This was originally posted on October 2, 2008.
Yesterday, I saw a sign in front of a church that read, "Smile, you're on God's camera". I wondered what was meant by that. Growing up, I always was given the impression that God was up in heaven watching what we were doing and grading us on our actions. This would determine whether God was pleased with us or not. I was always told that I couldn't hide anything from God in an attempt to keep me doing things I shouldn't. This worked, some of the time. Most of the time I didn't even stop to think that God was watching, so my "little hands" weren't careful what they did; my "little eyes" weren't careful what they saw; and my "little feet" certainly weren't careful where they went.
I don't believe that's what the Psalmist intended when he wrote, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" It is true that there is nowhere we can go that takes us out of God's presence. It is true that God knows our every thought and deed. But I believe that David wrote these words in Psalm 139 as praise to the God who was always with him and would always take care of him, not as a complaint that God was always watching so David couldn't get away with anything. I am not saying that God is not watching or that we can get away with anything, I just don't believe that's the thrust of this Psalm.
God is not sitting "up" in heaven taking a picture of us so he can hold it against us - "Look what you did". Jesus redeemed us, every bit of us, including the times we screw up. Anyway, does anyone really doubt that God already knows when we sin? Does he need to "watch"?
Now if the message on the sign meant that God was taking my picture just as any proud father enjoys taking pictures of his children, because he loves and enjoys them; well, I can live with that.
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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