Life, even at its best, can be a challenge. For some, it is more than a challenge; it overwhelms. Sometimes we may feel all alone facing our problems, but Psalm 139 tells us God is always with us. The writer of the Psalm, King David, of ancient fame, was a musician, singer/songwriter, shepherd, warrior and king. In his life he experienced a broad spectrum of events and emotions, ranging from triumphant joy to desolation and many times, the prospect of imminent death!
David was first a protective shepherd, and later, a beloved king, but he did not always make perfect choices. The same passion that made him a dedicated warrior and ardent worshiper, when misdirected, influenced him to fall into adultery, and then murder, in an attempt to cover his sin. If anyone had a reason to want to hide from God, surely it would be David. In Psalm 139, he writes:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways."
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me..."
God knows not only his every move, but his every thought as well. God knows what David is going to say even before David decides to say it! God is in front of him and behind him! It might seem he is agonizing over the fact he has no privacy from God; but is he? Read what David writes next:
...such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain."
Not only is David acutely aware that God has him surrounded, he declares this knowledge is more wonderful than he can comprehend. He seems to find comfort in the fact God has him hemmed in! In triumph or tragedy, honor or guilt and shame, David welcomed God's continual presence. Once we understand how much God truly loves us, we can do the same.
- Why do you think David is okay with the fact that God is always present, always watching, reading his mind and anticipating his every move? Does David know something about God that you don't know?
- How comfortable are you with the idea of God knowing your every move and thought?
- How does David seem to feel about being completely "hemmed in" by God?
- Do you have a sense of being hemmed in by God?
- Does that feel intrusive or comforting?
- How has your feeling of being "hemmed in" by God changed over time?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments form below! For email updates of future meditations and other articles, subscribe to my "Spiritual Pathways" column using the "subscribe" button near my profile photo.
Scripture quotations are from:
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.