But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
HAVING MADE US AND PROVIDED FOR US EVERY INSTANT, GOD KNOWS WHATEVER CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT US. He knows all of our circumstances and all of our choices. He knows not only what we’ve done, but what we’ve aspired to do. Our hearts lie before Him like an open book. “He knows the way we take.”
There is a big difference between “reputation” and “character.” Reputation is what others think we are. It consists of inferences that have been drawn about us from evidence that is always imperfect and incomplete. Character, on the other hand, is what God knows we are, with all the evidence taken into account and every inference drawn with perfect precision.
It’s an unpleasant fact that our reputation is sometimes worse than our real character. Even when the information is more or less correct, it is possible for others to take the facts and reach faulty conclusions about us. Often however, the information is simply not correct, or at least not complete, and so we console ourselves by saying that others don’t know enough about our “extenuating circumstances” to make a fair assessment of us. But God does know. And we can be sure that His dealings with us will be based on the perfect knowledge He has of our real character, regardless of whether others deal with us fairly or not.
But frankly, aren’t there also times when our reputation is better than our character? If others knew everything we’ve ever done or left undone — absolutely everything — it’s likely that at least some of our reputations would have to be adjusted downward. God knows this too. He knows what we really are.
God’s infallibly perfect knowledge of us is at once comforting and sobering. “He knows the way we take.” He is not only infinitely wise; He is infinitely good. He can be counted on to do what is right. And the wonder of all wonders is that, knowing us as He does, He is willing for us to know Him. If we’re willing to deal with what He can show us about ourselves, He is willing to show us more than we could ever imagine about the God that He is.
It is astonishing that I — dust, ash, and mud —
May on familiar terms be with the highest God.