Psalm 139 NIV
A psalm of David
1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My 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.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I have always enjoyed reading Psalm 139 after becoming a believer in God. Each time I took away a better understanding of my life in relationship to an unseen but ever-knowing Spirit. Still, some knowledge learned was too over my head for my understanding. Such as, how the egg from my mother and sperm from my father carried the information they needed to make me. Science has indeed taught us much about the human body. But knowledge and understanding gained of my spirit comes from connecting to God who knew me before I existed and my parents ever laid eyes on their beautiful baby girl. IMHO.
I also couldn’t understand fully why the psalmist started his writing one way and ended it another. He starts out acknowledging God had searched him and knew his undertakings. God knew his thoughts even before he’s able to give them words and push them thru his lips. He writes how God knew him before he was ever formed in his mother’s womb. Yet as he’s writing this psalm, David is aware of the presence of God’s hand upon him. God had led and guided David through all his mistakes and successes. He knew that his choices alone, and their consequences, determined his right relationship with God. He understood of God’s great mercies and love for him. Mercies that are new every morning!
Then, I read that David wants God to destroy the wicked. I couldn’t understand the portrayal of David’s attitude here. He explains that the wicked speaks God’s name in vain, and unkind words towards Him. His choice is not be around them if they had nothing better to say. After all the kindness God had shown David, he thought they should feel the same as him. And because they don’t they should be destroyed. Then I finally understood after reading verses 23 and 24 again. David realized that he was in the wrong warrior mindset. He realized the need for God to search his heart again. After all, he could be harboring unkind thoughts against those God had shown mercy, as well. He needed God to bring those thoughts to light, to help him deal with them. He needed God to lead him; to bring his thoughts towards others in line of how God thinks of him, as being “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He knew God could handle the rest.
Sometimes I find myself with thoughts of others needing a good wallop across the head. But Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies, to love them as we love ourselves. A tall order, but it can be done. When I come with child-like faith realizing how “fearfully and wonderfully” I’m made and the hands by which I’m formed stops the wallops across my head, I can do it. Ephesians 6:12 teaches us: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Pray on warriors!
Thanks for taking the time to read this Faithful Friday.