Psalm 139 is held in high esteem by most preachers and Bible students because it is a beautiful Psalm that emphasizes the nature of God and His personal involvement it all of our lives. David is the author of this grand Psalm.
The overall message of this Psalm is even though God is all knowing and all powerful, He cares about every individual human and wants them all to choose to love Him. If you ever start feeling like you are alone in this world and that everyone is against you, you need to pull out your Bible and read this Psalm and mediate on what is saying because it should lift your spirit and make you realize that you are not alone because God is there.
Psalm 139:1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.† 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.† 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.† 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.† 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.† 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
These first six verses describes Godís omniscience. Omniscience means having infinite knowledge or we could say all knowing. David understood that God was all knowing. God has the ability to search us and know us. He knows us so well that He even knows what are thoughts are, and He knows what are words will be before they come out of our mouths.
No wonder Paul wrote:
2 Corinthians 10:5 †bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is one thing to control you actions and what you say, but it much more difficult to control your thoughts. While you can hide your wicked thoughts in your mind, they are not hidden from God. If you do not get them under control and replace them with righteous thoughts, they will overtake you and cause you to ended saying those evil things or doing those evil things you are thinking about.
So, donít ever think that you are getting away with sin just because you fool your family and friends because God knows exactly what you are doing. He knows the intentions of heart, and He even knows what we are going to do before we do it. Godís infinite knowledge means that He know our past, present and future.
As a man by the name of Ralston notes:
The infinite knowledge of God not only comprehends every thing, great and small, whether animate or inanimate, material or immaterial, throughout the immensity of space, but also throughout the infinite periods of duration. All things, past and future, are just as clearly seen, and as fully comprehended, by the omniscient of God, as the plainest events of the present.
This idea of being all knowing is difficult for us to understand as a humans, which is why David said: ďSuch knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.Ē Later in this Psalm in verse 16, David says that God knew Him before he was even born.
In another Psalm David proclaimed:
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
David told his son:
1 Chronicles 28:9 " As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.
Solomon was given a wise and understanding heart by God (1 Kings 3:12). With his wisdom he wrote:
Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths.
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Jeremiah 32:19 'You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.
The writer of Hebrews adds this thought:
Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
We can know that God knows everything, because we have hundreds of prophecies that God made that have always come to pass. With out a doubt God is omniscience. If He wasnít, he would not be God.
Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?† 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.† 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,† 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.† 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me;† 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
This section of our Psalm deals with Godís Omnipresence. Omnipresence is the state of being everywhere at once. Again, this is another idea that is hard for us to understand, but notice how David points out that there is not a place where God is not present. Therefore there is no place that we go and hide from God.
David says it doesnít matter if he goes heaven or hell God is there. The idea expressed in verse 9 is talking about east and west. So, David is saying it does not matter how far he goes east or west, God is there. There is no place you can go that God cannot help and guide you because He is everywhere. Even if you hide in the darkest place that is void of light, it would not matter because darkness and light are the same to God because He is there.
To the faithful Christian, the thought of God being omnipresence should be comforting because it lets us know that no matter where we are or how dark it is, God is with us and can give us strength no matter where we go.
Notice what Jeremiah records God saying:
Jeremiah 23:23 " Am I a God near at hand," says the LORD, "And not a God afar off? 24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?" says the LORD; "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the LORD.
Our God is not off in distance spying on us with high powered binoculars, no He is near by because He is ever present. One man that learned from experience that he could not hide from God was Jonah.
Jonah 1:3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
Jonah thought he could hide from God, but he found out that he could not because God caused the sea to become rough and Jonah knew that God had found him. Again, this emphasizes the fact that no one can hide from God because He is everywhere and nothing is hidden from His sight.
Psalm 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.† 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.†
This third section of Scripture speaks of God Omnipotence. Omnipotence means having unlimited power. While all of creation is proof of Godís omnipotence, David focuses on creation of humans and the ability God has given us to reproduce life.
David gives God the credit for forming him and covering him in his mothers womb. David praises God for his marvelous works including how He has created us.
When you begin to think about the complexity of a human and how he is made, it will blow your mind and make you begin to understand just how powerful and knowledgably our God is. Each human body has trillions of cells falling into some five classifications. As our scientist make new discoveries about our bodies and its DNA, we get to have a better picture of just how complex the human body is including the complexity of just one cell.
Not many years back, Dr. Elton Stubblefield made a public address. He said:
that each cell at the moment of conception is supplied with a library of one quarter of a million words commanding that cell exactly how many times to multiply, and when to die. That is the reason one's nose is not as long as that of an elephant! In view of this knowledge, and it is only beginning to be unraveled and deciphered, one must admit that the words that stand at the head of these two paragraphs in Ps. 139:14 are the greatest understatement on earth.
Time does not permit us to fully explore the complexity of our bodies, but I want you to understand that every cell and every part of our body was designed and did not happen by luck or by evolution. The complexity of the human eye alone defies that it was created by a random chance. Our cell structures and how the differing parts of our bodies work together to make us live is overwhelming proof within itself that we had a designer. Of course, we know that designer is our all powerful God.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.† 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them
These verses get back to the idea of Godís omniscience and omnipotence. God knew about David being formed before it happened, and even though he was being formed in secret, that is being formed inside his mother where no one else can see with the naked eye, God could see him being formed. The phrase ďskillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earthĒ is referring to his motherís womb.
Some other passages that speak of his omnipotence comes from the following:
Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing will be impossible."
Job 42:2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
Jeremiah 32:17 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
Knowing that God has this kind of power should be comforting to us as Christians.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!† 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.
These verses teach us something that we donít think about that often, and that is that God is constantly thinking about us because He loves us and is concerned for us. Basically, David says if we try to number Godís thoughts toward us we could not number them. It is amazing enough that we have powerful all knowing God that has given us the ability to have eternal salvation, but it also blows your mind knowing that He is thinking about you† as an individual and is concerned about you. As David said another Psalm:
Psalm 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
While we ponder why, we can know with confidence that God loves us and thinks about us on a daily basis and because of that we can wake up in the morning †and know that we are still with God because He does not go away.
Psalm 139:19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.† 20 For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain.† 21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?† 22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.
David always had a passion for following the righteous pathway, but he certainly had his weak moments when he sinned against God. But overall, he hated sin and those that practiced it. Anyone who did not follow after God, he considered them his enemy and he wished God would slay them because he did not like the thought of wicked men being able to continue in their wickedness.
We would do well to have the same attitude about sin as David did. We should not join hands with those who practice sin and we should develop a perfect hatred toward sin because when you hate something you avoid it. The more we can learn to despise sin, the better off we will be. Finally, David says:
†23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;† 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
David was concerned about his own life. He understood that he may have sin in his life and not know it. If he does, he wants God to lead him in the way of everlasting life, which comes from His Word.
We should have this same concern today because it is possible for us to sin and not even know it. This will be more prevalent in new Christian because they are babes in Christ, and they are still learning what God expects from them. Sometimes the mature Christian sins without realizing it because they have never really thought about what the were doing or not doing was wrong. Hopefully, all of us have the desire to want to be pleasing to God, so let us never stop growing as Christians and learning from His Word. Let us never stop being humble enough to change our ways when we see that Godís Word demands it. As the writer of Proverbs said:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;† 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.† 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.† 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.