JI Packer on being known by God

Again, From Knowing God:

We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us…”Now that you know God-or rather are known by God” (Gal 4:9)… “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I am pleased with you and I know you by name’ ” (Ex 33:17). “Before I formed you (Jeremiah) in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jer 1:5). “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me … and I lay down my life for the sheep… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them… They shall never perish” (Jn 10:14-15, 27-28)… What matters supremely, therefore, is not… the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it- the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands [Is 49:16]. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me, I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me…This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort…in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and am I glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know not merely that we know God, but that He knows us.

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