This week we read Psalm 121-150. We will focus the discussion on Psalm 139. Below is the psalm.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
This Psalm is about the relationship that David has with the LORD. David is in awe of God and he praises the LORD through the Psalm. The Psalm is not just about David. It can be applied to all of us who believe and follow the Lord.
Let’s dive in.
Verses 1-4 talk about how God is omniscience. This means that God is all knowing.
In verses 1-3, the words “know me” or a version of this are used 5 times. Verses 1 and 2 each say the word “know.” The second half of verse 2 says “perceive.” Verse 3 says “discern” and “familiar.”
These are all words that describe how well God knows each and every one of us. What does God know about us? Plain and simple He knows everything. God knows our mind, body and soul. He knows are physical movement “sit and rise,” he “perceives our thoughts”, he knows our coming and going, our conduct, and our speech before a word gets out of our mouths.
Verses 7-12 talk about how God is omnipresent. This means he is everywhere at the same time. God is in the heavens, in the depths, on the wings of the dawn, on the far side of the sea. Gills Commentary says about verse 11, “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me,…. The darkness of a cloud or of the night, so that my actions shall not be seen; that is, if I entertain such a thought in my mind, that what I do in the dark will escape the sight and knowledge of God, and so be emboldened to commit it; even the night shall be light about me; and make all my works manifest, as light does.” Thus, if we try to hide our sinful actions in the dark, God can see them. The day and night are the same for God.
Verses 13-18 talk about how God created you and has a plan for your life even before you were born. Verse 13 says “you created my inmost being.” This is your body, mind and spirit. Verse 15 states, “My frame was not hidden from you.” In those days there were no ultrasounds, so people could not see what their baby looked like in the womb. God could see the baby. He could see the baby’s unformed body (this means embryo). All the days were ordained by God before one of them came to be. God had a perfect plan for your life before you were even born.
At the end of the psalm, David asks God to “search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“ David wants to be pure in God’s sight and asks God to show him where he has sin in his life. He wants God to lead him in the way of eternity.
At different places throughout the psalm, David praises God in different ways. After he talked about God being all knowing, he said in verse 6 “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” When he was talking about how God created him, he said in verse 14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” Then in verse 17 he says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God.”
Question: how do you feel about God knowing every thought, action, or conversation you have? Does it worry you or give you comfort?
I can see how it could be worrisome, but truly it gives me comfort. Think about David. He was married to many women and had concubines. He had relations with Bathsheba, then had her husband killed. But he was still a man after God’s own heart. He asked forgiveness for his sins, and God forgave him. God knew his heart, his sin. And when David confessed sincerely his sin and asked forgiveness, God gave him forgiveness. He does this for you and me as well. When we ask forgiveness for our sins, and believe in Christ, and that Christ rose from the dead, we are forgiven. No matter what we have done.
This psalm gives me hope. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our thoughts both good and bad. We cannot hide anything from Him. In spite of all our flaws, God still loves us. In spite of our mistakes, he still has a plan for our lives. While we were sinning, Christ died for us. And “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
If you remember anything from this week remember that no matter what you are going through or what you have done you are fully known and fully loved by God.
Next week we will read Proverbs 1-31. Have a blessed week.