Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
By the end of 2020, the population of the world will be more than 7.8 billion people—of which you are one individual. If that isn’t humbling enough, consider this: Recent estimates show that the total number of people who have ever lived on planet earth range from 90–110 billion. And again, each one of us is a single individual in that vast number. Numbers that large make us think of sand on the seashore or stars in the heavens.
Yet, in spite of the seeming insignificance of a single human life, Jesus taught that God sees every sparrow that falls and knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:6-7). Such truths made the psalmist, David, look into the heavens and wonder how it could be possible for the mighty God who created the world and everything in it to know and care for him (Psalm 8:3-4). David also wrote that God knows us because He fashioned us, individually, in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14).
You may be only one, but you are a unique and precious one to God. He created you for Himself!
You made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they rest in You. Augustine
Psalm 144 • A Psalm for the day of battle
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. Psalm 18:6
In the towering dome of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, visitors can climb 259 steps to access The Whispering Gallery. There you can whisper and be heard by another person anywhere along the circular walkway, even across the enormous abyss nearly one hundred feet away. Engineers explain this anomaly as a result of the spherical shape of the dome and the low intensity sound waves of a whisper.
How we long to be confident that God hears our agonized whispers! The Psalms are filled with testimonies that He hears us—our cries, prayers, and whispers. David writes, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help” (Psalm 18:6). Over and over again, he and other psalmists plead, “Hear my prayer” (4:1), my voice (5:3), my groans (102:20). Sometimes the expression is more of a whispered, “Hear me” (77:1), where the “heart meditated and [the] spirit asked” (77:6).
In answer to these pleas, the psalmists—like David in Psalm 18:6—reveal that God is listening: “From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Since the actual temple wasn’t yet built, might David have been referring to God listening in His heavenly dwelling?
From His very own “whispering gallery” in the dome of the heavens above the earth, God bends to our deepest murmurs, even our whispers . . . and listens.
Reflect & Pray
What do you long to whisper to God today? How can you know that He hears?
Dear God, give me courage to whisper to You today, trusting You to hear and respond.
1 Corinthians 9
Our rights are among the most difficult things for us to relinquish, and that’s because letting go of them often feels unjust. After all, they are by definition a claim that we are morally or legally entitled to have something or to act in a certain way. Yet in order to serve Christ more effectively, the apostle Paul chose not to insist on certain rights and privileges.
Godly freedom carries responsibility and therefore shouldn’t be a selfish means of making others treat us as we desire. As 1 Peter 2:16 says, our freedom is not to be a covering for evil, but we’re to “use it as bondslaves of God.” Jesus set us free from the power of sin so we could obey the Lord, and part of obedience is serving one another unselfishly. God also wants His followers to share the good news of salvation and forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we believe that God has liberated us only for ourselves, then we have missed the point and are abusing our freedom. Paul likened the Christian life to competition at Olympic-style games. In the world’s system, a person wins by demanding his or her rights. But in God’s race, we’re victorious when we discipline ourselves to obey Him and fulfill His purpose.
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:9)
Unbelievers sometimes ridicule Bible-believing Christians as being “so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly use” and as waiting for “pie in the sky bye and bye.” This canard is, of course, unjustified because the Lord Jesus has told us: “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13), and we are also instructed: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23). A Christian could—and should—do a better job in his particular occupation than he would ever have done as a non-Christian. All honorable occupations come within the scope of God’s primeval dominion mandate (Genesis 1:26-28). “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Nevertheless, there is indeed a great feast day coming bye and bye, and indeed it will be a great blessing to be “called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Presumably those who partake of this wonderful feast will be not only those who constitute His Bride, but also others who are called to be guests at His wedding supper. Since the Holy City is also called “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” and since it is inscribed with the names of both the “twelve tribes” of Israel and also of the “twelve apostles” (Revelation 21:9, 12, 14), it is clear that believers from both the pre-Christian and Christian ages will be there. They will all have responded to the Lord’s invitation and have had the right attitude of heart and life toward the will of the Bridegroom (Matthew 22:1-14; 25:1-13).
Whether some kind of heavenly pie will be served at the supper is doubtful, but it will surely be a time of great blessing. HMM