The Psalms

Psalm 139 The Perfect Knowledge Of The LORD.

The LORD is omniscient-He sees everything. Such expanse does not keep Him from knowing the slightest detail in the lives of His people, rather it is the basis for such knowledge (vv. 1-3 Cf. II Kgs. 19:27; Job 14:16; 31:4; Is. 66:18; Jer. 12:3; Mt. 9:4). Furthermore, it is a knowledge which precedes ours, and precedes the events of our lives (v. 4). “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:13) Nothing escapes the LORD (v. 5). This is knowledge which many find hard to grasp (v. 6 Cf. Ps. 40:5). However, it is not a knowledge from a distance only, like someone in there ivory tower, unacquainted with our circumstances. The LORD is with us, His presence is in every situation (vv. 7-9 Cf. Job 26:6; Jer. 23:24; Amos 9:2-4).

By His knowledge and presence, He leads us and holds us (v. 10). He is able to bring light into the darkness (vv. 11-12). It is also the case that the knowledge of the LORD’s omniscience causes David to praise Him, that it is a knowledge inseparable from His intricate and complete creative work, including of David and each and every person ever born into this world (vv. 13-15 Cf. Eccl. 11:5). The LORD had his own pattern in mind, before anyone ever came into being (v. 16). For Job, such intricate and carefully detailed work was his appeal for mercy (10:8-9). Furthermore, the LORD did not cease thinking about His own when He fashioned us in the womb. His thoughts toward us continue innumerable, whether we are awake or asleep (vv. 17-18 Cf. Rom. 11:33).

It is also a comfort to know that justice will come. The guilty will not go unpunished forever. “Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.” (Cf. Job 34:22; Pr. 15:11; Is. 11:4) There is a sense in this psalm that David is pleading his innocence against those laying false charges against him. Therefore it is a comfort to know that God knows he is innocent of the charges, and He will also judge His false accusers one day (vv. 19-20 Cf. Jude 15). It is in the light of this perfect knowledge of the LORD, and the judgment that He will execute one day, that we must understand the hatred which David expresses (vv. 21-22 Cf. II Chron. 19:2). He is prepared to trust in the LORD to do right, including searching his own heart (vv. 23-24 Cf. Job 31:6; Pss. 5:8; 26:2; 143:10).

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