Read: Psalm 139:1-16; 23-24
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
What Does it Mean?
There is no escape from God. That old adage, “you can run but you can’t hide” is certainly true when it comes to the all-seeing, all-knowing God. Personally, I find it really quite comforting that there is absolutely nothing about me that God doesn’t know. It means that He knows everything – even the things that I wish had never happened – and He still loves me. It also means that we we do things we know that we shouldn’t do, we don’t need to feel ashamed, or feel the need to hide from God in case He finds out, because He already knows – and He still loves us.
This Psalm also reminds us that God is everywhere – it means that wherever we go, whatever we have to face, whatever situations we find ourselves in, God is right there. There is nowhere we can go that God isn’t there. He is omnipresent, all the time.
Thirdly, David explains that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives before we are even conceived. This gives us a significance and value hat we often fail to comprehend. There are things that God intends for each individual to do that no other human being can do – His plans and purposes are unique for each of us.
David finishes the Psalm with the words “search me and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts”. His invitation is for God to challenge any strongholds of sin, with the intention to change and grow into living a life “in the way everlasting”. It’s a bold statement to make – especially since our human nature is to try and hide our strongholds of sin. But David has come to rest in the truth of God’s all-seeing, all-knowing nature, and, rather than being fearful and ashamed of his shortcomings, he is focused on the truth that God hems him in “behind and before” and has laid His hand upon him.
The Bottom Line
The Apostle Paul tells us that “there is no no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). There is nothing we can do that will lead to God condemning us – and that truth should give us the confidence to ask God to search us and know our hearts that we might be transformed, day by day, in Christ-likeness.
How does it make you feel to know that there is no escape from God? Are there things in your life that you have tried to hide from Him?
How does it make you feel to consider that God has a detailed plan and purpose for your life? What do you think God is calling you to do that only you can do?