O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139 – For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.)
The Joy Of His Knowledge
David had a keen awareness of the closeness of the Lord in his life. As a prolific psalmist, the king of Israel pondered the depths of God’s knowledge of man from every possible point on the compass. Before the days of technology that would show the human body’s design David understood the marvelous structure of creation. His conclusion was not one of fear but of marvelous wonder and security that God was always present in his life.
The Lord knows all we do, say and think. While this can be a warning to refrain from sin the focus of David is the positive realization that God is always with us to care for us. We are not alone. We are never alone. As a hedge of protection the Commander of the Army of God (see Joshua 5:13-15) encircles the army of righteousness around our lives. The hand of the Lord is upon us – why should we fear? People of God share the greatest blessing to know our Father is always present and ready to help in our lives. We are not alone.
There is no place in this world we can go that God is not already there. A growing baby may be hidden from man in the mother’s womb but the Lord sees every part of us before birth. The wonder of birth has been taken away somewhat because now we can use instruments to see the form of the baby in the womb but it should never take away our wonder at the knowledge of the Lord. David is overwhelmed by such knowledge. No matter where he goes, what he does, what he says – his heavenly Father is there. Wow.
To understand this knowledge helps us to know how to defeat Satan. The devil is always present trying to destroy us but our God is greater than anything the devil throws at us. Satan will have small victories in life but through the forgiveness of God’s grace the war has already been won. Christ arose from the dead and Satan was defeated. We have nothing to fear because God is always with us and the devil has no power.
The courage of David concludes the psalm. There is a great test of faith to invite the Lord to search our hearts and know our hearts. He already knows what is in the heart but our life is an ‘invited’ open book. This is where David draws his strength. He wants God to be embedded in all of his life every day.
Psalm 139 is our psalm. God knows all about us and that is joy. Through the power of His love He will protect us and guide us by His protection and hand upon our hearts. Pray this psalm with the faith that He will deliver us when we allow the Lord to search us and know us. What a powerful message of love and hope today.
The name of this infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of all being is God. That depth is what the word God means … it … speaks of the depths of your life; of the source of your being … If you know that God means depth, you know much about him. (Paul Tillich, The Shaking of the Foundations, 1949)