O Lord, you have examined me, and you know me.
You alone know when I sit down and when I get up. You read my thoughts from far away. You watch me when I travel and when I rest. You are familiar with all my ways.
Even before there is a ⌊single⌋ word on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord.
You are all around me—in front of me and in back of me. You lay your hand on me.
Such knowledge is beyond my grasp. It is so high I cannot reach it. [vss 1-6]
Where can I go ⌊to get away⌋ from your Spirit? Where can I run ⌊to get away⌋ from you?
If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, you are there. If I climb upward on the rays of the morning sun ⌊or⌋ land on the most distant shore of the sea where the sun sets,
even there your hand would guide me and your right hand would hold on to me.
I say, “Let the darkness hide me and let the light around me turn into night,”
even the darkness is not too dark for you. Night is as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same ⌊to you⌋. [vss 7-12]
For the choir director; a psalm by David. (Psalms 139:1-12 GW)
My wife recalls a time in her childhood when she imagined herself as a character in a storybook being read by someone—someone greater than herself. This was her first sense of God's existence and presence.
The concept of God being all-knowing—omniscient—can be assuring and scary. My wife's childlike sense of God's omnipresence opened up her realization of His omniscience and omnipotence.
Of course, she didn't think in those terms as a child, but she began to understand how God was nearby and everywhere at the same time, all-powerful, and knew her as He knows all things.
King David doesn't use these theological terms either but described each of them in this psalm, as he did other psalms of worship. He had a very personal relationship with God.
David understood God wasn't distant from us even though He is much greater than we are. David understood God's sovereignty and His attributes without losing sight of God's personal nearness. Not only was David aware of how well God knew him—he knew God.
Psalm 139 gives us great insight into the relationship King David enjoyed with God and how well he understood who God was. We can see his great love for God and his intimate relationship with God. At the same time, David's reverent awe of God is evident.
David exclaims—"You know me." He understood that God knew his very thoughts and motives—all of them! David's son, King Solomon, later declared—"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7).
David's awareness of God's greatness didn't cause him to cringe in fear but gave him great assurance of God's love and mercy.
Have you experienced a sense of God's nearness in your life?
God wants us to know Him as He already knows us—in an intimate, personal relationship.
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!