Monday, July 25, 2022

4 Thoughts on Psalm 139

As I've previously explained here on the blog and on my Facebook page, I have been richly blessed in recent months in reflecting on certain Scriptures along with a few friends. Our approach is simple enough – read the selected Bible book or passage, study it in whatever depth one has time for, consider personal applications of the text, and then post a few of one's own reflections on an email thread. So it is that everyone in the group (there have been 8-12 of us invited to that thread) can benefit. Using this method we have explored the Book of Esther, then Habakkuk, and now we're looking at three successive Psalms: 139, 140, and 141.

The invitation still stands for others who m might want to join in. 

And here, by the way, is this morning's response to the latest project:

4 thoughts upon the latest reading of Psalm 139:

1) The “cosmic perspective” of God’s omnipresence is, of course, a dramatic theme in this psalm.  We are reminded that God’s holy presence encompasses outer space, the depths of the ocean, the womb of an expectant mother, even the mysteries of the nether world.  And yet the overarching point of verses 1-18 is made in the very beginning; namely, David is amazed and deeply appreciative of God’s omniscience as it affects him personally.  “You have searched me and known me.”  Wow!  The hand of God which threw the stars and planets throughout the universe, and scooped out the Mariana Trench at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and shaped the unimaginably precise elements of the DNA makeup in every simple person in history, is the hand which is gently, lovingly “laid upon” each believer to guide and protect.  Wow again! 

2) Not only the horror but the sheer blasphemy of abortion couldn’t be made more clear than it is in verses 13-16.  Invading the sanctity of the womb for the “search and destroy” action which is abortion is a monstrous crime against the preborn boy or girl resting there.  But this psalm emphasizes the offense it is to the Creator God as well.  We are not our own; we are the precious work of His love.  Make no mistake then; the promotion and protection of the sanctity of life is a very big deal to our Father.

3) Verses 17 and 18 underscore that alongside David’s wonder and praise and thanksgiving for God’s omnipresence are his same responses to God’s omniscience.  God is everywhere. And God knows everything. And both of those are at work in His care for His children.

4) Verses 19-10 present the same character and purpose as other imprecatory psalms and yet even those verses introduce a very personal application; namely, that David’s awareness of the wickedness in God’s enemies moves him not to compromise or weaken his hatred of God’s enemies, but to also look to his own sanctification.  He affirms, “I hate them with the utmost hatred” and yet he expresses his need for the Lord's work in his own sanctification, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”

Okay, from my early morning coffee at the West Dodge Panera, that’s it.  I’ll ask Claire to type this up and post it.