Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms. I like it so much because it details to me the attention and security provided to me through a relationship with God.
We live in a world in which people are “love starved.” Because of this “starvation” many people have little security to support their psychological well-being or their sense of personal stability and safety. Without this sense of well-being, people have difficulty connecting at a deep level. For these folks, relationships are not easy and are a source of threat. But, the need for connection does not go away. Some people respond to this need by devouring people like a hungry person would devour a bite of food. Starving people often do not stop to consider the “nutritional quality” of a potential meal – they simply eat and leave the consequences for later. This makes for a lack of discernment and causes people to enter bad relationships, only later realizing what they have done.
Others simply retreat into themselves. One way people retreat into themselves is by creating relationships that are totally self centered. They use people to meet their own needs, never really sharing anything of importance with their partner. Some retreat into themselves by considering the reward of relationship not worth the risk. They live in a profound sense of loneliness which, when occupied long enough becomes their identity.
People need to know love because it breeds the security and safety needed for a healthy life. Where will we find the type of love that can establish us in a stability that transcends circumstances and feelings?
That’s why I love Psalm 139. It leads me to the truth of such a love. In this Psalm, I learn some things about God.
First of all, I learn that God knows me. As a matter of fact, He has made knowing me a habit of His. He has made a complete, exhaustive, absolute investigation into my motivations, actions, and thoughts. In other words, He can see right through me and not in a negative way. He knows me exactly – without error.
God knows my posturing, my routines, my motions and even knows my imaginations. This type of knowing is hard for us to understand because we don’t have the exact insight that God does but His knowledge of me is so complete and accurate that He knows what I will think, do, or say before I think, do, or say it!
God comprehends my path. Just as an expert hunter has studied his prey, God has watched me and has a “master’s degree” in knowing me. He intimately knows the thoughts that come to my mind in the night as I lie on my bed. He is a partner to my inner conversations regarding my hopes, fears, and dreams.
He knows what rule I choose to walk by, what end I walk toward, and what company I walk with. He knows my next sentence before it is spoken and why I will speak it.
He has “hedged me in” – He is so close to me that the quarters He and I inhabit could be characterized as “cramped.” While He could be anywhere He wants, He has chosen to live right next to me.
He knows my past, my defeats. He knows what is beyond my sight – what I’m blind to. He has chosen to study my future and become intricately involved in it. He intersects my life both in the past and in the future. He is the only One who was there at the very beginning of the thought of me and who will be there at the culmination of all things regarding me.
Such knowledge is incomprehensible, above reason, impossible to grasp its measure, yet it is essential to my health, well-being, sense of wonder and purpose and security.
I can’t run from Him, because He won’t stop His search. When victory comes my way, He delights in my exaltation. When I sleep in the deepest pit, He watches my breathing and protects my life from demons. When darkness falls, His night vision sees as in the daytime. I am not simply a combination of sperm and egg, I was formed by His hands in my mother’s womb and had spirit words spoken over me as I drew breath.
I was made with great attention to detail. My frame was formed for my walk – my spirit was formed for eternity. I don’t need to worry about tomorrow because no demon, no hate filled group or individual, no accident of this imperfect world, no disease can take my life one day before God ordained for me to come home.
How does that affect your feelings of security? How does that change the way you live?
I want to know this in detail, and I want you to know it as well. No wonder David prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
If there is a thought within me not based upon this knowledge, change it. Knowing this takes away the anxieties of uncertainty and leads me into the peace of those who live with an eternal perspective.
In this, we find the joy of being known by God!