The God with whom we have to do has a perfect knowledge of us and all the motions and actions, both of our outward and inward man.
We should therefore desire of Him that when He sees sin in our hearts, He might discover it to us that we might walk in the perfect enjoyment of His presence.
1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 139:1-13 – The All-seeing God
The psalmist speaks as if there were only two beings in the universe—God and himself. In all literature there is no nobler conception of the divine attributes.
God’s omniscience, Psalm 139:1-6. The downsittings of life are times of weariness, depression, failure, shortcoming, and inconsistency, when we are far short of our best. Our uprisings are our strongest, happiest, holiest moments, when we are at our best. God knows all. He cannot be surprised. He besets us before—the future is full of Him—and behind, as the wave follows closely in the wake of the bather or the rear guard the march. His hand is laid upon us, shielding and protecting. His winnowing-fan is ever detecting every grain of wheat and extracting it from the chaff.
God’s omnipresence, Psalm 139:7-12. It is impossible to flee from God. However thick the foliage, it cannot separate the sinner from those eyes of love and fire. This thought is terrible to those who are not at peace with Him, but delightful to those who love. Be of good cheer, lonely one; thy night of sorrow is as the day—full of Him. – Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 139:14-24 – God’s Thoughts and Ours
God’s creative power, Psalm 139:14-18. The psalmist goes back to the beginning of life and describes the weaving of our physical nature. Here we may discover a suggestive analogy; for the Church, which is the Body of Christ, has been wrought in secret from its earliest beginnings, and its development continues preparatory to the manifestation in complete beauty and glory at the Lord’s coming. “When Christ, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory,” Colossians 3:1-4. Remember, also, that the Christ-life in our hearts is subject to the same secret processes.
The psalm closes with the saints’ antagonism to evil, Psalm 139:19-24. The more they meditate on the precious thoughts of God, the more they desire to be freed from the tyranny of evil, whether it shows itself in the ways of evil men or in the inward evil of the heart. Our one cry should be that God would lead us in the way, which is based on eternal principles and which winds ever upward from the lowland valleys, where we have dwelt too long, to those glorious uplands, where God Himself is Sun. – Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 139:24—See if there be any wicked way in me.
We may be in a way that causes God grief, even though it is not what men might term a way of wickedness. We may be grieving our blessed Lord more than we know, substituting an ideal religious standard, or absorption in his work, or the conception which our friends persist in holding concerning us, for that direct personal fellowship with Himself, which alone is religion. Ah! how much we may have grieved the Spirit of Christ! Not always consciously. Often in pleading for us, the Lord must needs say, “Forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). But we are unwilling that his tender heart should suffer, or his face be overcast with grief, because of our waywardness; therefore we say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” (v. 23). Be prepared for his revelations, searching and startling.
Lord, that is what we want! We have been going in ways of grief. We desire to go in the way everlasting—the way of eternal life; the way which we shall never need to retrace; the way that touches the deepest life possible to the creature. But we cannot find it for ourselves, nor even see the next step; therefore we stretch out poor, groping hands, and cry, “Lead us, as a woman may lead her blind child. We do not ask to see the distant way. Show us the next thing, and the next, and the next, till thy grief is turned to gladness.” May I venture to hope that God will answer my prayer, and lead me in the way everlasting? Certainly! Not only may you hope, you must hope. It is as much your duty to hope always, and for the best things, as to look for forgiveness and grace to help in your time of need. – Our Daily Homily