The ever presence of God
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. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:1-12
We have a tendency to praise God for blessings we have received; which is right. But David, from the text, praised God for who He is. Real praise should ascend to this level or else we will never be what God wants us to be. In this prayer offered by David to God, he begins by praising God for his perfect knowledge of him. There is nothing about us that is hidden from God. He knows when we sit down and rise up (v. 2). He knows our thoughts before they ever come into our heads (v. 2). He knows all about our ways (v. 3). God knows our ways, our dealings, and our concerns. Furthermore, even before we utter word, the Lord knows it completely (v. 4). The psalmist was in awe to such knowledge by God. Even though he could not comprehend God’s omniscience, he is grateful for who God is (v. 6). God is intimately acquainted of all our ways. Knowing that God knows us well helps us understand His ever presence in the lives of believers. He is to be praised because He is present everywhere. He is behind us and before us (v. 5). No one can escape from him. To drive this home, the psalmist proposes various places of hiding—heaven (v. 8), hell (v. 8), the uttermost parts of the sea (v. 9), darkness (v. 11)—but all are to no avail. By using these imageries, David is not suggesting that he wanted to escape from God, although there is a temptation to do so, but is rather underscoring the sheer impossibility of it. Because of this awareness of God’s presence, we can be rest assured that God will be there to touch our lives.