Monday, 7 April 2014

A Psalm of True Intimacy.

Psalm 139
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
 If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
 Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
 Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
I have been meditating on this Psalm and it's context and influence on my life.  A song of David, written to worship God, and lead the people in worship, Psalm 139 really expresses well this expanse of God's greatness, the fact that he is beyond our comprehension but still relatable and approachable.

I love that it starts with the fact that God has searched and known me - I can't stop Him from doing that - but the psalm then ends with an invitation for God to come and search and know me.

David knows you can't stop God from knowing you, and he expresses that by expressing there's no play he can hide from God, that God knows our thoughts, that He knows what we are going to say... verse 6 is amazing!!! "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high, I cannot contain it" - wow - David expresses so well the unattainable place God is, the fact He is high, we can never expect to comprehend all that God is.  God knows us, and searches us no matter if we want him to or not.

He can do so because we are "fearfully and wonderfully made", our inner most parts constructed by God Himself.

All this acknowledgement of the hugeness and awareness of God leads David to verse 17, "How precious to me are your thoughts..." - if God is so amazingly above everything else, then His thoughts have to be the most precious thing we could ever experience - the thing we need to hold most dear.  It's only when we understand how amazing He is, then we will know all that comes from Him is the very best for us, and then as verses 19-22 show we see how utterly worthless the ways and words of the world are.

So that brings this amazing formula of an intimate relationship with God to conclusion...

  • we grasp how God's power and greatness is beyond what we can ever imagine or understand.
  • we accept He knows and searches us and there's no way we can hide anything from Him.
  • we accept that is ok because we know He has created us and intrinsically knows and cares for us (even more so in the light of the Gospel and what Jesus has done for our salvation).
  • we then see the foolishness of the world's point of view...

...and finally we invite God to search and know us. There's such a huge difference from just accepting God does know everything; to inviting Him to know everything.  Because when we invite Him, then we can ask Him to "see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting".

That is true intimacy with God.

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