Psalms 139: How to Respond to God’s Intimate Love
Psalms 139 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. It paints a beautiful picture of God’s tender, intimate love and care for each of us! When we stop to consider who God is; how very great He is, it’s so humbling to then realize that He takes the time to know each of us so well. Who am I that He would consider me? Who am I that He would care about me? My life is but a breath and yet He counts me worthy of His great love! I am so thankful!
The Freedom in Being Known
O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
Sometimes I get into a prayer rut and start to get mechanical, or impersonal when I talk to my Abba. Often, it’s when I’m feeling down about myself. When I feel unworthy of His time. But when that happens it’s because I’m believing the lies of the enemy and not the truth of Scripture. My loving Lord already knows everything about me. He has examined my heart and knows my thoughts! He knows them even when I think I’m far away from Him.
Of course, I’m never really far away from Him because He goes before me and follows me. I love the way the NIV says that – “You hem me in behind and before…” It paints a word picture of such security coupled with tender-hearted care. In light of that wonderful knowledge, why am I ever anything less than authentic with Him? Is it because it’s too unfathomably magnificent for me to understand? Because once I do understand it, I’ll always come to Him just as I am and pour my heart out to Him knowing there isn’t anything I can say that He doesn’t already know. There isn’t any ugly emotion that will catch Him off guard or cause Him to look away. He already knows. I’m humbled by that thought. May it drive me to honest, intimate prayer. May I be quick to pour out my heart to Him with candid transparency!May the fact that God already knows me, so any ugliness in my heart can't catch Him off guard or cause Him to look away drive me to honest, intimate prayer! Click To Tweet
The Peace in His Presense
I can never escape from Your Spirit!
I can never get away from Your presence!
If I go up to heaven, You are there.
If I go down to the grave, You are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and Your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night –
but even in darkness I cannot hide from You.
To You the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to You.
If you’ve never been way down in the depths of despair these verses may seem a little over the top to you. I know there were times early in my life when I would read them and wonder why anyone would ever want to get away from God. But now that I have been way down in the depths of despair, these verses make sense.
When my heart was shattered into thousands of pieces, and my mind was veiled in the darkness of depression, I wanted nothing more than to be alone. Completely alone. I felt totally numb from the inside out. I wanted to find the darkest corner of the world, curl up into a tiny little ball, and just hide from everyone and everything. But, like the Psalmist, I found that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get away from the presence of the Holy Spirit living within me. He was right there every second, supporting me and guiding me. And that is what He does. Always.
Whether I’m having the best day of my life, or the longest, darkest night. Whether I am riding on the wings of the morning, or dwelling in the farthest ocean; He is always near. Even when I feel like I’m shrouded by the darkness of death, His hand sustains me. May I always rest in the security of His embrace!
The Security in His Creation
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
What other god is so connected to his people? Who but our God spoke the world into existence? What other god is so intentional with his children? The intimacy of those months in the seclusion of the womb, being delicately woven together into the marvelous and complex masterpiece that the High King of Heaven intended for me from the beginning: It is unfathomable! When I look at the world around me, or gaze up into the night sky and consider the beauty and magnitude of His creation I am stunned with wonder! He put that same care, that same attention to detail, that same mysterious complexity into every fiber of my being. He laid out every moment of every day from my first breath to my last and worked it into His intricate and righteous plan. May I be ever confident in Him, no matter the emotion of the moment, for I am always safe in His care!What other god is so intentional with his children? The intimacy of those months in the seclusion of the womb, being delicately woven together into the marvelous and complex masterpiece that the High King of Heaven intended for me… Click To Tweet
The Wonder in His Interest
How precious are Your thoughts about me, Oh God. They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up, You are still with me!
I am brought to tears when I consider this. The eternal, all powerful, all knowing, mighty God of the universe thinks about ME! Little, insignificant, foolish, weak, broken, and sinful ME! His thoughts about me are many and they are precious, and He never ever leaves my side! May this knowledge humble me as I realize that I am not worthy, but yet I am so very loved. May it cause my eyes to remain ever focused on Him and my thoughts to dwell on His Word.
Do you ever wish SOMEONE would just choose YOU? My precious friend, GOD chose you! Declare this truth to yourself and the world every time you wear this t-shirt or hat!
My Response – From Confusion to Surrender to Love Returned
O God, if only You would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
They blaspheme You; Your enemies misuse Your name.
Oh Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate You?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose You?
Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for Your enemies are my enemies.
It really is confusing that such a mighty yet personal God would allow sin and death to corrupt His perfect creation. When He is so near to His people and so caring, why do we still suffer? Why does He allow us to be harmed by wickedness instead of destroying it with His mighty power? Despite my life-long study of the Word, I don’t have a solid answer to these questions. I don’t see that Scripture clearly defines His motives. I know that He is patient, wanting everyone to come to repentance, but He is certainly capable of protecting His own from the influences of evil at the same time. Yet that’s not what He always chooses to do. I don’t know His motives, but I do know this: He can be trusted. He is far above me and I won’t have all the answers this side of eternity. I have all the information I need though, to believe that what He does is right. Always.
My role is simply to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. May I be ever vigilant! May I allow the freedom, the peace, the security, and the wonder of His love to overshadow any confusion. May it instead lead me to surrender to His sovereignty and return His overwhelming love.I don't always understand God, but I know this: He can be trusted! He is far above me, and what He does is always right. Click To Tweet
May these last verses be the life-long cry of my heart.
Search me, Oh God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
*How about you? What response does the knowledge of God’s intimate love produce in you? How does this chapter make you feel about God and about yourself? Let me know in the comments below.
***Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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