Some people might say that certain forms of modern-day technology are always watching, listening, gathering, and storing information about us. Some, they say, are tracking our every move. Can it or “they” really know when you wake up in the morning, what route you take to work, what you purchase at the grocery store or what you order for dinner?
I am not a conspiracy theorist, yet I am not completely naive to the fact that many of these things are true. The question I often ask myself is: what is the motivation that fuels this kind of action?
Genesis chapter 16 records the story of Hagar, an Egyptian slave that served Sarai, the wife of Abram. When the events of her life became more than she could bear, she ran and hid from all that was going on. Without any hope or promise of what the future held she encountered an angel of the Lord and discovered an incredible truth about who God is.
The place where Hagar met the Lord was named “Beer Lahai Roi” which when translated means “well of the living one who sees me”. “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”” (Gen 16:13)
Hagar’s life changed in that moment. With a new hope she returned to Sarai and lived out the life that God had called her into, albeit with a new perspective. Knowing that God had a plan for her life and that he was watching over her, she became a significant part of the promise God gave to Abram and his people.
Psalm 139 describes in very specific detail the incredible depths to which the Lord’s knowledge and understanding of who we are is, a deepness that no advanced technology or AI could ever know us.
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar… Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely… If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there… for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps 139:2,4,8,13)
As I read these words, as I reflect on the depth of God’s power, knowledge and understanding I once again find myself asking the question, what is the motivation that fuels this kind of action?
Despite what most of the world thinks, “God is love.” (1 Jn 4:16) He knows us completely because he loves us completely. Even greater than that he loves us unconditionally. His actions, thoughts, and plans for us are all motivated by love.
We may hold onto a certain amount of fear (in small amounts this is healthy) when it comes to a worldly kind of “knowing and understanding” as our lives are “seen” through the lens of technology and human interpretation. When it comes to God’s love we should not hold onto any fear, perfect love from our Father in heaven drives out any fear (1 John 4:18).
The same God who saw Hagar in her time of need, who comforted David as his enemies tried to destroy him is the same God of love that is looking over you and I today. It is my prayer that you have experienced God’s unconditional love in your life. May His love be the motivation for your life.