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God’s Word for You

Jeremiah 16:10-13

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Evil Day
10 When you tell the people all of this they will ask you, “Why has the LORD decreed all this great evil against us? What are we guilty of? What sin have we committed against the LORD our God?” 11 Then say to them, “It is because your fathers abandoned me, declares the LORD, and followed other gods. They served them and they worshiped them. They abandoned me and did not keep my law.” 12 But you have done more evil than your fathers. Each of you follows his own stubborn, evil heart, and you do not listen to me. 13 Therefore I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your fathers have known. There you will serve other gods day and night, and I will show you no mercy.

Another aspect of God’s omniscience is described here: His ability to know the worship in our hearts. God knows what is in our minds and in our hearts. “The Lord knows the thoughts of man” (Psalm 94:11). “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2). “God is far greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20).

But can anyone else read our thoughts and know what is truly in our hearts? Can the devil read our thoughts? Angels are very smart. They know lots of things. But even though the Bible says, “My lord (King Joab) has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land” (2 Samuel 14:20) that doesn’t mean that an angel can be said to have God’s omniscience or read our thoughts any more than a human king truly knows everything that transpires within his kingdom.

Solomon truly prayed: “You alone know the hearts of all men” (1 Kings 8:37). God is the only one who knows the heart (Acts 15:8). Christ—truly God—knows our thoughts (Matthew 9:4; Luke 9:47), but angels do not. And therefore we can say with confidence and certainty that even the devil does not know our thoughts. The devil is not omniscient. God alone knows the hearts of man (1 Kings 8:37). Of course the devil has known us our whole lives through, not to mention our grandparents and our great-grandparents, and he was there tempting us when we were children, so he has the benefit of experience with us. But he cannot actually hear our thoughts or know the things—not even the sinful things—about which we daydream. Confess those things secretly in your silent prayers to God, and let the devil remain ignorant of them. Kick the devil in the gut with the gospel. He has no business trying to intimidate you with his lies and his twisted truths. Luther said that temptations are like the little birds in the sky. You can’t stop them from flying overhead, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.