Yada, yada, yada ∙

Yada, yada, yada

Jeremiah 12:3 You know me, O LORD; You see me, and You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.

Psalms 139:1-7

 1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.

 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

On April 24, 1997, the popular TV sitcom “Seinfeld” aired an episode called “The Yada Yada.” In that episode, George Costanza complains about his girlfriend’s shortening her stories and leaving out critical facts, substituting the phrase “Yada, Yada, Yada.”

“Yada, Yada, Yada” was introduced into popular American culture and remains to this day. It has become a cliché. It has been used as a disparaging remark of something boring or tedious. It is somewhat of a modern-day equivalent of saying “blah, blah, blah’” or sarcastically rolling your eyes. It is an interjection indicating something is predictable or repetitive, or simply common knowledge. When something can be skipped over, “Yada, Yada, Yada,” is interjected in its place.

There has been much discussion regarding its origin. I do not think it is that difficult to get to the bottom of it. The term, yada, is the transliteration of a Hebrew verb that means “to know.” When something is common knowledge, “Yada, Yada, Yada,” is interjected, meaning “You know.” “You know?”

David’s close and loving relationship with the Father permeates Psalm 139. This beautiful Psalm recounts the Father’s total knowledge of all things and all people. 

Psalm 139 is a love letter from David to the Father. It overflows with adoration, love, loyalty, and awe. This is Theology 101 regarding God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence expressed as a love song, a poem, rather than some cold, abstract theological treatise.

Psalms 139:1-3

1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

The Hebrew word translated examined is chaqar and connotes a deliberate search, thorough exploration to learn people’s sentiments and expose their weaknesses. The Hebrew word translated know is yada. It means to know, observe, realize, care, understand, and express concern.

The Father does not merely know about us, He knows us.

 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

The Hebrew word translated know in this verse is bin. It denotes to understand, perceive, comprehend, consider; care for, and bring insight.

 3 You scrutinize me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

The Hebrew word translated scrutinize is zarah. Zarah originally meant to winnow or scatter, disperse. It came to mean to have a clear knowledge of a person.

The Father actively and personally surrounds, discerns, searches, knows our minds and hearts better than we know ourselves. The Father knows everything and everyone all the time and always has. He never learns new things because He is always known and continually knows everything.

The Father knows each of us deeply and completely. He has pierced all of our defensive fortifications. It is as though, He gets inside our minds and hearts and knows our thoughts, our emotions, our needs, our dreams, our aspirations, and our fears.

And David loves the intimacy and immediacy of being known. He craves it, he pleads for it. Yet at the same time, such intimate and expansive knowledge overwhelms his mind and confounds him.

“God’s infinite knowledge boggles the mind. Our human brains strain under the weight of the idea. It is too exalted for us to comprehend. But when we come to the frontier of our capacity to understand and can go no farther, we can still bow in worship at the immensity of the knowledge of God!” (MacDonald).

One can easily be frightened and troubled by the Father’s omniscience. Yet the recognition that is omniscience is coupled with lovingkindness alleviates all concerns.


The omniscience of God is awe-inspiring and overwhelming. But it is also comforting and assuring. It is a short hop from being afraid that we cannot get away from Him, to being afraid that we could.

Father, thank You that You know me intimately at the deepest level. None of my personal faults are repugnant to You and Your response to them is even greater love.


Psalms 139:6-7

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

In David’s day, the pagans worshiped gods that were local and limited, the sea, the sky, the harvest, the underworld. So it is with polytheists. But not with the Father. He had no such limitations. The Father’s presence is everywhere. He is all-seeing and perceives all things in all places.

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

David does not wish to hide and evade the Father, rather he embraces Him. David acknowledges that his ability to comprehend the Father’s omniscience is beyond his grasp. He realizes that the Father’s knowledge and guidance are his protection. The Father keeps him safe.

The Father is truly amazing and wonderful. David knows he can never fully get his arms around it. He is not equal to it. Trying to comprehend the incomprehensible is hurting his brain. David gives up trying to understand the inscrutable. He shifts his focus instead to adoration and worship. David reveres and glorifies the Father for who He is, what He does, and what He has done for him.

Romans 11:33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

¯\_()_/¯ 10-13-9

One thought on “Yada, yada, yada ∙

  1. What a surprise ending the sonnet gives to this deeply moving meditation on my heavenly Father’s incomprehensible knowledge of – and love for – me! And how amazingly appropriate the lines are in this context!
    Stroke of genius, Dr. H!


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