Posted April 28, 2014
139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139 is one of the best known psalms in the Bible, and the truths found in it have brought great comfort to saints throughout the centuries. This week we begin our journey memorizing the chapter in its entirety (even the hard bits). We would love for you to join us on this journey and invite family & friends around you to do the same! We’ll be posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@versesproject) using the following hashtag #MemorizePsalm139 in case you want to share thoughts or connect with others memorizing with us.
The God Who Knows
Are there boundaries to the knowledge of God? The psalm begins by declaring God’s knowledge to be limitless. It is not stated doctrinally, but rather doxologically. The psalmist worships the God who knows all things; His knowledge is absolute, including even human thoughts, not limited just to external “see-able” behavior. 1 John 3:20 states that God “knows everything.” He is the King of the universe whose eyes and mind see and know all things. As you lifted your head from your pillow this morning, His eye was upon you. As you go about your day, He sees every step and motive and attitude. Across planet Earth, there is no crack or crevice or person unknown or unseen. The God of the Bible knows.
The God Who Knows You
Not only does God know all things generally, but he also knows all people personally. Often we can keep truths at a distance through broad generalizations, but never consider how these great truths affect us practically. One might say, “God loves the world” but have a much harder time saying “God loves me.” Have you ever wondered if God sees and knows you individually? Does He care about you? This psalm resoundingly tells us, “Yes! God knows me.” Not only does the God of the Bible know in general, but He knows you personally. Let me repeat that: He knows you. Not only is God’s knowledge absolute, but it’s personal. It’s not static, but active, one that searches out our path. One that’s acquainted not simply with one or two of our ways, but with all our ways.
This truth generally brings about two vastly different responses, primarily determined by one’s relationship to this God. The first response by those who do not know God or love Him is one of great terror. We like our secrecy, and God’s omniscience crashes our dark secretive parties. There is not only a God who knows, but also a perfect Judge who not only can judge us based on our external actions, but one who judges us based on our internal thoughts. If you are at odds with this Judge, this God, then this truth is terrifying! The second response to this truth from those who know and love God is one of incredible comfort. Have you ever wondered if anyone knows? Does anyone even care? God does. His omniscience is accompanied by great compassion and mercy. We see this compassion primarily in God’s Son Jesus, who came to earth to rescue and redeem a people for Himself. It was precisely because He was acquainted with all our ways and knew how bad off we really were that He left heaven, took on flesh, and died in our place.
In his classic book “Knowledge of the Holy”, AW Tozer said, “And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.”
Praise the all-knowing God who knew you at your worst and sent His Son to lay down His life for you!
Song by Robbie Seay.
Artwork by Zach McNair.