Psalms 139 God And Me
Text: Psalms 139:1-24
Psalmist considers the 3 great attributes of God; Omniscience,
Omnipotence, but not from the standpoint of a theology lesson, but rather from the impact of these in his life.
How do the attributes of God impact and affect me? Do I have an experiential knowledge of what God's power can do? What his knowledge of me means? Or of the comfort that His presence can bring?
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."
Prov. 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Beholding the evil and the good.
Jeremiah 23:23–24 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.
But God's omniscience means nothing unless He knows me. As David says, "
Searched and Known me
Know my Sitting and rising
Know my thoughts from far away
Surround my walk and lying down
Acquainted with all my ways
Know my words before I speak
Know where I am going and where I have been
For David this knowledge was not an invasion but a reassurance of God's interest in David.
Transition: David revealing his deep relationship with God goes on.
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.
Henry Thiessen: By the omnipresence of God we mean His infinitude in relation to His creatures. Because God is immense, He is omnipresent. These first three attributes are compound words using the Latin prefix omni, meaning “all.” Thus omnipresent means “present everywhere at once.” God is present in all his creation, but in no manner limited by it.
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"
1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
Jeremiah 23:23-24 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
David's understanding of God’s attribute is again very personal: Read vs 7-8
Psalm 139:7-8 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
Psalm 139:9-12 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.
David rejoices because, God’s hand shall lead me. God’s right hand, the hand of power and intimacy, shall hold him. He may be surrounded by the darkness of the night but God’s presence turns it into light.
He was expressing his thankfulness for God being with him at all times in all trials, in all sorrows and in all pain.
Comforted by God's presence with us.
God’s presence with us is the greatest promise for the NT believer next to eternal life.
Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you." in John 14:18. In Matthew 28:20, “He said, "Lo, I am with you alway. Even to the end of the world."
We underestimate and take for granted this powerful promise.
Example: Jesus in the ship when the storm strikes. "Why were you so afraid?" Did he promise them a miracle or safe passage? No! All they could count on was his presence with them in the storm. And that was all they ever needed. Why are we so afraid? Jesus is in the ship of my soul and "no sorrow can swallow the ship where lies the master of ocean and earth and skies."
I never can be sure what will be the outcome of every trial we go through, but I am always sure of who goes through that trial with me.
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.
Next, David is humbled by the power of God. 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.
God is all-powerful and able to do whatever he wills. Since his will is limited by his nature, God can do everything that is in harmony with his perfections. There are some things which God cannot do because they are contrary to his nature as God. He cannot look with favor on iniquity, deny himself, lie, or tempt or be tempted to sin. Further, he cannot do things which are absurd or self-contradictory, such as make a material spirit, a sensitive stone, a square circle, or a wrong to be right. – Henry Thiessan LIST
Jeremiah said, Jeremiah 32:17 "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."
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
And how does David view God power? Again, as that power affected him personally and intimately.
He says, Thou has possessed my reins. The Hebrew here literally means, you made my inward parts, the mind, the soul, the seat of desires and affection. (Barnes) Thou has covered me in my mother’s womb. Covered means to weave, to knit together. It has the idea of God working by His power has woven together the very fabric of the child in the womb of the mother and built that frame of tissue, bone and blood around the reins, the soul of child.
By your power I am fearfully and wonderfully made. David is saying, "I see the incredible and awesome power of God in my very existence and creation."
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
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.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine:
Perhaps no other passage of scripture is clearer that a child in the womb is a child more than Luke 1:41 and 44. Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
In this passage John the Baptist, still in his mother Elizabeth’s womb, leaps with joy when Mary, Jesus’s mother, speaks to Elizabeth. Showing that even before he was born John by the power of the Holy Spirit recognized Jesus, the Messiah, Son of God and Savior of mankind. Before he was born, the prophet John the Baptizer was touched by the Holy Spirit. That could only happen if the unborn John was a person who had been created by the power of God.
God’s curse on those who hurt the innocent
Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
David in this Psalms had considered God's omnipotence, His omnipresence and His omniscience and he comes to an undeniably conclusion.
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 in all His power and knowledge is thinking of him.
How precious are thy thoughts toward me
How great is the sum of them, more than the sand.
When I wake up I realize that even when I was asleep and could not think of you, you never quit thinking of me.
David because of God's intimate love for him, then brings himself to an even more complete and full surrender and submission to God.
Search me, know my heart
Try me, and know my thoughts
See any part of me that would grieve you and then
Lead me in the path of eternal life.
David began by stated that God in his power and knowledge had searched him, but he now ends by asking God to search him again in order to cleanse him as one who loves and serves God.
Will you surrender to God?
What else can we do? When the One who has all power all knowledge and is in all places 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 even born. I am the one who holds the reins of your life. I am the one whose hands covered you in your mothers 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 to me that you might fully realize my knowledge, presence and power in your life."