on Psalm 139 via the DAB

Psalm 139(New English Translation)
For the music director, a psalm of David.
1 O Lord, you examine me and know.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up;
even from far away you understand my motives.
3 You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest;
you are aware of everything I do.
4 Certainly my tongue does not frame a word
without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.
5 You squeeze me in from behind and in front;
you place your hand on me.
6 Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension;
it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.
7 Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where can I flee to escape your presence?
8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.
If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.
9 If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn,
and settle down on the other side of the sea,
10 even there your hand would guide me,
your right hand would grab hold of me.
11 If I were to say, “Certainly the darkness will cover me,
and the light will turn to night all around me,”
12 even the darkness is not too dark for you to see,
and the night is as bright as day;
darkness and light are the same to you.
13 Certainly you made my mind and heart;
you wove me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing.
You knew me thoroughly;
15 my bones were not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and sewed together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb.
All the days ordained for me
were recorded in your scroll
before one of them came into existence.
17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God!
How vast is their sum total!
18 If I tried to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
Even if I finished counting them,
I would still have to contend with you.
19 If only you would kill the wicked, O God!
Get away from me, you violent men!
20 They rebel against you and act deceitfully;
your enemies lie.
21 O Lord, do I not hate those who hate you,
and despise those who oppose you?
22 I absolutely hate them,
they have become my enemies!
23 Examine me, and probe my thoughts!
Test me, and know my concerns!
24 See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me,
and lead me in the reliable ancient path!

  A few days ago I was listening, as I do, to the Daily Audio Bible on my commute to work and on this particular day Brain Hardin did a small devotional type thing, which he does quite regularly, after the scripture reading.

 I had a particular soft spot for that day’s scripture reading as it included Psalm 139 which was my late grandfather’s favourite passage. Not only did the scriptures read bless me but what was said as well. In fact it so spoke to me that I immediately wanted to share it with all of you. It took some time to transcribe it but I finally got it done.

 This is what he said: 

“Life has its seasons. We all wander into a patch of hardship or struggle or opposition from time to time. Some of those seasons are long and arid. And so, that may be you.You may be kind of in that right now.

 And at times we’re tired out, worn out, worn down; we are susceptible to the voice of the Accuser who is always there saying, ‘God isn’t present to you for whatever reason.’ ‘You’re disqualified’, ‘It’s over for you’, ‘It’s too late’, ‘You know what you did’, ‘You know how you got here’, or ‘He just doesn’t care; whatever the story of the wounds of your life is or are.’ 

Then there’s the voice of accusation, that goes all the way back to Genesis Chapter 3, when there’s a serpent speaking to Adam and Eve saying, ‘The reality of what you think you know  isn’t really all there is. God’s holding out from you.Keeping secrets from you. This fruit is your answer. Take things into your own hand . Eat this, you will know what God knows, you will know what He’s keeping from you, You will be like him, You won’t need Him. You’ll be your own god.’ 

If we listen to this voice long enough, subtly our posture of heart toward God is shifted and we’re asking questions like ‘Why?’ and ‘Where are you?’ So right here as we approach the centre of the year, we come across Psalm 139, which is like a direct rebuttal to that voice, and a direct response to that question. 

So for those of us who are walking through that season of really, really trying to figure this out; ‘Where is God in all of the stuff that I am going through right now?’ Then I give you these words from God back to you from the Psalms: 

‘I know when you sit down. I know when you get up. Even from far away I understand your motives. I observe you in your travel, when you lie down to rest. I’m aware of everything you do. You don’t even form a word without me knowing about it. I’m behind you. I’m in front of you. My hand is on you. And there is more going on than you know of. My knowledge is beyond what you can know. So where do you think you can go that you would escape my Spirit?  Where would you flee to be out of my presence? If you come to heaven, I’m there. If you go down into the underworld in the sleep of death, I am there. If you were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, if you were to settle on the other side of the sea, even there my hand will guide you. I will grab hold of you. I know you’re saying that the darkness is covering you and that all of the light is turned to night inside of you; but even the darkness is not too dark for me to see. And the night is like daytime. Darkness and light are nothing to me. I made your mind, and I made your heart and I knitted you together inside your mother’s womb. I know everything about you, son.  I know everything about you, sweetheart. I knew you when you were inside your mother’s womb. I’ve known you longer than you’ve even been aware that you existed. So don’t ask me where I am. I’m here. I haven’t left you. I’m waiting for you to come back. Return to me.'”



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