Reflection on Psalm 139: 1-12, 23-24

Our God Is So Great!

Sometimes we don’t let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us that they won’t like. But God already knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads, as mentioned in Matthew 10:30. Still, he accepts and loves us. His total awareness of us, therefore, should comfort us because he stays with us through every situation and in every trial, protecting, loving, and guiding us, and knowing and loving us completely.

God is omnipresent, meaning he is present everywhere. Because of this, you can never escape from his Spirit. This is good news to those who know and love God, because no matter what we do or where we go, we can never be far from God’s guiding and comforting presence.

Our God Is So Great!

There is nothing He does not know.

There is nowhere He is not present.

There is nothing He cannot do.

He has searched us and known us! Words and deeds, thoughts and motives, He knows us inside out. He knows when we sit down to relax and when we rise up to engage in the various activities of life. He can tell what we are thinking, and even anticipates our thoughts.

He sees us when we walk and when we lie down; in other words, He keeps a constant watch on us. None of our ways are hidden from Him. He knows what we are going to say before we even say it. The future as well as the past and present is completely open to Him.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” as per Hebrews 4:13. And because His knowledge of us is so inconceivably absolute, He can guard us behind and before. Ever and always, His protecting hand is laid upon us.

God’s infinite knowledge boggles the mind. Our human brains strain under the weight of the idea. It is too exalted for us to comprehend. But when we come to the frontier of our capacity to understand and can go no farther, we can still bow in worship at the immensity of the knowledge of God!

Not only is God omniscient; He is omnipresent as well. He is in all places at one and the same time. However, the all–presence of God is not the same as pantheism. The latter teaches that the creation is God. The Bible teaches us that God is a Person who is separate and distinct from His creation. Is there any place where man can evade the Holy Spirit of God? Is there any place where he can hide from the presence of the Lord? Suppose man should ascend into heaven, would he elude God there? Of course not; heaven is the throne of God mentioned in Matthew 5:34. Even if he made his bed in Sheol, the disembodied state, he would find the Lord there as well.

David said, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” The wings of the morning are an allusion to the rays of the morning sun that streak across the heavens from east to west at 186,000 miles per second. Even if we could travel to some remote corner of the universe at the speed of light, we would find the Lord there, waiting to guide and uphold us.

Incidentally verses 9 and 10 are remarkably appropriate for the age of air travel in which we live. After having lived the early part of my Christian life in the south of Pakistan, I remember taking the plane to North of Pakistan for the All Pakistan Divisional Hockey Tournament. It was my first time being that far away from my parents and home. When I stepped off the aircraft at Islamabad Airport, I remember praying and feeling the presence of God. I thought to myself, “He is here just as in Sukkur where I live.” Indeed, like David, I have never been able to escape Him.

The many aircrafts in which I flew were like the wings of the morning, taking me literally to the uttermost parts of the earth. But always there was the sense of the Lord’s presence and protection, regardless of speed or distance. So claim this promise for yourself, and share it with Christian friends who travel by air.

Yahweh’s authority extends beyond the cosmos, and his sovereignty recognizes no limits. Every human is under the power, protection, and authority of God.

Verses 11 and 12 describe that “If a person wanted the darkness to hide him from God”, he would be trusting a false refuge. Night cannot shut out the presence of the Lord. Darkness is not dark to Him. “The night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

God is absolutely inescapable. As Pascal said, “His centre is everywhere; His circumference is nowhere.”

David asked God to search for offence and point it out, even to the level of testing his thoughts and anxieties. This is exploratory surgery for offence. How are we to recognize offence unless God points it out? Then, when God shows it to us, we can repent and be forgiven. God cares even about our anxious thoughts; both little cares and devastating obsessions. Anxiety robs lives of joy. All of us, from teenagers to retirees, face crippling performance expectations, fear of the future, and the scary daily news of this dangerous present world. Our emotions lie to us, saying, “God doesn’t care” or “He isn’t involved.” Movies and television lie to us, portraying the world as though all hope is lost. Bringing our anxieties to God cools our overheated minds and connects us to him, the great comforter. Practice this prayer: “Lord, be near to me. Search my heart and mind.” If you ask the Lord to search your heart and your thoughts and to reveal your offence, you will be continuing “along the path of everlasting life.”

Once we are known by God we cannot flee His presence. He is everywhere, and He will personally pursue us, wherever we go. We will run into Him at every turn. We cannot escape Him in the darkness, even the darkness of our own souls. He is a jealous lover, and His love will not be denied.

This is the intimacy that God wants to have with us. He formed us in the womb. He knows our frame. He sees our embryo. He fashions our days. He knows our thoughts. He hears our words. He knows when we sit down and when we stand up. He protects us. His hand is upon us. He who inhabits all things is near to us. We cannot escape His presence. In the light, He sees us. In the dark, He sees us. We are the continual object of His thoughts. He searches us. He changes us. Here is true intimacy, and if we can allow God to become intimate with us, we can establish a growing intimacy with each other. We are secure in His presence and His love. We are held secure and protected in His hand forever and ever, because Our God Is So Great!

Praise the Lord! Amen.

God Bless you all.

Noel Noel