Help! God knows all about me: Some thoughts from Psalm 139


The Psalmist is certain that God knows everything about him, and he does not find that easy to accept. It is easy to identify with the Psalmist because we too find it hard when someone knows all about us, there are those parts of us we want to keep private from everyone else. When we realise that God knows all about us, we soon realise he knows even the parts we are not aware of us. We can deceive ourselves, but we cannot deceive the Lord. As we will see he knows everything about us perfectly, at times I find this scary and other times it is a great comfort. So let us look at this powerful Psalm and let it speak to us today.

You have searched me, LORD,
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, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

The Psalmist stands with awe before God, knowing that God has searched him and knows absolutely everything about him. He finds it hard to comprehend God’s knowledge of him. The Psalmist is aware that every movement he makes God knows all about it and every thought is perceived by God.  sometimes it gets scary when a friend seems to know our thoughts before we express them. The Lord knows ALL our thoughts without exception. He knows exactly what is in our minds as we walk down the street,as we watch TV, as we sing songs of worship, in other words he knows us at our best and at our worse. This knowledge makes him realise that he cannot comprehend this type of understanding, it is too lofty for him.

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.

The Psalmist wants to escape from this all-knowing, all-seeing God, but there is no escape, wherever he goes in the created order he is present before God, there is no hiding place. Although he continues to talk about hiding from God, he begins to understand that there is a good side to this, wherever he is God will guide him. The thickest darkness cannot conceal him from the all-seeing eyes of his God. When we begin to grasp this we will see that if God knows all about me,he can guide me perfectly. However we feel we can know God understands the situation better than we do, this should be a comfort to us. so often we say no one understands me, this is not true because the Lord God almighty understands me better  than I understand myself.

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,  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.

The psalmist stops trying to run because he realises the wonder of God’s knowledge about him. He meditates on the way he was formed in the womb and sees the intricate way he was created. He knows that God has been watching over him since the moment of conception, now he begins to grasp how wonderful God’s knowledge of him is. He cries out withwonder awe that God’s thoughts towards him are precious and vast. He finds comfort in the fact that even when he sleeps, God is thinking about him. He realises that he live before a gracious and holy god and this causes him to cry out,

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

He understands how hateful sin is to God and wants to see righteousness triumph, obviously as Christians we are told to love our enemies, but we must see the passionate commitment of the Psalmist to God’s righteousness. We are also called to passionately pursue God’s righteous kingdom.

The Psalm starts with the Psalmist trying to escape from God, but it ends with an invitation to God to do the very thing which had initially scared him.

 Search me, 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.

This prayer is one that we need to pray and as we do so we will know that as God searches us, he is able to deal with anything that is wrong within us. The knowledge that God knows all about us should deliver from anxiety because we are in the almighty hands of the one who loves us with an everlasting love. As we look at the cross of Calvary we see God’s love and wisdom displayed, here is healing and forgiveness  for everyone who accepts the saviour as their Lord.

When we have been searched by the eyes of almighty God we become conscious of our dependence upon him for guidance for the rest of our days. The Psalmist ends by finding the knowledge of God’s all-seeing knowledge as a comfort to him.

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About pneumaandlogos

David Rollings was born in Luton in1949 and raised by my Christian parents in the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist denomination( Hyper-Calvinistic} in the sixties I rebelled against this background and got involved in left-wing politics. I became a Christian in 1969 and soon started reading Francis Schaeffer's books and came to embrace a Christian Worldview. I had the privilege of being on the staff of L'Abti Fellowship from1975 - 1979. After L'abri I studied at London School of Theology where I gained my BA.(1983) A few years later I studied for my MA by distance learning with The Nazarene Theological College Manchester (1999) For the last 22 years, I have been an elder of Shoreham-by-Sea Baptist Church. I also regularly attend the Christian Doctrine Study Group of the Tyndale Fellowship.
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