Psalm 139 has been one of my favorite psalms since junior high. I think. I don’t know, maybe not THAT long, but it’s been a friend for most of my journey with Jesus.
I love the intimacy in David’s words to the God he trusts–the God who knows his thoughts, actions, and the words he’s going to say even before he says them.
David proclaims there is nowhere he can go where God is not there. He’s always present and available. Always there to lead the way. He holds his hand.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
David says that the darkness can’t hide him from God. Even the darkness can’t hide him. David may not be able to see God, but God can see him. . . . for darkness is as light to you.
He proclaims God watched him as a baby in his mother’s womb. God has known him since conception. And God himself made him good because all of HIS creation is good and ordained for good things.
David says that God thinks about him all the time.
We are constantly on HIS mind. You fill HIS thoughts throughout the day.
David closes this journal entry to God petitioning for HIM to kill his enemies. I normally jump over those verses. They disrupt the peaceful, enjoyable flow of David’s word, but these petitions prove something very important.
Despite his wonderful relationship with God, David still has trouble. He fights battles. David cries out for the Lord to kill those who misuse God’s name, and then he prays,
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I’ve prayed this prayer many times with David. I can say it by heart. I’ve related to his desire to be free from worries and cleansed from anything that “offends” the God I love. But I’ve never dug into the ancient text until today, and what I found brought new light to these words.
David prays for God to know his heart. This Hebrew word can also mean understand. Somehow it is comforting to know and trust a God who not only knows my heart but understands it too. Don’t we give grace more freely when we “understand” someone’s actions or heart?
David prays, “Test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
How many of us can relate to anxious thoughts–those worries that won’t go away, the anxiety that billows out of control?
But his next prayer is what got me. “See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Are you ready? You may not like it. But the word “offensive” is the Hebrew word otseb which is a variation of etseb which means idol. Otseb means “pain, image, idol.”
The word “idol” jumped out at me! Can worry be idolatry?
I believe the answer to that my friends is yes.
We all worry. We all have anxious thoughts. So, what do we do?
We ask God to reveal anything that consumes our thoughts, anything we are trying to fix or don’t trust HIM to handle, and we ask HIM to help us know HIS goodness and kindness because I’m convinced that knowing His kindness, trusting His goodness, is the only thing that wipes away worry.
Want to pray with me? Grab my hand.
“Dear God, hand to hand, heart to heart, we come to you giving you our praise. Be our glory. We want to walk with you as David did, experience your presence, and trust you beyond our worries. Change the way we think. Transform those worries to trust. May we know your goodness and kindness, your grace. Lead us to the everlasting way which is the path of trusting you. No idols. No worries. Trust. Amen.”
What is your favorite part of Psalm 139?
Finding Purpose in Trust