Psalm 139: God who sees and knows everything
the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
Comments: In this remarkable second of eight psalms
by David at this point, we have the greatest ‘insight psalm' in
the Bible where David recognises just how the Lord knows and sees
everything about him. The Lord knows all his activity [v.1-5]
and that in itself almost seems too much for him [v.6], but then
he realises that not only does the Lord see his activity, He goes
before him and behind him so that, in fact, there is nowhere on
earth David could go where God's presence wasn't [v.7-12]. But
then, as he thinks on, he realises that the Lord has known him,
been involved with him, and watched over him from the moment of
conception onwards [v.13-16] and as he speculates on God's ‘thoughts'
he realises that God knows absolutely everything and that too
is almost too incredible to comprehend [v.17,18]. But then he
looks out from himself and is aware of those around him who were
unrighteous [v.19-22] and has to conclude by asking the Lord to
search him through and through so he can avoid being like them
[v.23,24]. This is a psalm that is not only about the greatness
of the Lord but also of David's insights into how that greatness
relates to him.]
The first group of things listing what the Lord knows about him
have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
He feels this is almost too much to take in
knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
He realises there is absolutely nowhere he could go to escape
can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are
I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,'
the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
He realises God was involved with him from conception
you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths
of the earth.
eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written
in your book
before one of them came to be.
he is amazed by what he knows of the Lord
precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand –
when I awake, I am still with you.
His only anxiety is over the unrighteous
only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against
have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
He ask the Lord to search him and lead him in righteousness
me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Comments: Our response to this psalm must surely be
to recognise that all these things are equally true of us. In
the light of this, we must recognise that we can only stand secure
before this Holy God, who sees and knows everything about us,
in the light of His Son having died for us and thus to take and
deal with all those things about us that make us less than perfect.]
to Psa 140