We want to be known by God and others. Introverts may argue with me, but deep down inside, I think all of us want to be known. Nobody wants to go unnoticed and slip through the cracks.
There is an innate desire in us to be known and understood. There’s probably some things we don’t want everybody to know; we’ve all got our secrets, but don’t we want others to know our good intentions, our heart of hearts and true-self?
Maybe we don’t want everyone to know us, but we definitely want the people we love to get us. We want them to know the person who likes to put mayo on her hot dogs rather than mustard. The one who loves horses but is terrified of them too. Those silly little details matter.
And the Bible tells the story of a God who knows that. He knows the details matter. He’s the King of details.
YHWH, the One true God, maker of the universe and tulips, snow storms, and ocean waves is the One God who knows us and wants us to know Him. Though I haven’t studied the world religions, I don’t believe there is another like Christianity and Judaism who believe in a relational, loving God.
Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head. He knows when a sparrow falls, and He has named the stars. No other religion worships a god who is personable like ours. This makes all the difference.
The Hebrew Word for “Know”
In the Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study (which many of you are studying) the word “know” plays an important role this week. In our lesson (Day 17), Naomi was scheming. She had put into motion her plan for Ruth to find a “resting place” with a husband. So, she instructed Ruth to put on her best dress and perfume and wait for the right time (after the lights were out and Boaz was full from supper and sleepy) to let him know her.
Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.Ruth 3: 2-4 NKJV
The Hebrew word for “know” is yada.
Yada: to perceive, understand, know, discern, be known . . . to know sexually. One of the most important Hebrew roots in the OT, yada expresses a variety of meanings about various types of knowledge, including God’s knowledge of man . . .
Don’t freak out. I don’t think Boaz took advantage of “knowing” Ruth sexually, but I do think we’ll see in the next lessons ahead that this could have been the outcome. The word yada describes a very intimate knowledge–not just sexually, but with a deep understanding.
That’s how we can know God. Most of us read the Bible to learn what we should or shouldn’t do. But it’s more than a life manual. Though it certainly is full of wonderful instructions for life, the Bible was written for us to know God. Really know God. Intimately. Yada.
The reading plan below has been taken from the Book of Ruth Bible study. If you have the book, we’re on page 147. If you don’t, you can download the printable of this reading plan here.
Come study with me…
Monday: Ruth 3: 2-4: Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
Prompt: This was a marriage proposal of sorts. Talk about putting yourself out there! Despite the boldness of this plan, I believe Naomi instructed Ruth to do this because she knew Boaz’s character. Has there been a time when someone lead you to do something that made you nervous? What did you do? If you obeyed them, why did you? If you feel like God is leading you to do something scary, do you follow?
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 13:12: 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.
Prompt: I love this verse. Do you? What part of it gives you the most hope?
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 8: 1-3: Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.
Prompt: This may be a bit confusing, but if you read the context, Paul is saying, God knows our hearts. He continues in this passage to say that it’s not wrong to eat meat once sacrificed to other gods who do not exist unless you believe in those gods and believe it’s wrong. If that’s the case, Paul instructs them not to eat it. Do we have anything like this in our lives? How can we apply it to today?
Thursday: Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Prompt: The psalmist is praying for God to search his heart. I love this prayer. He prays about his anxiety and trusting of other gods. Offensive was translated from a word that means idolatrous. Have you ever considered worry idolatrous? How can it be so? Write a prayer much like this verse, but put it in your own words.
Friday: Jeremiah 1: 4-5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Prompt: When did God know Jeremiah? Do you think He knew you before you were in your mother’s womb also? It’s mind boggling, isn’t it? Yet, our God is a personal one. His knowledge of each individual person is beyond our comprehension. It doesn’t seem possible. Though these words were spoken to Jeremiah, they point to God’s character. Write down what this tells you about God. How does this affect your relationship with Him?
The Day We Will Know God as He Knows Us
I want to encourage you for a moment to put everything down and spend some time day dreaming. Close your eyes and dream about entering heaven. Ask the Lord to rid your mind of your attempts to picture the scene and to fill your mind with glimpses of that moment when you will see Him face to face.
We need to do this everyday.
How would your life change if you lived it convinced that God knows you and loves you?
How would it change if you lived focused on the day you will fully know Him?
That’s a challenge for me too. It’s so hard to wrap our brains around this truth.
“I love the thought of being known by God. But I also look forward to the day when we will stand face to face, and I will know Him fully as He knows me now. The thought drifts beyond my comprehension” (The Book of Ruth Key-Word Bible Study, p. 152).
Wednesday Night Virtual Bible Study
Join me from the comfort of your own home as we dig deeper into these scriptures. I think you’ll be challenged and blessed. Just follow me on Facebook and hang out on my Timeline at 7:30 PM ET Wednesday night to join the LIVE teaching. Let me know where you’re from and that you’re watching! If you miss it or you’re not a FB fan, subscribe to my YouTube channel.
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