He Knows You (Psalm 139)
One of the most amazing experiences for any parent is the birth of their child. From the moment you hear that you’re going to have a child, to the months leading up to that day, to all the getting ready and getting packed into the car, to rushing off to the hospital, to the moment that little package is delivered into the world, it’s an amazing experience.
As soon as your child “arrives”, almost instantly, you begin to study him or her. As a parent, you stare at this little wonder. You look at the hair – the color of the hair and the length of the hair if the child has any hair. You look at the shape of the nose and the mouth. So many things stand out to you as you examine this little child. You look at their arms and their legs and their little hands and their little fingers. You run their fingers through your fingers. To be sure, having a child is an amazing experience and as a parent, you study that child and you examine them. You want to know everything about them. And, the same is true in the spiritual life.
God Knows Us Intimately
God looks at us the same way. He examines us and knows everything about us. One of the things you now know, if you’ve come to Christ and watched the Signs of Your Guide course, you know that God knows everything about you. This truth is precious and taught throughout Scripture, but perhaps most clearly in Psalms 139.
Jesus said in one of his sermons that God knows the number of hairs on your head. In Psalms 139 the writer goes into a great deal more detail about how well God actually knows us. In the first six verses, the psalmist unveils powerful truths about God’s omniscience, namely, that God knows everything in connection with us and our lives. He knows when we stand up and when we sit down, and everything in between. He knows when we travel and when we return home. He knows every word we’re going to say before the word is ever formed on our tongue. All this is too wonderful for us to grasp, says the psalmist.
God knows everything about you. He knows how you’re doing right now. He knows about your trust in Christ. He knows about your life circumstances and your needs. Nothing has escaped Him. It’s truly amazing to meditate on how well God knows you; He knows every single detail of our lives equally and effortlessly well, without remainder.
But, not only that, in Psalms 139:7-12, the psalmist begins to unpack God’s omnipresence. Not only does the Lord know everything about us, but He is also present with us and to us no matter where we are. There is no place we can go where God is not. There is no place we’ve been that He was not there first. And, there’s no place we will be that He will not be there ahead of us and with us.
The psalmist says, if I go to the east or if I go to the west – out into the Mediterranean – wherever I end up, He’s there. If I should go to heaven or be cast down to Sheol, with the dead, God is there. There simply is no place too dark for God to see clearly. He can find me. He knows where I am and is present with me. This is wonderful knowledge to the psalmist, far exceeding both his and our abilities to comprehend. Wherever we go, wherever we are, the Lord is present there with us.
So, wherever you are today, whatever circumstances you find yourself in, God is present to you there. God is present in those circumstances. You can turn to Him for mercy, strength, joy, and forgiveness. He is present there.
Next, the psalmist moves on to praise God’s omnipotence, that is, His power, design, and wisdom in forming the psalmist himself. Surely, the psalmist says, in verses 13-16 that God framed our very mind, our very heart. Surely He knew me before I was ever born. He shaped me in my mother’s womb. In fact, in verse 15 before any one of my days ever came into existence, God knew it. Each day was recorded in his scroll. So great is His knowledge and His love, care, and concern for me!
So, the question is, Why would God teach us these things? Why does He instruct us personally regarding His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence? Why does He connect these truths about who He is with the details of our very lives? Well, if you notice: the psalm begins in verse 1 with the idea that God examines His people. It then ends in verses 23-24 on the same note.“Examine me and probe my thoughts. Test me, and know my concerns. See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!”
God teaches us these things about Himself in connection with our existence and lives so that we might implicitly trust Him, know Him, worship Him, and serve Him joyfully. He instructs us in this fashion so that we might follow Him on the Pathway with Christ, knowing that He is in control of all things. As Paul says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). The Lord graciously nourishes our hearts with these words; through them, we learn about the future God has for us in Christ, that He’ll be present with us, to us, and for us in every circumstance, in every situation (cf. Rom 8:31-32).
God bless you as you think about Psalm 139 and life with Christ on the Pathway, knowing full well that God knows every detail about you and your life.