Psalm 139: Trustful Obedience to the God Who Knows Me

This pastoral passage was written for LRBC for September 21 2019.

Psalm 139 is a well known poem in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is one I have read many times, but enjoyed the opportunity to consider it more carefully a few weeks ago. In this psalm, King David reflects on the Lord God as Creator and on his relationship with him. When you have a Bible on hand, I invite you to consider the words of this poem and see if you can allow its words to become your own prayer to the Lord.

The psalm falls into four parts, each considering something about the perfect nature of God. The first part (verses 1-6) proclaims that the Lord is all-seeing. He knows all things, and in particular, he knows all things about David including everything he does and everything he thinks. This total-knowledge that God has is not bare doctrine, but something to marvel at – God knows us better than we know ourselves. The second part (verses 7-12) proclaims that God is present everywhere. There is nowhere we can go (or hide) where God does not see us. The third part (verses 13-18) praises God as the wondrous Creator who is personally involved in the intricacies of the formation of new life.

The fourth part (verses 13-24) takes an unexpected turn. The poet’s high spirits descend into a steely resolve against evil people. His motivation is an awareness of the total holiness of the Lord. But he does not exempt himself as sinless. In the final two verses (23-24), he humbly presents himself to the God who made him and knows him and from whom there is no escape. Knowing that it is impossible to run from God, he instead offers himself to God. Trusting the God who knows everything and knows him, he submits himself to be examined, corrected, and guided.

Will you likewise trust and obey your Creator? He knows you better than you know yourself, and he can be trusted to direct you in what is right.