereign for he told his brothers after the death of their father, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
Abraham knew God was a provider, as a ram had been miraculously provided to take the place of Isaac as a sacrifice. “So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide’”; (Genesis 22:14)
Job knew, even in the midst of his agony, that God lived and he would one day stand in His presence. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 19:25-26)
As I meditated on these saints, the Spirit gently led me to affirm what I knew about God. I know He is near, and when I draw near to Him, He draws near to me. I know that He likes me for who I am and not for what I do. I know He is on my team which makes it easy to wait on Him and “be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10)
I know my heavenly Father is a wonderful redeemer, for He has taken the hardest experiences of my life and brought the only good from them.“They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.” (Psalms 78:35)
I know that God never changes. I know He is preparing a place for me. I know that God is the undisputed King in heaven and on earth. “Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)
There is a difference between believing and knowing. Faith is essential to the Christian. But knowing makes faith personal and real. I once heard of a saith who would write the letters T.P. next to promises in their Bible. T. P. meant Tried and Proven. We believe God’s word to be true, but in the trials and furnaces of life, we test His promises and find them to be trustworthy and reliable. We not only believe by faith, we know by experience. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalms 34:8)
Hosea writes: “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
I wish I could say I have the finished product in my hands as I write, but it is at the graphic designers receiving the last few tweaks and should be available within days. I will be sending out a special email to announce it very soon. While you are waiting, here is the hymn score, the history, and the tune for “I Know Whom I Have Believed” #38 in the new edition. The title comes from a letter Paul writes to Timothy, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV).
• Piano accompaniment
• Sheet music
I hope you will be edified by episode 144 which explores the history of “I Know Whom I Have Believed” and begins with a quote from Elisabeth Elliot, “Hymns will get you through the night.”
Listen to the podcast here.
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