A poster hung on my son’s wall for years - so long that the multiple pinholes in the corners joined and made the corners came off. It was a simple black and white photo, larger than life-sized, of Albert Einstein’s shaggy head with the words, “I want to know God’s thoughts. The rest are details.” under the photo.
God’s thoughts! Dare we ask to know them? We smile at a genius wanting to know what God is thinking and we understand that this would be the ultimate knowledge possible, but do ordinary people even want to know for sure what God is thinking? Isn’t it more interesting to know what your neighbour or Barak Obama or Rick Warren know or think? Is it only a man like Einstein who had a thirst for Truth, an insatiable desire to understand the universe itself, who wants to “know God’s thoughts?”
What if it were possible to daily download God’s thoughts into our own minds and fianlly quit worrying about Einstein’s “details”? If we truly knew his thoughts, would anything else matter much? Albert Einstein was a smart man. He knew what he knew and he knew what he didn’t know. My guess is that it bothered him that there was a Being out there who had all knowledge but was only giving it to him in dribs and drabs, relatively speaking.
Another of my sons, when faced with conflicting ideas and doctrines circulating in the evangelical world, exclaimed in exasperation one day, “I just want to know the truth!” Maybe his sentiment was similar to Einstein’s: forget opinions - who says this and who says that – just give me God’s thoughts! Truth.
I can go to my computer on any given day and download millions of words if I choose to, ideas and opinions of men and women around the globe, information about every imaginable topic, stories and articles meant to educate or influence the masses. But Truth - God’s thoughts – these are another matter entirely. I can’t just Google Truth and get the answers to the questions of the universe.
“If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking”. Ah, the Bible – God’s words to us, his created beings!
Good! I can ask and he won’t mind. I’m glad he doesn’t scorn my questions. But does that mean he’ll answer? In my experience, the answer would have to be: not always, and certainly not without a doubt. Must be a catch.
“But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.” (James 1:5-8 NL)
Ah – faith is required! And a real desire to know.
The Bible doesn’t promise that we will know everything God knows, because then we would actually be God. But it does promise that we can know the Truth and that the Truth will set us free. It promises us wisdom when we ask without doubting. It promises us friendship with the Creator of the universe. And it promises us direction.
So yes, in a way, we can know God’s thoughts, at least to the extent that he is willing to reveal them to us. The question is: do we want to? If one of the smartest men that God created wanted to know them, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s a good idea for us to seek them with all our heart, for as long as we live.
“Ask and it will be given unto you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt 7:7, 8 ESV)
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