My children were having a discussion the other day, and one of them said, “I knew that but I couldn’t remember it.” This spun off another discussion as to whether you really “knew” it if you couldn’t remember it. Wouldn’t you agree?
Through today’s reading, you recognize Israel knew who God was. “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty” (Psalm 104:1). This glorious ode to creation definitively claims the cause is God. He laid the foundations of the earth. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain. His wisdom sets boundaries for the oceans and guides the springs into the valley to refresh man and all the animals. While the sun and moon are great celestial bodies, God appoints them to signal seasons. “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: The earth is full of thy riches” (Psalm 104:24).
How could Israel ever struggle with faithfully worshipping the true God? We know they did struggle. Even Moses had experienced their fickle worship. He warned them that the penalty should be certain death for serving and worshipping other gods such as “the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 17:3). If this happened, then they needed to “put the evil away from among you” (Deuteronomy 17:7).
They knew “there is no god beside” but couldn’t remember it. Isaiah mocks their foolishness when they fashioned their own gods with”with hammers…with the strength of his arms” (Isaiah 44:12). The carpenter cuts down a tree and uses some of the wood to build a fire to warm himself and cook a meal, but also takes some of the tree and forms a god!
There are many today who in their own strength try to fashion their own hope. With their own tools and the strength of their arms, they have fashioned a worldview with which they are comfortable. Yet, they unequivocally know something, but choose to not remember it. “Who hold the truth in unrighteousness…Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God” (Romans 1:18, 21).
There is coming a day when people will say, “I am the Lord’s” (Isaiah 44:5)! The day of the Lord will put away all the evil from among the people. It is only through the everlasting gospel anyone can be saved. “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7).
As the unrighteous and ungodly stand before the Great White Throne on judgment day, they will not get away with the excuse, “I knew it, but I couldn’t remember it.” If you know the true God, then you will live consistent with this knowledge. You will fear and give glory to Him.