God’s love and concern for us is just beyond amazing…
Who am I that you are so mindful of me?
Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms…
Psalm 139 is a wisdom psalm that is intensely personal, and was written by King David.
It reveals the awe and astonishment that he felt toward God, who created the heavens and the earth, yet who actually knew him and was intimately involved in the minute details of his life.
This beautifully poetic song describes some of the most incomparable attributes of God—His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and vengeance.
David sees them not as mere theological abstractions, but as dynamic realities that deeply impacted his life.
Here is a personal testimony by this beloved man of God that surveys four great divine attributes which should influence every believer’s life.
The occasion of this psalm is unknown, but its message is unmistakable.
In it David meditates upon the momentous truths that God is all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, and all-holy.
GOD IS ALL-KNOWING
David is overwhelmed that God knows ALL about him.
Nothing in his life, David realized, was hidden from God’s all-seeing gaze.
He declared, O LORD, you have searched me, using a word meaning “to explore, spy out, to dig deeply into, to explore a country.”
God knew the very depths of his being, what no one else saw.
You know (yadah, “to know intimately, experientially”) me thoroughly (i.e., his character, being, his very heart).
You know when I sit and when I rise.
These two activities are intended to represent when David rests and rises to work during his day’s activities and everything in between.
He pondered how God knew his thoughts from afar.
Others saw his actions, but God saw into his heart.
God does discern—that is, “to sift through something, to winnow as grain, to sort out the good from the bad”—his life.
He sees through his going out to labor and his lying down to sleep.
God saw David’s morning departure to work, his evening retiring at home, and, implied, all the other events of the day.
God was deeply familiar with all his ways.
He even knew what he was going to say before he said it.
David could only conclude, You know it completely.
God surrounded David like a city being besieged with no way of escape.
There was no way for him to escape His all-knowing thoughts.
God had laid his hand upon him so that he was always near.
Under this kind of close scrutiny, God saw the entirety of his life up close, inside out.
David’s response to all this is, “Such knowledge is too wonderful and too high.”
God’s omniscience is both convicting and comforting.
For David, it was humbling, beyond his human capacity to grasp.
GOD IS ALL-PRESENT
David is overcome that God is always with him.
Further, David understood that God is all-present, and he could never escape the divine presence.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? or Where can I flee from Your presence?
These two rhetorical questions imply a negative answer.
There is nowhere God is not present.
God’s “Spirit,” a reference to the Holy Spirit, is omnipresent.
If I go up to the heavens, David declared, God is there.
Heaven above is God’s eternal dwelling place.
Or if I make my bed in the depths of hell, the other extreme, God is there.
David would never be more face-to-face with God than after he died.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn and fly to the east, or if I settle on the far side of the sea (i.e., the Mediterranean Sea),
God is there. North, south, east, and west are represented here.
No matter where he goes in life or after death, Your hand will guide me into the divine will and Your right hand will hold me fast.
God is always in touch with his life, which is never beyond the divine reach.
If David says, “The darkness will hide me, even then, God sees in the dark and is present there.”
This darkness refers to the dark nights of the soul (i.e., dark trials).
Even the darkness will not be dark to you.
Dark times are light to God. He is present in them, knowing perfectly all that is transpiring and what His eternal purposes are.
GOD IS ALL-POWERFUL
David is astounded that God precisely created him and ordained the number of his days.
Moreover, David knows that God is all-powerful.
This is proven in that the Lord has made him skillfully in his mother’s womb.
God created his inmost being (i.e., his kidneys, symbolic of his vital organs, his heart, liver, lungs, even his innermost emotions and moral sensitivities).
God knit him like a skilled artisan would weave a beautiful tapestry.
This work of creation was done in his mother’s womb, beginning nine months before he was born.
David could only praise God for this display of wonderful omnipotence. He understood he was fearfully and wonderfully made, producing awe and astonishment within him toward GOD, who created him so perfectly.
My frame (i.e., bones and skeleton) was not hidden from God but in full view to divine eyes.
God made David in the secret place, a euphemism for the womb, that unseen place concealed from human eyes.
There he was woven together like a multicolored piece of cloth or fine needlepoint.
All these threads picture his veins, arteries, muscles, and tendons.
God saw his unformed body before he was made.
All his days were sovereignly ordained for David before he came into the world.
In God’s book, all the days of David’s life were recorded by the divine Architect before that historic moment when David announced his arrival by that first lusty cry.
How amazing is it to think that, like David, God knew each of us before we were born, even before He laid the foundation of the Earth, and that He choreographed and scheduled each and every day of our life, and even wrote it in a book.
David goes on to say that the span of his life had already been written by God in His divine book, containing His eternal decree.
And the precise length of David’s life was determined by God before he was born.
There could be no changing the number of his days (Job 14:5).
These divine truths were precious to David, vast and beyond his human comprehension.
If he tried to list these truths about God, they would outnumber the grains of sand on the beaches of the world, far past his ability to understand.
When he awakens, his thoughts are still dominated with God.
He cannot remove such towering thoughts about God from his mind.
GOD IS ALL-HOLY
David appeals to God to destroy his wicked adversaries and search him for any hurtful way.
With holy zeal, David pledged his loyalty to this awesome God.
He desired that God would slay the wicked because they speak against him and oppose the Lord.
God’s enemies were his enemies.
They blasphemed God and abused the divine name.
David could not bear this. Nor could he be accepting of those who so despise God.
David said that he did hate those who hate God.
This means he rejects and refuses those who would rise up against God (cp. Ps. 1:1).
He cannot be neutral toward those who attack God:
“Count them my enemies.”
Strictly speaking, he had not made them his enemies, but they had made themselves his enemies.
To oppose God was to oppose David.
David was so burdened for God’s kingdom work to move forward that he asked for all obstacles to be removed, even these adversaries.
In dealing with sin, David was equally hard on himself.
He invited God to search and explore his own heart, a fact he had already acknowledged (v. 1).
He wanted God to know his heart so God could make it known to him.
He could not fully know his own heart because of the self-deceptiveness of sin (Jer. 17:9).
Test me, he asked God, as a refiner would test and purify metal.
Know intimately my anxious thoughts, he prayed.
David asked that God would see and reveal to him any offensive way in which his sin grieves the Lord.
Only then, once his own sin is confessed and removed, could God lead him in the way everlasting, the way of holiness.
David meditates upon the momentous truths that God is all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, and all-holy.
How can God, who is infinite, be at the same time so intimate with us?
How can God be so transcendent and immanent?
So highly perfect and highly personal?
To be sure, God who knows all and controls all is directly involved with each one of us at the deepest level.
Not only does God operate on the macro-level, but on the micro-level as well.
God is all and in all. No creature is hidden from His sight.
No individual is away from His presence.
This great God has skillfully made us and ordained all our days.
This psalm invites every one of us to live humbly before our God.
Do you want to walk with God intimately?
Then respond appropriately to God at each level of this psalm.
Yield your life to Him, knowing that this God who knows you the best also loves you the most.
This God is with you wherever you go.
This God reveals your own heart to yourself.
May you grow to know this God more deeply each day.
In this psalm, David’s response to God must be our response to him.
As this man after God’s own heart pursued the Lord, so must each one of us.
How should we live out the message of this psalm?
The personal application and direct appropriation of this inspired psalm begin with an overwhelming sense of the infinite greatness of God.
Such an awareness should sweep over our souls, leaving us amazed and astonished.
As we ponder the immensity of His greatness, yet intimately involved in a personal relationship with us, our hearts should be awestruck, even dumbfounded, that He should be so mindful of and involved with us.
Can we respond in any way other than by worshipping Him?
The greater our vision of God’s attributes, the greater will be the wonder-filled love that will flood our hearts for Him.
We could never adore a God we could completely understand. The fact that He exceeds the limits of our human comprehension causes our hearts to be filled with even greater amazement toward Him.
That this infinite God would make Himself known to us is truly amazing.
That He would make Himself known to us in such an intimate relationship should confound us all our days.
God, great Creator of heaven and earth, how we praise you that you would choose to dwell within finite, fallible lives such as ours.
We are stunned that You would take such notice of us and be involved at such a deep level with us.
We invite You to search us and make known to us what you find that is hurtful to you.
We will repent and deal with it.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Tuesday, April 19
LET’S GET EXPOSED!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
— Psalms 139:23-24
I recently read a story about a rather pompous-looking deacon who was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life.
‘Why do you think people call me a Christian?’ the man asked.
After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, ‘Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.’
I don’t know if this is a true story — but I’m sure we’ve all experienced hypocrisy in our own lives.
Mark Twain said “We’re all like the moon, we have a dark side we don’t want anyone to see”.
Hypocrisy is a dangerous thing. It has turned a many a man away from the Lord to search elsewhere for answers.
It can ruin an entire generation and more after them. But we have the opportunity to change those generations for the good of God’s kingdom!
Those of us who know and love God must never stop allowing Him to search our “dark sides” so that we can more effectively be used as vessels to lead the hungry multitudes to Him.
Let’s come against the hypocrisy in our lives. During this season of Passover, let’s ask the Lord to search our hearts today and uproot the things that need uprooting. Let’s give our all to God again.
Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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