Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 139

Psalm 139

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16Thine 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.
17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Chapter 139

When I ask God to search me, He searches me (v. 1). When I felt convicted about thinking about the things I'd spend money on when I would have a job instead of thinking that I could give a portion to the Lord. How that conviction was when my pastor preached a message on stewardship one Sunday and illustrated how one could give a portion back to the Lord and still how enough to use for whatever he or she needed. Later on, probably a day or two later, I asked God to search for any impure ways in me, which resulted in me thinking that I could give a portion back to God. He does know when I go to bed and when I get up (v. 2). He is  omniscient -- or all-knowing -- so I kinda figure He knows every minute detail of my life and I praise Him for His omniscience because not only is that something that only belongs to Him, but also because since He already knows how something will work out, I can trust in Him, which is really neat. I don't wanna get off on too much of a tangent here, but God's omniscience and free will can and do co-exist because His foreknowledge doesn't cause us to make the choices we make. I've been kind of looking at the co-existence of God's omniscience and free will lately and that's something I learned which. It's funny because yesterday (Sunday), I walked into my dad's Bible study in the last five minutes or so and noticed that the teacher had written the word "omniscience" on the board with "Psalm 139" written beside it and I mentioned, at the end, how God's foreknowledge doesn't cause us to make the choices we make. Moving on, I like verse 3 because it illustrates to me that I can trust in God because He can guide my part and I can come to Him for rest, which is what I get out of the "Thou compassest my path and my lying down" part. He knows my ways, so of course I can trust in Him to direct me in my walk with Him. In my darkest moment I did that and when He protected me from the enemy, I took that His way of saying that I shouldn't go out of my way to get involved with the enemy. I never thought of it before, but God knows every word before I say it (v. 4). I guess that's kinda why I ask God to help me tame my tongue since I can trust in Him to help me out with that. It's not always an easy thing to live up to, though, but at least I don't go out of my way to use bad language. Sometimes if I experience pain, I'll use a word, but perhaps I should try not say anything at all. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 5, but I know that as a human, I cannot attain God's knowledge and know everything and I'm kind of glad I don't have that responsibility because there are some thoughts that some people have that I wouldn't wanna know. God deals with it, every day, though and loves people despite what they think about. I'm not saying I hate people for having disgusting thoughts -- I'm saying that I couldn't take on God's role. I don't feel I can hide from God (v. 7) since He's omnipresent. He's even in heaven and hell (v. 8), but I trust that I will be with Him in heaven (or eternity) when that time comes and won't end up in hell reminding myself that He's everywhere. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 9-10, but they're there for future reference in case I ever do dwell in darkness, which is carried over into verse 11. I'd say verse 12 relates to my darkest moment because the darkness in my life at the time was not dark to the Lord once I relied on Him to be my light and help me through it. The darkness is the same as light to God since His light shines in the darkness. In verses 13-14, I am reminded that God made me in His image and cares for me and I praise Him for that. No one else could've made me who I am and  made me the way He did. He knew ahead of time what I was gonna be like before He made me and knew I would do things for His glory, which is cool because if He put my soul in another body, I probably wouldn't have turned out to be who I am today. I don't have a lot to say about verses 15-16, but I'll talk about 'em anyway. What verse 15 means to me is that when God made me, my substance (or frame) was not hidden from Him, which I figure because He's omnipresent. If it was hidden, then He wouldn't have known what He was doing and I'm glad He did because I don't think I'd trade bodies or lives or whatever with anyone else. In that verse, I am also reminded that God's breath of life was what gave me life, which is what I get out of the "and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth" part, which is talked about in Genesis, I thank Him for His breath of life and that He created people as He saw fit. I don't have much to say about verse 16, but what "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect" means is that God saw my unformed body before He created it, which I'd say He used as a reference to create me.

His thoughts are precious towards me (v. 17), which I know because if His thoughts weren't precious towards me, He wouldn't bless me. He blesses me by helping me to understand His Word and conform my thoughts to His, which was what He did when I asked Him to help me in regards to my thoughts of greed and selflishness, which I talked about in regards to the first verse. I haven't counted them, but verse 18 reminds me how blessed I am, especially for the little things like waking up every day, having a roof over my head, and having food to eat. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 19-22, but I will talk about them. I know God will take care of the wicked (v. 19), so I don't have to worry about doing it myself. I haven't dealt with too many enemies that have spoken against God (v. 20), but I'll let God dea with them if I come across anyone that does. I'm not sure if I would have to apply verses 21-22 since Jesus said to pray for one's enemies and do good to them, which is something I try to live up to. I prayed for that guy in my math class who was giving me a hard time, so hopefully he's doing OK these days. I never mentioned anything to him about my faith, but I didn't have vengeance on him for the language he used towards me -- instead, I just turned the other cheek and took it and maintained self-control by doing so. Not to sound like he's going to hell because he could've given his life to Christ, but if he's rejected the gospel, he'll spend eternity without God. I do believe that those who have never heard (the gospel) do spend eternity with God, but that's a topic for another time. It is possible that he's never heard, though. With verse 1 in mind, I did ask Him to search my heart (v. 23), which was the result of feeling convicted. The wicked way (v. 24) was focusing my thoughts on using the money to buy CDs and some other things instead of thinking I could use it for His kingdom. He led me into the way of the everlasting by helping me to change my thinking before things got worse. I don't have a job yet, but I will give back a portion to the Lord when I do.

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