To Love the Truth Day 13: Fully Known

One Sunday about four years I ago I visited a church here in Lexington for the first time.  The service wasn’t all that memorable — not terrible, not awesome.  We sang songs I liked and I guess it was a good sermon.  All in all, it was a typical church service for me.  I came, I sat alone, no one talked to me, and I was all set to leave as quickly as possible.

Out of nowhere the church’s pastor appeared at my side. He introduced himself and shook my hand, and then looked directly at me. “I noticed you during my sermon today, and I just need to tell you that God sees you.  He sees you.”  

I awkwardly said thank you and quickly bolted for the door so he wouldn’t see the tears that had begun to trickle down my face.  

I am seen.  He sees me.  

The Hebrew word raah is found thousands of times in the Old Testament and carries several different meanings.  Translated simply as “too see”, it also means to watch, to observe, to perceive, to inspect, to examine, to understand, or to know.  To see requires a great deal of attention, passion, intensity.  To truly see something requires effort.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good” becomes “Experience and fully know the goodness of the Lord.”  Simple vision doesn’t begin to cover the depth of this word.

Similarly, to raah see can seem both positive and negative.  The very idea that God sees me can cause me to want to run both toward and away from him at the same time.  

One of the first verses I ever memorized was this: “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)  

He sees everything.  It is both a comfort and a threat.  Often when the Lord speaks in the prophets, He tells His people that He sees them — and it’s in an accusatory way.  He has seen their sins.  He knows their wickedness.  They can run but they can’t hide.  Judgment is coming.

And then, He changes His tone.  He sees them.  He sees their shame.  He sees the devastation their sins have caused.  He sees their suffering and He rises to show them compassion.  

He sees.  He knows.  In fact, one of His names even comes from raah.  His name is El Roi: The God Who Sees Me (in a good way).

Paul echoes this idea in I Corinthians 13: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

One day we will see and understand Him the way fully sees and understands us.

Truth to love today: 
I am seen and I am known by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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