Psalms 139

1 (138-1) <Unto the end, a psalm of David.> Lord, thou hast proved me, and known me:
2 (138-2) Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.
3 (138-3) Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off: my path and my line thou hast searched out.
4 (138-4) And thou hast foreseen all my ways: for there is no speech in my tongue.
5 (138-5) Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old: thou hast formed me, and hast laid thy hand upon me.
6 (138-6) Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach to it.
7 (138-7) Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy face?
8 (138-8) If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I descend into hell, thou art present.
9 (138-9) If I take my wings early in the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea:
10 (138-10) Even there also shall thy hand lead me: and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 (138-11) And I said: Perhaps darkness shall cover me: and night shall be my light in my pleasures.
12 (138-12) But darkness shall not be dark to thee, and night shall be light all the day: the darkness thereof, and the light thereof are alike to thee.
13 (138-13) For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast protected me from my mother’s womb.
14 (138-14) I will praise thee, for thou art fearfully magnified: wonderful are thy works, and my soul knoweth right well.
15 (138-15) My bone is not hidden from thee, which thou hast made in secret: and my substance in the lower parts of the earth.
16 (138-16) Thy eyes did see my imperfect being, and in thy book all shall be written: days shall be formed, and no one in them.
17 (138-17) But to me thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
18 (138-18) I will number them, and they shall be multiplied above the sand, I rose up and am still with thee.
19 (138-19) If thou wilt kill the wicked, O God: ye men of blood, depart from me:
20 (138-20) Because you say in thought: They shall receive thy cities in vain.
21 (138-21) Have I not hated them, O Lord, that hated thee: and pined away because of thy enemies?
22 (138-22) I have hated them with a perfect hatred: and they are become enemies to me.
23 (138-23) Prove me, O God, and know my heart: examine me, and know my paths.
24 (138-24) And see if there be in me the way of iniquity: and lead me in the eternal way.

Images for Psalms 139

Psalms 139 Commentary

Chapter 139

God knows all things. (1-6) He is every where present. (7-16) The psalmist's hatred to sin, and desire to be led aright. (17-24)

Verses 1-6 God has perfect knowledge of us, and all our thoughts and actions are open before him. It is more profitable to meditate on Divine truths, applying them to our own cases, and with hearts lifted to God in prayer, than with a curious or disputing frame of mind. That God knows all things, is omniscient; that he is every where, is omnipresent; are truths acknowledged by all, yet they are seldom rightly believed in by mankind. God takes strict notice of every step we take, every right step and every by step. He knows what rule we walk by, what end we walk toward, what company we walk with. When I am withdrawn from all company, thou knowest what I have in my heart. There is not a vain word, not a good word, but thou knowest from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. Wherever we are, we are under the eye and hand of God. We cannot by searching find how God searches us out; nor do we know how we are known. Such thoughts should restrain us from sin.

Verses 7-16 We cannot see God, but he can see us. The psalmist did not desire to go from the Lord. Whither can I go? In the most distant corners of the world, in heaven, or in hell, I cannot go out of thy reach. No veil can hide us from God; not the thickest darkness. No disguise can save any person or action from being seen in the true light by him. Secret haunts of sin are as open before God as the most open villanies. On the other hand, the believer cannot be removed from the supporting, comforting presence of his Almighty Friend. Should the persecutor take his life, his soul will the sooner ascend to heaven. The grave cannot separate his body from the love of his Saviour, who will raise it a glorious body. No outward circumstances can separate him from his Lord. While in the path of duty, he may be happy in any situation, by the exercise of faith, hope, and prayer.

Verses 17-24 God's counsels concerning us and our welfare are deep, such as cannot be known. We cannot think how many mercies we have received from him. It would help to keep us in the fear of the Lord all the day long, if, when we wake in the morning, our first thoughts were of him: and how shall we admire and bless our God for his precious salvation, when we awake in the world of glory! Surely we ought not to use our members and senses, which are so curiously fashioned, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. But our immortal and rational souls are a still more noble work and gift of God. Yet if it were not for his precious thoughts of love to us, our reason and our living for ever would, through our sins, prove the occasion of our eternal misery. How should we then delight to meditate on God's love to sinners in Jesus Christ, the sum of which exceeds all reckoning! Sin is hated, and sinners lamented, by all who fear the Lord. Yet while we shun them we should pray for them; with God their conversion and salvation are possible. As the Lord knows us thoroughly, and we are strangers to ourselves, we should earnestly desire and pray to be searched and proved by his word and Spirit. if there be any wicked way in me, let me see it; and do thou root it out of me. The way of godliness is pleasing to God, and profitable to us; and will end in everlasting life. It is the good old way. All the saints desire to be kept and led in this way, that they may not miss it, turn out of it, or tire in it.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 139 Commentaries