Happy Friday! We’ll take one last look at our Psalm for the week and invite the Spirit to speak to us through the Word.
Read slowly through Psalm 139. Savor each image that David’s words bring to mind. Allow these verses to bring you comfort and assurance.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 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.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 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 phrase or image sticks with you from this Psalm?
At the start of this week we considered a question that Christians sometimes get asked, “There are six billion people in the world. You really think God cares about me?” After reflecting on Psalm 139 this week, we can answer with a confident “yes.” But even though we understand what David is teaching us, it doesn’t make God’s careful attention to every human being any less mind-blowing. If we really ponder it, it’s not hard to share David’s awe and his desire to worship God.
It’s been a difficult few months for a lot of us, and maybe you’re feeling shaken. Trust that God is right there with you. He goes before you and behind you. You are hemmed in on all sides by his grace and love. No matter what is going on in the world, what mistakes you’ve made or what shame you feel, you cannot flee from God. He not only pursues you into the dark places where you try to hide, he brings light. You are beautifully and wonderfully made, and God loves you with an unimaginable love.
The more we rest in God’s presence and trust in his guidance, the more we will hate evil that brings pain, suffering, oppression, and violence to those around us. And the more we will resist taking any part in the Enemy’s schemes. By the power of the Spirit, we will want to bring peace and justice to our world. But we have to start with inviting the Spirit to root out the sin in our own hearts.
It’s not a pleasant process, having your dark thoughts dug out and brought into the open air, but it’s an immensely freeing one. Knowing that in Christ you are forgiven and redeemed will bring joy and fresh resolve to follow Jesus even more closely. The words of Psalm 139 will bring greater and greater comfort and strength the more we submit to the cleansing power of the Spirit.
Consider memorizing verses 23–24 and praying them every day for the next week.
As God brings any “offensive ways” to mind, ask his forgiveness, repent, and allow him to lead you in a new direction. If it’s appropriate, tell a trusted Christian friend your struggle and ask for prayer.