From God’s Hand, In God’s Care

January 24, 2014

Psalm 139:1-18

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

Psalm 139 is a great passage celebrating the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God.

•    Omniscience means that God knows everything!
•    Omnipresence means that God is everywhere in His fulness at once!
•    Omnipotence means that God is all powerful and can do anything!

As David – who authored this psalm – contemplated these attributes of God, he thought of them in relation to himself – and he was awed and amazed!

The first six verses are about God’s omniscience concerning us:

    O LORD, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down
    and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  You comprehend my
    path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is
    not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.  You
    have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such
    knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.

God knows what we do, what we say, and even what we think!  Ouch!  That would get me into a lot of trouble but for one thing – Jesus Christ died to save me, to forgive my sins.  I wear His righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21) and I am …accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6).

No wonder David cries out, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.”  Or, as it says in The Living Bible, “This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe!”  It should be glorious and wonderful to believing Christians!  But it should be terror to one who has not entered into His grace through the blood of God’s Son!

But he goes on to consider God’s omnipresence, and in verses 7 through 12 David writes:

    Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence? 
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You
    are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts
    of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall
    hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”even the night shall
    be light about me.  Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night
    shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

There is no place where we can hide from God!  As Christians, there is no place we can go, there is no situation we can be in, that the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, is not right there with us!  This is the basis of the promises Jesus gave us in Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20: “I will never leave you nor forsake you….I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Again, this should be a great comfort to Christians, and a great terror to unbelievers!

In verses 13 through 16 David turns his thoughts to God’s omnipotence as it relates to the human being – the amazing design of how life grows within the womb, and the plan the Lord has for that life:

    For You have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother’s
    womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous
    are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden
    from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts
    of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your
    book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were
    none of them.

David’s thoughts deal not just with the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development of the unborn child, but the fact that even before one day of life is lived after birth, all that life seen and recorded!  Yes, I believe that God has given us free will to make our choices in life.  But God – being God who is omniscient – knows what those choices will be before even one is made!  No wonder David falls back to praising God in verses 17 and 18 and confessing he can’t understand it all: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.

This Psalm seems to take a sharp left turn in the next four verses, and we will continue this study in Monday’s blog.

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