Psalms 139

1 To the Overseer. -- A Psalm by David. Jehovah, Thou hast searched me, and knowest.
2 Thou -- Thou hast known my sitting down, And my rising up, Thou hast attended to my thoughts from afar.
3 My path and my couch Thou hast fanned, And [with] all my ways hast been acquainted.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, Lo, O Jehovah, Thou hast known it all!
5 Behind and before Thou hast besieged me, And Thou dost place on me Thy hand.
6 Knowledge too wonderful for me, It hath been set on high, I am not able for it.
7 Whither do I go from Thy Spirit? And whither from Thy face do I flee?
8 If I ascend the heavens -- there Thou [art], And spread out a couch in Sheol, lo, Thee!
9 I take the wings of morning, I dwell in the uttermost part of the sea,
10 Also there Thy hand doth lead me, And Thy right hand doth hold me.
11 And I say, `Surely darkness bruiseth me, Then night [is] light to me.
12 Also darkness hideth not from Thee, And night as day shineth, as [is] darkness so [is] light.
13 For Thou -- Thou hast possessed my reins, Thou dost cover me in my mother's belly.
14 I confess Thee, because that [with] wonders I have been distinguished. Wonderful [are] Thy works, And my soul is knowing [it] well.
15 My substance was not hid from Thee, When I was made in secret, Curiously wrought in the lower part of earth.
16 Mine unformed substance Thine eyes saw, And on Thy book all of them are written, The days they were formed -- And not one among them.
17 And to me how precious have been Thy thoughts, O God, how great hath been their sum!
18 I recount them! than the sand they are more, I have waked, and I am still with Thee.
19 Dost Thou slay, O God, the wicked? Then, men of blood, turn aside from me!
20 Who exchange Thee for wickedness, Lifted up to vanity [are] Thine enemies.
21 Do not I hate, Jehovah, those hating Thee? And with Thy withstanders grieve myself?
22 [With] perfect hatred I have hated them, Enemies they have become to me.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me, and know my thoughts,
24 And see if a grievous way be in me, And lead me in a way age-during!

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