God and Me
Text: Psalms 139:1-24
Introduction: Visiting the jail with my Granddad, the preacher. Two boys about my age who were on their way to prison for stealing cars.
God's Knowledge of Me Ps 139:1-6
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
By the omniscience of God, we mean that He knows Himself and all other things, whether they be actual or merely possible, whether they be past, present, or future, and that He knows them perfectly and from all eternity. He knows thins immediately, simultaneously, exhaustively and truly. He also knows the best ways to attain His desired ends. - Henry Thiesan "Lecture in Systematic Theology"
In Hebrews 4:13 it says, "There is no creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
But please understand that God's omniscience is nothing more than a definition in a book to me, unless I realize how that attribute of God affects me. This is what David is saying in the first 6 verses of our passage. He says, O Lord,
You have Searched and Known me
You know when I sit down and when I stand up
You understand my thoughts from far away
You surround the places I walk and where I lay down
You are acquainted with all my ways
You know my words before I speak them
You know where I am going and where I have been.
For David this intimate knowledge that God had of him, was not an invasion of his privacy but a wonderful reassurance of God's care and protection of David as His child. God knews all things but in that knowledge God knows him personally. God knew where he was and what he was thinking. God knew where he was going and where he had been and in that knowledge, David saw the love of God.
Awed or Affronted by God's Knowledge of us
What about us are we awed by God’s knowledge of us or are we affronted by it? Do we rejoice as
David did, that this knowledge is more than just one of God's attributes or characteristics, but is to us a reflection of His personal interest in us. The difference between awe and offense, probably depends on my relationship with the One who knows me as no other can.
If I am his child, then this knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high, I cannot comprehend it. But if I am not His, if I refuse to acknowledge the God who created, loved and paid the price of his own son’s life for my redemption, then such knowledge should bring terror not awe. The world and all its woe cannot hide the child of God from the love of his heavenly Father nor can the world and all its sin hide the rebel from the wrath of a holy and righteous God. You cannot choose to hide, but whether you rejoice in that truth or whether you deny that truth is your choice.
As a child of God, I can appreciate and find strength in God's knowledge of who I am. I will be awestruck by what God and I share, this intimacy that God has with me, this tender open relationship which His omniscience has made possible.
Do you realize that God is the only being in all the universe you can be totally honest with? You certainly can't hide anything so be honest, be open and be yourself. You should just enjoy the wonderful fellowship of God.
When I think of this passage, I can’t help but think of the first time David may have been made aware of God’s knowledge of him.
Illustration. God looks on the heart.
Samuel looking at Jesse's sons for the next king of Israel.
Samuel looked upon the outward form but God was looking upon the heart, in 1 Samuel 16:7, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature: because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
The Lord looks upon the heart. I think of this and wonder what did God see when he called me to salvation and service? What did he see when he called you? And most importantly what is God seeing right now as He looks on our hearts?
Transition: David continues to revel in his relationship with God.
From God's Omniscience he now considers God's omnipresence, in vs. 7-12
God's Presence with Me Ps 139:7-12
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Definition: Omnipresence: By the omnipresence of God we mean His infinitude in relation to His creatures. Because God is immense, He is omnipresent. - Henry Thiessen. (Isn’t that a great definition? When was the last time you hear the word infinitude?) What Thiessan is saying is that God fills the universe therefore His is everywhere in the universe.
I like this definition from the American Heritage Dictionary: Present everywhere simultaneously.
Paul said this in Acts 17:27, "He is not far from each one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being"
David's definition, really his description, is again very personal, in vss 7-8, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
David was not trying to run from God, he was rejoicing in the character of God as it impacted his life. Look at vs 9-12
Your hand shall lead me. Your right hand, the hand of power, shall hold me.
In verse 11, “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
David is saying, I may be convinced that I am covered in the utter darkness of the night, but your presence turns the darkness into light.
He expresses his thankfulness for God being with him at all times in all the blackest trial, sorrows and pain.
Comforted by God's presence with us
Isn’t this also one of the greatest promises for the NT believer? Next to the promise of eternal life, don’t you find hope and reassurance knowing that God is always with you?
Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you." in John 14.
In Matthew 28 He said, "Lo, I am with you alway. Even to the end of the world."
We often underestimate and take for granted this powerful promise.
Illustration; Jesus in the ship when the storm strikes.
"Why were you so afraid?" he asks the disciples. Well why shouldn’t they be afraid? They were in an open boat in the middle of a terrible storm. Had Jesus promised them a miracle or safe passage? No! Then why would he reprimand them about their fear?
It was because even though he had not made any specific promise about that specific storm. They still had one thing that should have given them courage. They had Jesus with them in the fury of the storm. All they could fully count on was his presence and that was more than enough.
Why are we so afraid in the storms of our life? Isn’t Jesus in the ship of my soul and as the song says, "no tempest can swallow the ship where lies the master of ocean and earth and skies." (Can you hear the crescendo?)
Listen, I never can be sure of the outcome of every trial I go through, but I can always be sure of the One who goes through that trial with me.
The theologian, J. I Packer wrote a book titled, "Knowing God" In it he said, "Living becomes an awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent God.
This is the truth that David realized but still he was not through praising God. Next he is humbled by the power of God as it directly affects him. Look at vs 13-16
God's Power Over Me - Ps 139:13-16
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Here we see a description of God’s omnipotence as it is experienced by David. Now, let me give you another deep, theological, mind expanding definition.
By the omnipotence of God we mean that He is able to do whatever He wills. - Henry Thiesan. (Is your mind expanded? That is a pretty succinct definition. God does whatever God wills to do.)
Jeremiah said, "Ah, Lord Jehovah; behold, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by they great power and by thine outstretched arm; there is nothing too hard for thee." – Jer 32:17
And once again notice how David views God power. He sees it as it has affects him.
You have possessed my reins. (You control my path. You steer me where I must go.)
You have covered me in my mother’s womb. (the Hebrew word , saw- kak, here means to fence in or weave a covering over for protection.)
He says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (The idea here is that God had an awe inspiring purpose in the creation of David.)
Finally, David says, "I can only praise you, when I see your power in my very existence and creation."
Are we Humbled by God's Power as seen our very life?
Do we see the wonder of God's gift of life and the vessel that holds it? The miracles and intricacies of the human body and mind. And then to realize that of all the millions of possible combinations of DNA, chromosomes and traits, of all the many possibilities that could have been, I was the final result and God was the one who guided that process. Our life, our very existence, is the surest reminder of God's power.
Let me deal with a related issue for just a moment. Let me say a few words about the greatest legal sins in our country today.
Abortion and homosexuality are more than just another sin. They are in truth blasphemy against the very person of God as creator. Both sins deny God's power and sovereignty over life, the family and creation. These sins make man the arbitrator of what is right or wrong, who lives, who dies, what the family is and how it should be built. There are things that God alone can ordain. Sins like these ignore God’s will and God’s power in life itself, and that is blasphemy of the worst kind. Only God can claim the authority over our life in the womb or after we are born.
Let me give you a few verses that deal with God power over life.
Isaiah 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
Psalms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Ezek 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine:
Transition: David considers God's omnipotence, His omnipresence and His omniscience and he comes to an undeniably conclusion. I wonder this morning, will yours the same?
Conclusion God's Will for Me Ps 139:17-18, 23- 24
17-18 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
23-24 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.
David's complete surrender to God.
David is overwhelmed by the full realization that God, with all His power and knowledge, is thinking of him.
How precious are your thoughts toward me. How vast is the sum of them, they are more than the sand of the sea. When I wake up, I realize that even when I was asleep and could not think of you, you never quit thinking of me.
Because of God's intimate and loving knowledge, David then comes to a complete surrender and submission to God.
Search me, know my heart, he cries. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any part of me that would grieve you and then, lead me in the path of eternal life.
When you think of God and his power, knowledge and love what will you do?
Will We Surrender?
What else can we do but surrender fully, when the One who has all power, all knowledge and is in all places at all times, reaches down into the deepest place of all, my heart, and whispers, "I know you. I know what you're going through. I know every detail of your life, every victory, every joy, every failure and every sorrow. I knew them all before you were born. I am the One who holds the reins of your life. I am the One whose hands covered you in the womb. I am the One who watches over you through the night and it is by My power that you rise in the morning.
Now, yield yourself completely that you might fully experience the joy and wonder of my knowledge, presence and power in your life today.