JANUARY 17, 2016

Rev. Dr. Richard Meyer

(Play Audio)


            I lived through a number of dance crazes in my formative years. The Twist, the Jerk, the Stroll, the Hand Jive, The Mashed Potato, the Watusi, the Swim, and most recently the Whip and the Nae Nae, but it all began for me with the Hokey Pokey. According to Wikipedia the Hokey Pokey reached it’s zenith in the United States in the 1950’s. Remember it?


            You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out.

            You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about.

            You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around,

            That’s what it’s all about.


            Well, we are not going to do the hokey pokey this morning, but we are going to continue focusing upon what building a significant life in Christ is all about. So far we have seen it begins with accepting an invitation to follow Christ. After we accept that invitation we need to convene a construction crew to help us build such a life, because it’s not something we do alone. In other words, we need to employ the one another passages in the bible to pull it off. Today we turn our attention to the third thing we need to do … we need to engage our Maker, the Master Designer in the process. After all, God has certainly engaged us. King David, the author of Psalm 139 had no doubt about that, and as we engage God in our lives, note what David says about us and God. Note the four questions David answers in this Psalm.

            First of all, he answers the question, How well does God know us? David’s answer … totally. Note the first four verses.


            O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

            You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

            You discern my thoughts from far away.

            You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

            Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.


            One Christmas my parents bought me an Ant Farm. For those of you unfamiliar with an ant farm it consisted of two glass sheets, or maybe they were transparent plastic with about a half an inch of space between them where you put in sand and then you use the enclosed voucher to send off for ants, and then you can watch the ants burrow their tunnels and you watch them do ant things. Normally, on the street, you see ant holes and ants going in and out of the holes, but you can’t see what they are doing below ground. But an Ant Farm allowed us to watch what happened after the ants went into their holes. We could watch these small insects as they journeyed through their holes. That is similar to what David says in verse two about God discerning our thoughts. God monitors the entire process.

            Of course, this can be somewhat troubling. I think of the small town prosecuting attorney who called an elderly woman as his first witness. She had lived in town all of her life, and happened to be the town gossip. He approached her and said, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

            She said, "Why yes, I know you Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a little boy." He smiled until she said, "And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie. You cheat on your wife. You cheated your way through law school. You manipulate people, talking about them behind their backs. Yes, I know you."

            Well, the prosecuting attorney was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and said, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the Defense Attorney?"

She said, “Why, yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster as well. In fact, I used to baby sit him for his parents. He also has been a tremendous disappointment to me. He's lazy, he has a drinking problem, he can't find anyone who will marry him, and he's one of the most crooked lawyers in this state. Yes, I know Mr. Bradley.”

            At that point the judge's gavel came down with a thunderous boom, and he said, "Silence! I want both counsels to approach the bench." When they got there, in a very quiet voice, he said, with fire in his eyes, “If either one of you asks her if she knows me, I'll jail you both for contempt of court.”

            So how well does God know us? Totally. Totally. And if God were like the town gossip, vindictive and mean, that would be frightening. Thankfully, we discovered through Jesus that God is not.

            The second question David addresses here about our relationship with the Master Designer is, “Does God ever abandoned us?”

            Listen to how David puts it. Verse 7 …


            Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?

            If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

            If I take wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

            even your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.


            What a great opening question … “Where can I flee from your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" David answers … nowhere, nowhere.

            I think of the 80’s sci-fi cult movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.  If you saw the movie you know that Buckaroo Banzai was a renaissance man, being a neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero and the last hope for the human race, all rolled into one. Anyway Buckaroo Banzai, wearing the hat of the lead singer in a rock band, senses someone in the audience crying, engages her in conversation, asking why she is crying, and the audience starts making fun of her, and Buckaroo says, “Hey, don’t be mean. Don’t be mean. Because wherever you go, there you are.” Well, everywhere we go, there God is. The theological term for it is “omnipresence,” God is always present.

            Someone gave my wife Trudy a plaque that hangs in her office. This person knows that Trudy when driving has a tendency to put the peddle to the metal. She shared it with our Sunday School class and they got a kick out of it. It read, “Do not drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.” Well, her guardian angel may not always be able to keep up with Trudy, but God can and will.

            So God knows us totally. God hangs out with us completely. Now, for the third question David addresses … “How did we come into being?”

            Verses 13-16 address this …


            For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

            I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

            Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

            My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

            intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

            Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

            In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.


            In other words, we didn’t come into being through happenstance or a roll of the cosmic dice. No, David says God designed us. God made us. He says before we were a fetus in our mother’s womb or a twinkle in our daddy’s eye, we were a dream in the heart of God. 

            Speaking of designing, I googled “designer jeans” this week. Bloomingdales has tons of them ranging from $135 to $268 for a pair of jeans.  Why do they cost so much? They say it’s because of the quality of the craftsmanship and the quality of the denim. Well, we are not “off the rack” creatures, we are designer creatures designed by God.

            David says we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Master Designer. Indeed we are. Our bodies consist of roughly 7 octillion atoms. That’s a seven with 27 zeros. The 206 bones of the human skeleton are a miracle of bioengineering. Lightweight and incredibly strong, our bones give us the ability to walk upright, freeing our hands for precise manipulation of objects. Our bodies take in food and water found in the environment, and through an almost miraculous sequence of mechanical and chemical processes, it converts that food into nutrients that sustain all the body's activities. Our five senses … touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight … are brought together by an elaborate central nervous system.

            Public Television ran a series not along ago called “The Miracle of the Human Body.” Indeed it is. We came into being because God designed and made us.

            Here’s the last question … “How committed are we to engaging to Master Designer?”

            Listen to how committed David was. Verse 23 …


            Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.

            See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.   


            Now that’s commitment. David asks God to perform a spiritual MRI on him. Find out if something is holding me back from you. If so, point it out to me, and "lead me in the way everlasting" or for our purposes this morning, "help me build a significant life in Christ."

            Now it’s interesting that David asks God to search him and know him because in verse one David says God had searched him, and God did know him. So why did David pray that the Lord would search him and know him in this verse?

            Because there is a difference between relationship and fellowship. Our relationship with God is permanent. It began in our mother’s womb and it extends beyond death, but our fellowship with God is not. God can only fellowship with a person who invites God to be a daily part of his or her life.  

            Let’s be honest. This Master Designer is much more interested in working with us than we are in working with Him. We talk about searching for God, but that is hardly the reality. In reality God has been knocking on our door for a lifetime, but for the most part we have ignored the knock. Think about it. Peter and John were not searching for God when Jesus called; they were busy making a living. Matthew was collecting taxes. Paul was happy killing Christians, but God had a better idea for them, and God has a better idea for us.

            Are we ready to engage God? Are we ready to move from relationship to fellowship? God starting working on us in our mother’s womb. Do we want him to continue building us into the person he first dreamed of years and years ago? That’s the question. That’s the question.