Because God knows us, He is trustworthy
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
One of the amazing realities of Psalm 139 is that it affirms God as one who knows each of us better than we know ourselves. Because of His infinite knowledge, David reveals in this passage that God is trustworthy. He begins by stating, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.” (139:2). God not only knows us, but He also remains present with us and we are unable escape His sight. “If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.” (139:8).
Later in this Psalm, David provides a reminder that God’s knowledge and presence are reassuring, not terrifying, because they show God’s love and commitment to His people. “Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well” (139:14).
David also proclaims that God may be counted on to exonerate His people from all trespasses and guilt. “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (139:17). The promise here is that the people of God abide in His favor! The penalty of our trespasses is death but God gives life.
As I reflect on this prayer, I am reminded that David provides an example of how to live a life of confession before a holy and righteous God. This Psalm is more than just statements of God’s affirmation toward those who trust Him. The deep reality in this passage is that we are unable to search our own hearts adequately and identify the presence of sin. Unfortunately we are inundated with hidden sinful motives that stand in opposition with the righteous deeds that God desires. The beauty of Psalm 139 is that this prayer provides a model of asking God to search our hearts, repent of sinful deeds that He reveals, and ask Him to remove “any harmful way” in us and “lead us in the way everlasting.” I want to challenge you to meditate on Psalm 139 and place your hope in our trustworthy God!
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