Psalm 139

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I had the joy of reading Psalm 139 today. It has been a long time since I have read it and I was reminded of how great a Psalm it is. I would like to share a few thoughts about it.

Verses 1-6 lets us know that God is all knowing or omnipotent. Can you imagine someone knowing everything about you! I think we all have things in our lives that we share with only the most trusted of our friends. But this passage says that God knows everything, our words before we say them, out thoughts, our actions. The Psalm says He scrutinizes our paths, meaning that He examines our paths in detail and with careful or critical attention. The psalmist goes on to say that this knowledge that God knows everything is too wonderful and too high that he cannot understand it. Neither can I, but it is true none the less. And the great thing is that God loves us in spite of what He sees in us. Only one word comes to mind, unfathomable!

Verses 7-12—the psalmist then talks about another aspect of God. He is everywhere all at once. We cannot hide from God. We can run, try to hide in the darkness, we can even hide in the remotest part of the sea, but God is there with us. When I was a kid I wanted to be able to go down into the ocean and swim around on the Titanic (ok, so I was a little weird, but I thought that would be so cool and as far away from things as I could find). I find this part of the Psalm truly comforting. I have tried to run from God at times. I remember telling Him once in my youth that I was angry and finished with Him and that I quit. I still remember that as soon as I said those words something flooded in my mind and said, “but where will you go? I called you and I want you.” God will never leave or forsake us! Trials will come, but He will go through them with us. What a marvelous God we have!

Verses 13-17 are a little hard for me to swallow at times. God says that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” That he formed me in the womb. To be honest, it has been hard for me to accept this. As a child I stuttered so bad that I wouldn’t even talk if I could help it (and it is still with me today, although much improved). While I looked like a healthy specimen on the outside, my heart was full of hurt and anger. And yet, God says that He made me like this. Time has passed and I have now come to accept and even thank God for how he made me. Even though I am still socially awkward. He is there and He understands it. One more thing. It says that our life time is written in God’s book. He knows our past, present and our future. If you are like me, you may fear the future somewhat. But God says, not to worry, I have your back. Our hearts should cry out in praise for such a God!!

Verses 17-18 tell us that God’s thoughts about us are good and many. The psalmist uses the word precious. I sometimes believe that God must be ashamed of me (goes back to my legalistic days). I was always on a performance mode with God, in my younger days. I have come, over time, to realize that a performance mode with God is deadly to our spiritual lives. One can never answer the question, how much is enough? God thinks good thoughts about us and they are innumerable.

Verses 19-24—personally, I have always found this section a bit out of place in this Psalm of echoing the praises of God. But I believe the psalmist (probably David) is looking for a perfect world where there is no more evil or distractions or destruction. He wants nothing to interfere with his closeness with his God and those who are enemies of God are his enemies.

Verses 23-24—these verses are quite familiar to us. The psalmist asks God to search him and know his heart and let there be no hurtful way in him. In other words, the psalmist asks that God would make known his sins so he can be confessed and that he can be pure before God. It impresses me that the psalmist takes coming into God’s presence very seriously. Do we?? Something to think about. May God bless us and humble our hearts toward Him.

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