Psalms 139

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

1 Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
3 You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, Lord.
5 You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me.
6 This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.
It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
7 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I go up to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
9 If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
10 even there Your hand will lead me;
Your right hand will hold on to me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light around me will be night” —
12 even the darkness is not dark to You.
The night shines like the day;
darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.
17 God, how difficult Your thoughts are
for me to comprehend;
how vast their sum is!
18 If I counted them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand;
when I wake up, I am still with You.
19 God, if only You would kill the wicked —
you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me —
20 who invoke You deceitfully.
Your enemies swear by You falsely.
21 Lord, don’t I hate those who hate You,
and detest those who rebel against You?
22 I hate them with extreme hatred;
I consider them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalms 139 (HCSB)

Parallels

God can see out across all of time like waves on the horizon of Heaven. He sees you — every version of you. He sees the selfish and selfless, wise and foolish. He sees your darkest shame and proudest joy. He sees you in the present and the past just as clearly as he sees you in the future.

In fact, he sees every possible version of your future — all the alternate versions of what you might become with different choices and circumstances. He knows your greatest potential and the greatest threats to your destiny. God exists outside of time and has the amazing ability to see all these versions of you at once. The good and bad — the past, present and future — are all intertwined in his eyes.

We’re accustomed to seeing ourselves as we are today. We assume God sees us the same way, but God’s feelings for you are like the light from stars. When you appreciate the beauty of a starry night, it can feel as if that moment were arranged just for you. But the light from the most distant of those stars has been traveling for thousands of years just to meet your eyes as you glance up.

Meanwhile, the nearest stars only had to shine their beams for a few years to reach you at that same time. They’re all part of an ancient symphony God choreographed to reach you at that exact moment. It may seem haphazard, but God tapped his baton to start the concert long before your great grandparents were conceived.

Imagine living for another hundred years, and you’re lying on your back looking up at the sky watching the constellations take shape early in the evening. That future celestial concert has already been written, and it’s speeding toward that future moment with you in the backyard of a home you don’t even own yet on a cloudless night at that exact moment you will walk outside.

God’s feelings for you are just as choreographed. Long before you gasped for your first breath of earth air, and before you ever read your first passages from the Bible, and long before you did anything to deserve approval or punishment from God — he was writing the symphony of his love for you — all of you.

That’s why when God’s angel spoke to a frightened impotent Gideon hiding in the winepress, he said “the Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.” It wasn’t a pep talk. He wasn’t trying to psych Gideon up so he would act boldly. God saw every version of Gideon, including the future warrior who would soon destroy the ungodly idols of his father and lead a bold charge with an underdog army to dispel the evil that had plagued Israel.

If you ever intend to have a deeper relationship with God than you do right now, you will have to learn to accept his unconditional love. Don’t bring your guilty presumptions. Jesus saw all of your sins before he carried them on the cross, and he suffered in spite of it all because his love for you was established long ago.

From Undecided?