1 Corinthians 16:22
It has become commonplace for many Christians to use the following expression when they are discussing their lives and their service to the Lord: “God understands.” You have most likely heard this and may have said it yourself. So we don’t misunderstand, let’s understand how this saying is often used.
This expression is not an affirmation that God has divine omniscience, nor is it an assertion that God knows the individual inside and out. It isn’t even being used as an affirmation that God knows what’s happening in my life. This is being offered as an excuse for not doing what God has called His people to be and to do.
Some time ago, a member shared with me why they had failed to attend the assembly for months. The reason was that they must work every Sunday to make ends meet. Thus, he could not attend any assembly nor associate with the church at any time because of this “hand to mouth” existence. But, you see, “God understands.” In other words, God sees this person’s terrible plight and gives him a pass on any opportunity for coming to worship, Bible study, etc., since his life is just one continuous slavish grind to eke out a living.
“God understands” that my schedule is so packed that I have no time to make a visit to someone. “God understands” that my spouse frowns on my coming to the assembly, that somebody thirty years ago in the church hurt my feelings, that Sunday morning is a special family time for us, that Sunday is the only day of the week I have to “rest up”, that I am just not as spiritual as some other folks.
Here is what God understands - that His beloved Son was plotted against, railroaded, lied about, cruelly treated, betrayed, mocked, made to wear a crown of thorns, slapped, scourged, crucified, and eyed with defiance as He died. He endured all of this to save every last one of us.
God also understands this: “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed...”