Psalm 139- Life .

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
       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 know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid 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, O 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 would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O 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.

Growing up has a way of changing your perspective.

When I was a girl, I found this psalm a little frightening.

It seemed to me that God was watching all the time- looking over my shoulder, testing me to see if my goings and lyings and words and sittings and even my thoughts were acceptable.  And I feared that they were not.

Being hemmed in was not high on my list of desirable positions, and just the thought that there was no where to flee made me want to!


As a young woman I looked at the “fearfully and wonderfully made” portion and felt safe.  Suddenly, His hand laid upon me was comfortable and Fatherly. And I had no problem hating those who hated the Lord and counting them as my enemies.  “If only you would slay the wicked, O God!”  was my prayer when my sons were young and I wanted to protect them from those who sinned against children.

And now, when I read this psalm- I see that it is about being known.  Searched  out- through and through- cleansed, forgiven, grace granted and being led in “the way everlasting.”  It is about the journey- the steps on the journey.  Walking with the Lord, learning to make the choices that bring me closer to Him,  It’s about knowing His way and walking in it.  It is the assurance that I’m not alone- that I walk beside the Lord God, Almighty and He has been there to guide me from before I was ever born.  And the assurance that He will lead me home.

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