We all have things that we think we know extremely well. For some it might be engine parts, for others recipes, while for others it might be sport’s statistics. When we lived down in the Harrisburg area, I got to know one of the men in our church pretty well. His brother happens to be a History professor at Pensacola Christian College and while this man from Harrisburg had his own drywall business, he certainly could have backed up his brother if he needed to! While I like to think I know a little bit about history and/or politics, he would quote statistics from these subjects as if he was reading them right out of a book. I was completely blown away by his knowledge.
In our reading today, we come across a verse that reminds us of the intimate knowledge and care that God has for us. Psalm 56:8 says, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Theologians believe that Ps. 56 was written when King David was captured by the Philistines in Gath. He is begging God for His help, starting this psalm by saying, “Be merciful to me, O God!” He assured himself and God that “when I am afraid I will trust in Thee” (verse 3). And then this interesting request: for God to put his tears in a bottle. I believe the best interpretation of this statement is that he is asking God to remember his tears, i.e the place of suffering that he found himself in.
He then asks a rhetorical question, “are they not in thy book?” I believe David is essentially reminding himself that God DOES know about his tears, He does know about the suffering he is going through. Whether or not those tears are literally written down somewhere in heaven or not, God knows! Jesus reminds us of this thought in the gospels by telling the apostles that even the hairs of our head are numbered. A quick google search reveals that we shed around 100-150 individual hairs a day from our head. Yet at any given time God could give an accurate count of our hair. Of mine. Of yours. Of every person alive right now. He knows us intimately! May we remember this passage the next time we feel alone or that God has even temporary lost track of what is going on in our lives. He knows!