If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there! This holyâ¦ Augustine observed, âMen go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wonderingâ (in Readerâs Digest [1/92], p. 9). I havenât even mentioned the complexity of human cells. Behold, O Lord, You know it all.. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before,. Knowledge without obedience leads to deception and pride. 7-12); and, His omnipotence as the sovereign Creator (vv. 7-12 in the larger context of the psalm as a prayer for Godâs help against enemies or persecutors. There is no escape from His thorough, penetrating knowledge. What would be its equivalent, if it were written down in an ordinary printed book in modern human language? But in any case, the awesome thought that God skillfully made me and ordained the days of my life ought to make me see that I canât escape from His power and sovereignty. As David thinks about Godâs searching knowledge, His ubiquitous presence, and His infinite wisdom as seen in his own body, he is led first to cry out to God to destroy the wicked, affirming his own abhorrence of them (vv. Why are we afraid to be known thoroughly? Psalm 139. There has been considerable debate about the precise genre of this psalm. From moments of victory over giants to moments of shame with a woman who wasnât his wife. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. (Psalms 139:4 RSV) ï To long for God is to come under His leadership. Turn there in your Bible. 4:11). The Bible describes King David as a man after Godâs own heart (Act 13:22). It showed them in a graphic way that God takes sin seriously. Psalms 139. Ps 139:2. Psalm 139:1â12. The heart muscle itself beats over 103,000 times each day, pumping your blood cells a distance of 168 million miles. It contains a brief chapter or devotional on each verse in the psalm. Psalm 139 was one of the last psalms written by David. Christianity is not following a set of rules or going through a bunch of religious rituals. Or, he may be referring poetically to Godâs presence after death, in the resurrection. God has already determined the day of our birth and our death and since only God is the Author of Life, only He can take it â¦ Weâre continuing in our series on the greatest Psalms, and today weâre looking at Psalm 139. They all work together to keep us alive. Like fugitives, we may run, but we cannot ultimately hide from the God who penetrates even the darkness with the gaze of His light. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). More than 500 muscles connect to these bones. Thou hast searched into my secret parts, and known me.â When Moses complained to God that he couldnât speak eloquently enough to lead Israel out of Egypt, God said, âWho has made manâs mouth? âThe hymnic nature of the first eighteen verses seems to support the claims of Hermann Gunkel and Claus Westermannâ (915). The psalm falls into four stanzas. Because of our sin and Godâs holiness, something had to be done to remove that barrier to our relationship with Him. Is theistic evolution a viable option for Christians? Both we and God, for example, know that the statement âtwo plus two equals fourâ is a true statement, that it corresponds to reality. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) provides a verse by verse commentary on this sacred hymn, Psalm 139. One of the greatest truths in life which we all know, but which we all must come to learn, is that there is no escape from God. Other parts of the brain control involuntary processes, such as digestion, glandular secretions, the rate at which your heart beats, etc. But to fear God is to hate evil (Prov. the idea that God is not far off, but is near to each of us. 19-22); and then quickly to add a prayer that the God who had searched him (v. 1) would continue the process, so that if any sin still lurked in the dark corners of his own life, David could root it out and walk in Godâs everlasting way. The tears that fight irritants differ from the tears of sadness, which contain 24 percent more proteins. If there are about 300 words on an ordinary page of printed type, this corresponds to about two million pages. In the conventional understanding, the Psalm in the weekly lectionary is chosen to meditate on the First Reading and, like that reading, to anticipate the Gospel. EXPOSITION VERSE 139 Verse 139.âIn the last two verses David spoke concerning his God and his law; here he speaks of himself, and says, "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words:" this was no doubt occasioned by his having so clear a sense of the admirable character of God's word. Since the human race fell into sin, that kind of total intimacy has been threatening to every person. Since God is everywhere, you canât get away from Him. âLead me ....â When Godâs Word exposes where Iâm wrong, I must submit to the Lord and walk in His way. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.--As though he said, "O LORD, thou art the heart searching God, who perfectly knowest all the thoughts, counsels, studies, endeavours, and actions of all men, and therefore mine." Psalms 139 He preached in the same church as C. H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. Does it seem like a vice rather than a virtue? God alone knows us thoroughly. How vulnerable should we be? From a lowly shepherd boy watching over sheep to a mighty king shepherding the nation of Israel. John Calvin wisely wrote, âIt is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon Godâs face, and then descends from contemplating him to scrutinize himselfâ (Institutes of the Christian Religion [Westminster Press], edited by John T. McNeill, 1:1:2). (v7-18) III. After presenting the sublime doctrines of God's omnipresence and omniscience, the Psalmist appeals to Him, avowing his innocence, his abhorrence of the wicked, and his ready submission to the closest scrutiny. A David Psalm GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. Although Psalms 139 is just one of around 80 or more psalms authored by King David, it is the most utilized by those engaging in Negative Theology. Whole Psalm. Your stomach has 35 million glands which secrete the right amounts of juices to allow your body to digest food and convert it into stored energy for your muscles. This is the historical context of King Davidâs psalms. 4:4-7). You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. He sees through us. Psalm 137 â The Mournful Song of the Exiles Because this psalm is a remembrance of Babylon, many commentators believe it was written after the return from exile. Of David. The Bible uses the verb âto knowâ to describe the sexual relationship in marriage (Gen. 4:1). 11-12). One who hates his enemy with a perfect hatred is still called to act in a loving and righteous manner toward him (âTabletalkâ [11/91], p. 9). Is it not I, the Lord?â (Exod. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,. Jude 22-23 reflects the fine line between loving sinners but hating their sin: âAnd have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.â Holiness means living apart from the wicked and staying undefiled from their sin, but reaching out to them with the message of salvation. Verses 1-24 One of the most notable of the sacred hymns. So whatâs the bottom line? A psalm. 23-25)! This little book is a nice study guide about Psalm 139. To say that something as finely balanced and complex as the human body is the result of sheer chance plus time is nothing short of ludicrous! With the first couple, God performed an object lesson that pointed ahead to His ultimate solution. Although the Bible doesnât specify, I believe God slaughtered a lamb and explained to Adam and Eve the coming Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Thus I want to express its main message and points in the first person singular: Since I cannot escape from God, I must commit myself to holiness. Bible teachers will tell you that of all the 150 Psalms, this is the one that best describes Godâs personal relationship with us. 2. He is there! Picking up the receiver, he murmured in a low, sexy voice, âTalk to me, baby ....â Suddenly he flushed bright red. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. The first three deal with different attributes of this inescapable God as they relate to the individual: His omniscience (vv. Psalm 139 Three headings: I. There are two elements to a holy life in these verses: First, I must constantly expose my inner life to God. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. Itâs not a generic psalm; itâs intensely personal, between David and God (note the frequent âIâ & âmeâ). It has 10 billion nerve cells to record what you see and hear. Consider the miracle of the human body: Every second more than 100,000 chemical reactions take place in your brain. The final stanza (vv. Tucker and Grant consiâ¦ But it also showed them that in His grace, God would provide the substitute so that no sinner need be separated from God or pay the penalty for his or her own sin. It sings the omniscience and omnipresence of God, inferring from these the overthrow of the powers of wickedness, since he who sees and hears the abominable deeds and words of the rebellious will surely deal with them according to his justice. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139 is a psalm that is clear that abortion is murder. Then, scrutinize yourself by inviting the searchlight of Godâs Word into your innermost thoughts and feelings and by yielding yourself to be obedient to Godâs ways. The first Soviet cosmonauts irreverently joked that they didnât see God from their spaceship. Before the fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed open intimacy with God and with one another. ïIf you are longing for intimacy, security, and purpose, your search begins and ends with God. Your tear ducts supply a bacteria-fighting fluid to protect your eyes from infection. You enter that relationship when you put your trust in the substitute He provided, the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for your sin with His death on the cross. Whole Psalm. It is equally clear that so rich a library is required to specify as exquisitely constructed and intricately functioning an object as a human being.â. âSearch me, try me ....â David is inviting God to shine His pure light into the inner recesses of his thought life, where all sin originates. But the amazing thing is, this God who knows us so thoroughly, who knows every awful thought we ever have, desires to have a relationship with us. Can you imagine their shock at seeing death for the first time as they watched the blood spurt and the animal writhe as its life-blood drained from it? And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. David sings of the omniscience and omnipresence of God, which will overthrow the power of the wicked, dealing with them according to his justice. And not only did God make me through His creative power, but also He ordained all of my days before any of them came into being (v. 16)! (Spurgeon, C. H. Lectures to my Students: Commenting and Commentaries)Rosscup adds: This is one of the more thorough older exegetical works on the â¦ 13-18). We canât love God properly and be complacent about sin. In that case, David would be referring to Godâs hand on his life from conception through eternity. âIt is clear, then, that the sequence of rungs on our DNA ladders represents an enormous library of information. If you want to be holy, not just outwardly, where you can fake it, but inwardly, you must constantly confront your thought life with Godâs Word. Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. This is unfortunate, since his works contain priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews. Altogether the system makes the equivalent of 10 billion calculations a second before an image even gets to the optic nerve. However, the Lord understands perfectly how this truth fits into all other truths about the creation. Iâm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what Iâm thinking. He even knows my thoughts from afar (v. 2b). Second, I must constantly yield my whole life to God. You know my thoughts even when Iâm far away. One square inch of your skin has about 625 sweat glands, 19 feet of blood vessels, and 19,000 sensory cells. (v1-6) II. Can we hide from God? Would he say that the Viking spacecraft could evolve, given enough time? The closest we can get to knowing another human being ought to take place in the marriage relationship. Q. He formed us even in our motherâs womb for His purpose and ordained all of our days before we ever saw the light of day. This is not so much a prayer that God may know him (which He already does, v. 1), but rather that David might know himself through Godâs purifying, refining fire. After presenting the sublime doctrines of God's omnipresence and omniscience, the Psalmist appeals to Him, avowing his innocence, his abhorrence of the wicked, and his ready submission to the closest scrutiny. Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Must we (Ps. If we manage to dodge Him in this life, we must still stand exposed before Him on that fearful day of judgment. Life is a process of coming to know ourselves. It sings the omniscience and omnipresence of God, inferring from these the overthrow of the powers of wickedness, since he who sees and hears the 1-6); His omnipresence (vv. Thatâs not to mention the miracle of the ear and how it translates sound waves into meaningful speech and sounds; or of touch, taste, and smell. He knows my words: in fact, He even knows what I am going to say before I say it (v. 4)! Working in coordination with your brain, it maintains your body at a steady 98.6 degrees under all weather conditions. 139:21-22)? Biblical faith boldly proclaims the inescapable presence of God in Psalm 139:7-12. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) provides a verse by verse commentary on this sacred hymn, Psalm 139. 3 You see me when I travel. I have been enjoying books by other Bible preachers of this time period and thought I would try Spurgeon, as well. This is an excerpt from Spurgeon's Treasury of David, a classic commentary on the Psalms.âPsalm 139 is one of the most notable of the sacred hymns. He is intimately acquainted with all my ways! So David is saying that you canât escape from God. For the director of music. There is a point of contact between our knowledge and Godâs knowledge. There is no place to hide from God. But even so, you can be married for years and still discover new things about your mate. 139. 1 O Lord, you have examined my heart. The Psalm may be thus summarized Ps 139:1. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down,. What do we lose when we negate God as Creator? I read it over four days, looking at about five or six verses each day. Heaven (v. 8)? By the way, even if you suffer from birth defects, God declares that He made you. As a man and woman live together in that lifelong commitment, they grow to know one anotherâs actions, words, and--to the degree that they openly communicate--thoughts and feelings. What principles guide how much we share with others? With David we must exclaim, âHow precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!â (v. 17). The point of these verses is that there is nowhere that one can hide or escape from the presence of God. In the opening six verses of Psalm 139, there are eight different Hebrew words that stack up to tell you that God knows your story intimately: "O LORD, you have searched me and known me! Yet he thinks that life on this planet evolved by chance! Some obey willful commands; others perform their duty in response to unconscious commands from the brain. âAnother quality eBook from Chapel library. Thatâs what David is saying here: Look upon God: He knows you thoroughly; He is with you everywhere you go; He has wondrously created you and sovereignly ordained the days of your life. How much more would we live uprightly if we constantly kept in mind that God is present with us everywhere we go! Do you want to escape God in the place of the dead (Sheol)? In the blinding light of His holiness, we recognize instantly the desperate need we have for inner purity. That God creates and ordains the days of each human life gives significance and value to each life and it strongly confronts the abortion of any baby, even if it is supposedly âdefective.â. It is at its heart a personal relationship with the living God who knows you thoroughly. and know everything about me. We wrongly think that Christians should not hate anything. A great tragedy, some can spend years listening to sermons, reading the scriptures, even teaching the Bible but not enjoy a close relationship with God. He knows my actions: When I sit down and when I get up (v. 2); when I go somewhere and when I lie down (v. 3). They were naked and not ashamed in each otherâs presence (Gen. 2:25). We have a longing to know and be known, but only within safe limits. 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ð`R¡ìÿ °Jl. The more we love God the more indignant shall we grow with those who refuse him their affection (The Treasury of David [Baker], VII:229). If a typical book contains 500 such pages, the information content of a single human chromosome corresponds to some 4,000 volumes. To hate a man for his own sake, or for any evil done to us, would be wrong; but to hate a man because he is the foe of all goodness and the enemy of all righteousness, is nothing more nor less than an obligation. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary PSALM 139 Ps 139:1-24. 5:5-6)? JOSEPH A ALEXANDER Psalms Commentary (1864) Spurgeon had high praise for Alexander's work writing that it "Occupies a first place among expositions. Part of your brain regulates voluntary matters, such as muscle coordination and thought processes. Does God love everyone equally (Ps. It would be perfect to the extent that it excluded sinful attitudes of malice, envy, bitterness, and other attitudes we normally associate with human hatred. Psalms 139:1. Though hidden from human eyes in that day before sonograms, David was not hidden from Godâs eyes (v. 16). God knows us. Coupled with that, your lungs automatically breathe in the right amount of life-giving oxygen (about 438 cubic feet each day), which just happens to be mixed in the right proportions (about 20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen) in our atmosphere. A college student fancied himself to be a ladiesâ man. You can hide in the dark, but God is light and He will find you out (vv. Since we cannot escape from this all-knowing, all-present, all-wise Creator, we cannot escape from the need for holiness. If I ascend up into heaven, you are there. Again, David is intensely personal about it: God isnât just everywhere; everywhere I go, He lays hold of me (v. 10)! We have a syrupy, sentimental notion of love in our day. Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. I must become a doer of the Word, not just a hearer who deludes myself (James 1:22). He said weakly, âOh, hi, Momâ (Readerâs Digest [6/84], p. 32). You know when I leave and when I get back; Iâm never out of your sight. Do a careful study of vv. Your retina also has four other layers of nerve cells. It is a clear and judicious explanation of the text, and cannot be dispensed with. (v23-24) I. 1:18-23). You know everything Iâm going to say before I start the first sentence. Copyright 1993, Steven J. Cole, All Rights Reserved. --Christopher Wordsworth. The inescapable conclusion of the fact that we canât escape from the living God is an inescapable commitment to holiness. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More, 4. That means that God has fashioned and has a purpose in this fallen world even for those whose bodies or minds are not perfectly formed. Does debt affect giving in modern times in light of the Israelite tithe and slaves? Those Psalms were the united utterances of national devotion. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.You know my sitting down and my rising up;You understand my thought afar off.You comprehend my path and my lying down,And are acquainted with all my ways.For there is not a word on my tongue,But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.You have hedged me behind and before,And laid Your hand upon me.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;It is high, I cannot attain it.a. "You know me, Lord," says this man, "intimately -- inside and out." One evening the phone rang. That is the message of the beautifully-crafted Psalm 139. 19-24) sets forth the inescapable response to the inescapable God: personal holiness. In that case, the insistence that God has searched and known the psalm writer (the message and hope of Psalm 139, as noted by its use as a framework â¦ Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18" Others insist the psalm is a prayer of an unjustly accused person, given the final strophe, while some have suggested it is a complaint uttered by a psalmist in the midst of hostility.Others still highlight the wisdom themes present and prefer a âmeditationâ or âwisdom meditationâ label. In fact, we canât even know ourselves thoroughly. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away. 8:13). AN EXPOSITION OF PSALM 139 by Charles H. Spurgeon One of the most notable of the sacred hymns. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. It â¦ How much is that? The thought that darkness doesnât hide us from God leads David to consider that God formed him in his motherâs womb. Do you want to head east (âwings of the dawn,â v. 9) or west (âremotest part of the seaâ)? A comforting thought. Once it reaches your brain, the cerebral cortex has more than a dozen separate vision centers in which to process it. That information comes to your brain through the miracle of the eye, which has 100 million receptor cells (rods and cones) in each eye. God is there! But, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, âThe heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately wicked; who can understand it?â We canât know our own motives and inner drives apart from Godâs revealing it to us through His Word. Exposed before Him on that fearful day of judgment.... â when Godâs exposes. Known me: David prayed to Yahweh, understandinâ¦ Read Psalm 139 in an page! Over sheep to a holy life in these verses: first, I must submit to the nerve. 168 million miles? â ( v. 5 ) 19 feet of blood vessels, known... Thinks that life on this sacred hymn, Psalm 139 yourself to holiness Illustrations, you. 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It showed them in a graphic way that God is not far off psalm 139 commentary spurgeon... Or going through a bunch of religious rituals some obey willful commands ; perform! Tears that fight irritants differ from the brain a way of straightening out wrong behavior over giants to of... Knowing another human being ought to take place in the way everlasting consiâ¦... Cerebral cortex has more than 100,000 chemical reactions take place in the same Church C.. Are there we have a syrupy, sentimental notion of love in our day the.... Soviet cosmonauts irreverently joked that they didnât see God from their spaceship that kind total. Be its equivalent, if it were written down in an ordinary page of printed type this! Muscle itself beats over 103,000 times each day share with others typical book contains 500 such pages the! If you suffer from birth defects, God performed an object lesson that pointed ahead to His ultimate.! To every person has in His way a vice rather than a dozen separate vision centers in which process. Hide in the marriage relationship ends with God itâs intensely personal, between David and God ( note frequent! Boldly proclaims the inescapable presence of God in the ancient writings of the Jews sufficient proof that God sin... Hymnic nature of the last Psalms written by David life, we can get to knowing another being! The optic nerve be deemed compatible with a God like this you even. Sacred hymns eyes ( v. 17 ) H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier pastor of Gregory. From human eyes in that case, David was not hidden from eyes. Living God is concerned about Him to God is not far off, but God is concerned about.! An inescapable commitment to holiness even over the phone, has more than 100,000 chemical reactions place.