Let’s take a look at Psalm 139 today.
Do you believe that God is with you, that He knows you, and that He is powerful, even in the bad times?
This psalm shows us how God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), and omnipotent (all powerful) even in the times that are bad.
The fact that God knows our every thought, that He is present everywhere you are present, and all powerful can generally stir up a negative response or a positive response. When we are living in sin, this can stir up a feeling of conviction and even fear; when we are living in obedience this can bring comfort and praise to our hearts.
I think this is why the psalmist begins and ends the psalm in verse 1 and verse 23 with an acknowledgment that God can and will, “search and know our hearts.”
Verses 2-6 talks about how God is all knowing. God knows our public and our private life (verses 2-3). God knows not only every word that we speak, but even what we mean when we say the words that we speak. He knows what our hearts feel before we even speak what our hearts feel (verse 4). Then in verse 6, the psalmist is brought to a place of awe and wonder. If you meditate on the omniscience of God for just a minute, you realize that there is nothing that God does not know about you. I don’t know about you, but that brings me to a place to where I say to God, “And you still love me?” To think I cannot hide anything from the knowledge of God brings me to a place of humility, shame, and also praise, because who can extend such grace?
Verses 7-12 are a reflection of Gods omnipresence, the reality that there is nowhere that God is not present. The psalmist phrases the question rhetorically in verse 7, “where shall I go from your spirit?” Which the implication is “nowhere.” Then, the psalmist begins to list, as far as the east is from the west, as high as the heavens and as low as the depth of hell, God is not limited to where His presence is. Even in our darkest of times (verse 12), God is present. I don’t know about you, but to know that there is nowhere that He cannot be, comforts me! That even in my lowest of times, God is there leading me, guiding me, and being present with me.
Verses 13-18 shows us that God is all powerful by demonstrating His power over creating us. David talks about how God formed every part of us and there was nothing that is hidden from Him. We stand before the Lord bare and exposed, already known by Him, knitted together by a creative and loving father! Not only that, but God has ordained each and every one of our days! We do not get to choose the day we are born, nor typically the day that we die. God has ordained, and written down, each and every one of our days! This brings the psalmist to praise the Lord (verse 14)! These kinds of verses challenge us to value every life and every stage of life because each and everyone of us are created and love by God; from the womb to the grave. Life and death are in God’s hands!
Verses 19-22 seem out of step with this psalm, but this shows us that David is recognizing the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of God in the midst of danger, and in the midst of facing an enemy! Your bad days, when you face enemies and struggles, do not negate the reality of the character of God and His hand on your life! We struggle with these verses but David say he “hates” his enemies, not because they are His enemies but because they are God’s enemies (verses 20-22). We are called to hate evil and love what is good, but we must remember something, “Love without hatred of sin produces laxness toward what grieves the Lord, and hatred of sin without love leads to a harsh, rigid attitude” So we must learn to balance both a hatred of evil and a love for what is good, rather than focusing more on one than the other.
Lastly the psalmist ends again, “Search me O God and know my heart….See if there is any previous way in me” and this time, the psalmist gives us a “why “and “lead me in the way everlasting.”
When we ask God to search our hearts, we want Him to expose our sin for what it is, so that we can confess that sin and walk in His ways faithfully forever! We cannot hide our sin anyways; we cannot outrun the presence of God, we cannot escape the power of God. So we in response should daily say, “Lord search me and know me….expose my sin and lead me to a life that is faithfully obedient to you.”
Take the time today to pray this. God knows us perfectly and still loves us. He is always present with us, even when we try to run from Him! Let’s praise Him today because He made us, “fearfully and wonderfully” to glorify Him in all we do, say, go, and think!