by George H. Morrison

The Omniscience of Love
George H. Morrison
1 John 3:20

There are some texts of Scripture, and this is one of them, which are very generally misinterpreted. This does not speak of a condemning God, but of a God whose name and character are love. As commonly and perhaps naturally understood, the whole verse has to do with condemnation. We rise from the condemnation of ourselves to the far severer scrutiny of God. If our own imperfect consciences condemn us, how much more awful must the condemnation be of One who is greater than our heart and knows all things. Now if the verse stood in any other context, that would be quite a reasonable rendering. We know that the heavens are not clean before Him, and that He charges even His angels with folly. But let anyone meditate upon the context here and note what the apostle has in view, and he will see that such a rendering is impossible. The apostle is not writing to condemn. The apostle is writing to encourage. He wants to give the believer, in his despondent hours, something that will encourage and assure him. And so he says, if our own hearts condemn us, there is still one thing that we can do; we can fall back on the omniscience of Love. There are hours when our heart condemns us not, says John, and then we have confidence toward God. We do not doubt Him then-we know we are His children-we have a childlike liberty in prayer. But when the sky is darkened and we lose assurance; when we hear nothing but self-accusing voices, then the only way to peace is to remember that the God of love is greater than our hearts. He knows all the way that we have traveled. He remembers what we have quite forgotten. He is the light and dwells in the light above the spiritual darkness which engirdles us. In those condemning hours when we see nothing except our own exceeding great unworthiness, our Father sees the end from the beginning. That is unquestionably the apostle's meaning, and that unquestionably was the apostle's comfort. From ...

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