Tag Archives: psalm 139

Known (Psalm 139)

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit lonely lately, a bit invisible. Fall is approaching, schools are starting back, but nothing is the same. Nothing is normal. And this is the first entire season that I’m feeling it.

At the beginning of the year, we had a few months of mom bible studies and kid activities before everything shut down. The summer was a little isolating, but a lot of groups that meet during the year usually take summer off. So this will be the first full season that groups aren’t coming back to meet again.

And it feels isolating. So, I thought I would share some encouraging thoughts from King David in Psalms 139 to remind us that we aren’t invisible or alone.

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.

Psalm 139:1-4

The word “search” in versus one means to penetrate like in a mining operation, to examine intimately. God isn’t giving a cursory glance at who we are or what we are going through. He searches the dark recesses of our hearts, the nooks and crannies of our anxieties. Only he has the ability to search and know this deeply into who we are.

The phrase “from afar” in verse two means that God isn’t constrained by time or distance. God moves outside of those limits which allows him to be with us at all times. Even though we are social distancing right now, God isn’t. He is there beside you, holding your hand, catching your tears, wrapping you up in a hug, right here and right now, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

In verse three, David uses the two phrases – “my going out” and “my lying down.” Maybe “going out” isn’t quite applicable to us right now, but these phrases cover both our activity and our rest. He is with us in all the things we do, whether we are achieving our goals or we feel stagnate in them. Sometimes I feel like I need to be doing, need to be accomplishing, in order to feel the eye or favor of God. But even when we are sick or sleeping or feeling unmotivated, He is still with us, . He knows exactly what we are going through and doesn’t stop loving us.

And that final verse just rounds out his knowledge of who we are. We are so well known by the Creator God, that he knows what our reactions will be before we even make them. He doesn’t wince or walk away from them. He chooses to walk through those experiences with us, never giving up his love for us.

We have a God who is with us. But he isn’t just with us, isn’t just sitting in the room reading a magazine, or playing on a smart phone, as we go about our lives. He is actively engaged. He is loving us. He is seeing us. We are not alone, because in truth, we are known by a Creator God who wants to be in relationship with us.

Psalm 139:1-5

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

Psalms 139:1-5 (NIV)

“You know me.” A quote I heard this week spoke about the desire not just to be heard, but to be understood. I talk a lot, though not quite as much as I did when I was younger. And I think part of that is I started telling the difference between whether someone was really listening to me, or if they were just waiting for their turn to talk. When the latter happens, I tend to quiet down and let them talk, much preferring to give up my time to talk than to try to fight my voice back into the conversation.

But the God of the heavens knows me. He knows the words on my tongue before I speak them. He knows my thoughts. And not just knowing me, but hems me in behind and before. He protects me. He doesn’t leave my side. He wants to be near me. It’s one of the most astounding things in the Bible, that the creator of the universe knows who I am. Even when I feel overlooked or isolated, the truth is that I am not. I am seen. I am heard.

And you are seen, and you are heard. You are not overlooked. You are not forgotten. You have not been isolated. The God of the heavens sees you and knows your ways, your thoughts, every word you will speak. Not necessarily because he is all-knowing (though he is), but because he is familiar with you. Like a parent knowing their child because they watched them grow up. That is God to you and to me. He is our Father. He won’t forsake us. And that is pretty cool.