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Sunday, June 4, 2017 pm                                        Psalms Index

O LORD, You Know Me
PSALM 139

         Tonight we examine another psalm of David.  It is a general psalm the exact time in his life is unknown.  It was assigned “to the Chief musician”.  This psalm tells of the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God.   One commentator noted that the psalm can be divided into 4 stanzas, with the first 3 outlining the qualities of God.  There are definite lessons for us to glean from this psalm. 

 I.                     You know me (1-6)

a.       David begins this psalm by noting that God has searched (examined) and knows him.
God knows everything! (He is Omniscient) - Hebrews 4:13, cf. John 21:17 – When Jesus challenged Peter after His resurrection, Peter rightly said, “Lord, you know all things…”
1 John 3:19-20 says it precisely – when we are of truth we can assure our hearts, because God is greater than our hearts – and knows all things.
Matthew 10:29-30 – Jesus noted, even the very hairs on our head are numbered – He knows what we need

b.       We notice also the God “searches” with the idea that He tests. 
We are reminded that God is a righteous judge.  He not only tests our actions, but He also tests the heart.  Psa. 11:4-5 – He tests the righteous; Psalm 44:21 tells us that He knows the secrets of the heart.   When He judges us – it will be a righteous judgment – 1 Peter 2:23 – Jesus committed Himself, even in His sufferings “to Him who judges righteously.” See also Romans 1:32, 2:5, etc.

c.        YOU know my sitting down and rising up (when I rest and get up).  He knows when we are failing to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16).
He even understands our thoughts afar off – He knows our motives!  He knows if we are trying to lie to ourselves or to others OR to Him.  He is aware of our ways and the paths we take.
We will get away with NOTHING around Him!

d.       Even our every word is known by Him – cf. Matthew 12:35-37.  Heed also the warning of James 1:26 – if you THINK you are religious but don’t control your tongue, your religion is vain to Him.  

e.       Vs. 5 speaks of being hedged in behind and before – we cannot escape from Him. (More on this in our next section). 

f.         Vs. 6 - Speaking of His knowledge, David said, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me.  It is high and I cannot attain it.” (vs. 6).  His ways are past finding out – Romans 11:33 – Paul acknowledge this. 
Man today thinks he can outsmart God – but a day of reckoning is coming!  2 Corinthians 5:10.

g.       Let God’s omniscience serve as a warning to us!

 II.                   I cannot hide from You (7-12)

a.       David, in a series of questions notes that you cannot hide from God.  You cannot run away from God. 
He is everywhere (omnipresent).    Jeremiah 21:23-24 echoes the same idea as our present text. 
Often criminals, and those who have something to hide seek to find a place where they can escape.

b.       Vs. 7-10 - Vs. 5 has already noted God has hedged us in.  So where will we go?
We cannot ascend into heaven (climb the highest mountain), nor hide even in the grave (even in death, you CANNOT escape Him [some today seek to escape the troubles of this world through suicide – how tragic that is, as not only do you trouble others in this life, you commit a sin to which you must answer before God (You shall not kill)]. 
You can’t get on a boat in the ocean and hide (or a ship in space).  He can find you in the deepest and darkest cave, and everywhere.  

c.        Vs. 11-12 - Night doesn’t hide you from Him either.  His light (God IS light – 1 John 1:5) exposes darkness and the things done in darkness – John 3:18-21.  Ephesians 5:13 tells us that all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light.
Philippians 2:9-11 – Christ has been exalted and EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess.  As with His knowledge, so His presence warns us to prepare for judgment. 

d.       Consider this another way as well – if we are righteous, God is always with us! 
Isn’t that David’s point?  Consider vs. 10 – even there Your hand shall lead me, and hold me.   IF anyone understood what it meant to flee, it was David.  He spent years fleeing from King Saul, and even later in his life from his own son, Absalom.  But He also knew that no matter where he went, the LORD God was with him and that was His comfort.
This is an oft repeated message in God’s word - Psalm 23:1, 4, Matthew 28:20 – spoken of Jesus, Hebrew 13:5 – I will never leave you nor forsake you;
Revelation 21:3 – God will be with His people and be their God!

 III.                 You created me (13-16)

a.       An example of God’s omnipotence – He is all powerful. 
Matthew 19:26 notes, “With God all things are possible”
Genesis 18:14, “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” spoken to Sarah around age 90.
Ephesians 1:19-20 appeals to the mighty power of God.  Ephesians 3:20 – able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think.
Romans 1:20 speaks of His eternal power being seen in creation, and Godhead (divine nature) so that man is without excuse.

b.       Vs. 13-16 - As an appeal to His power, think of the wonder of creating a baby.  Giving substance that spark of life.  In this case, life made in the image of God (cf. Genesis 1:26-27). 
Notice how David describes his being formed and God knows who he is, even his “substance”.

c.        This is a powerful passage about the beginning of life.  Certainly, even while in the womb – one is a person as he/she develops.  Many passages imply that BEFORE birth, God recognizes the unborn – Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”   
Exodus 21:22-25 governs men fighting and harming a pregnant woman.  If harm comes to the child – it will be life for life, eye for eye, etc.
How truly tragic that man today will murder millions of unborn, innocent lives (abortion) overwhelmingly because of selfishness, lack of self-control, gross immorality and cheapened value of the sanctity of life.    Hebrews 13:4 – God will judge fornicators and adulterers.

 IV.                 The precious thoughts of God to me (17-18)

a.       Considering who God is, He cherishes everything that comes from God. 

b.       First, he realizes they are precious – to be valued and honored.  To be treated with reverence.

c.        Second, he knows he is not smarter than God in any way.  Even in greatness of wisdom and understanding, our thoughts and way and nothing compared to His.   Isaiah 55:8-9 – he thoughts and ways are higher than ours.

d.       This attitude will move us to respect His words and will.  Let His word be what governs us. 

 V.                   Perfect hatred (19-22)

a.       After acknowledging who God is, we find here David’s imprecatory request of God.   Deal with your enemies.   David requests that God slay the wicked (vs. 19).  He wants a godly world!

b.       David’s resolve – he wants nothing to do with the ungodly – cf. Ephesians 5:11, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. 
Proverbs 4:14-15 says, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.
YET, there is a time to hate – Ecclesiastes 3:8.

c.        Depart from me, you blood thirsty men – we need to abstain from every form of evil – 1 Thess. 5:22.
They speak against God wickedly, and in vain use His name – HOW do we feel about those that speak hatefully of God and profanely use His name?  Does their conduct turn our stomach and cause us to want to flee? OR, have we grown somewhat insensitive to such language because it has become the norm around us – in our entertainment viewing habits, those we associate with, etc.?

d.       Do I not hate them who hate God? (Vs. 21-22) – David here speaks of hatred. 
We sometimes hear we should not hate anyone.  If by hate you mean, desire to do harm and despise – that is a true statement.  Matthew 5:43-45 describes how to treat our enemies.  Romans 12:17-21 calls for us to do good and let God take care of the vengeance.
Hatred is a strong emotion that can consume us.  We are to love as we have seen – Prov. 10:12, Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
HOWEVER, there ought to be a loathing of ungodly conduct to the point where we want NOTHING to do with it.  And if someone persists in that type of behavior – we need to sever ourselves from them! This is the “perfect hatred” David speaks of – they are his enemies, because they are HIS enemies!
FRIENDS – if someone is an enemy of God, are they your enemy as well? AGAIN, do not mistreat them, BUT DON’T make them your ally either!
AND, what are going to do about it?  Are you working to make the world around you a better place?  Are you willing to work for forgiveness when needed?  Are seeking to make an enemy of God, your brother in Christ?  Etc. 

 VI.                 Search my heart (23-24)

a.       David’s final request – Search my heart.  David wants to be right with God. 

b.       Our prayers ought to include similar requests.  Knowing we cannot hide from God, we need to surrender to Him and ask Him to expose what needs to be changed and to lead us in the path that leads to everlasting life. 

 

What a powerful psalm?  May we live our lives with the realization that God is here and in control.  Let Him control our lives and let us remove whatever might stand in the way of that.  Think about it.