There is a major difference between knowing about God and actually knowing Him.
Here in America, almost everyone knows about God. The number who actually know Him is smaller. Knowing God is a good thing. It is very important. If you know God, you
have the assurance of His help while you are on this earth, and you know that when you die you will go to heaven. If you only know about God, you do not have His help while
you are on this earth, and you will not go to heaven when you die.
Georgia is a little country in the mountains between Russia and Turkey. (I tried to tell someone about the Kingdom of Georgia once, and he informed me that Georgia was next door to Alabama and that it was not a kingdom.) Tamara the Great (c. 1160 –1213) for most of her life reigned as Queen of Georgia, presiding over what is known as the Golden Age of the Kingdom of Georgia. She came to the throne at a young age, upon the death of her father. As he lay dying, her father summoned all the leading people of Georgia and had them kneel and swear allegiance to his daughter, Tamara, promising to obey her. Queen Tamara knew God and was a wise ruler.
A number of wars and rebellions, along with a bad first marriage, happened to the Queen. Through it all, she became a stronger Christian. Then the day came when a messenger representing a coalition of Muslim rulers came to Queen Tamara’s court. He demanded that Tamara and her people abandon the Christian religion and become Muslims. Supported by her people, Tamara refused. The following year a large Muslim army invaded Georgia to force them to die or convert. Accompanied by the bishop of Georgia and the general of her army, Queen Tamara went out to review the troops as they prepared for battle. The Queen, the bishop, and the commanding general all dismounted from their horses. They also removed their shoes, as they felt they were on holy ground. They and the entire army knelt to pray. They asked God for victory. Queen Tamara told her soldiers, “My brothers! Do not allow your hearts to tremble before the multitude of enemies, for God is with us .… Trust God alone.” As the two armies fought, Tamara spent the day of the battle in prayer. The army of Georgia was victorious. The Queen and all her subjects gave public thanks to God. Queen Tamara knew God.
The years went by. Tamara died. Her son inherited the throne. Another large Muslim army invaded Georgia. Tamara’s son went out to meet the Mongols. Georgia had always defeated its enemies while his mother ruled. He knew he had nothing to fear. The Georgians would win again. The army of Georgia was completely defeated and the country was overrun by its Muslim foes. Tamara knew God. Her son knew about Him.
Bad things sometimes happen to those who know God. Those things should only draw us closer to God and make us stronger. Bad things also happen to those who only know about God. Often those things happen because God is trying to get those people to seek Him and come to know Him. Sometimes they blame God when those bad things happen. They are often right. God at least allowed those things to happen to them. It may have been that their sins found them out. It might have also been that God was trying to save them, to cause them to change from knowing about Him to actually knowing Him.