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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 139

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Fifth Book of Psalms (c 107-150)
Message: God Knows Us (v 1-24)

Psalms 139 Commentary 

(139:1-5) God Loves Us Just as We Are - Sometimes we don't let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us that they won't like. But God already knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), and still he accepts and loves us. His total awareness of us, therefore, should comfort us because he stays with us through every situation and in every trial, protecting, loving, and guiding us, and knowing and loving us completely. 

(139:7) Omnipresence - God is omnipresent, meaning he is present everywhere. Because of this, you can never escape from his Spirit. This is good news to those who know and love God, because no matter what we do or where we go, we can never be far from God's guiding and comforting presence (see Romans 8:35-39) 

(139:13-16) The Unborn - David would be shocked at how easily the unborn are destroyed today. Millions of abortions occur every year, and political and social acceptance may numb believers to this ongoing reality. Here David shows God's love for the unborn and their mothers and fathers. Pray and work for the protection of these lives. While every life is precious to God, unborn children warrant special care because they are "the least of these" (Matthew 25:49) --the most vulnerable, who do not yet have a voice and cannot defend or take care of themselves. 

(139:13-15) God's Creation - God's character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God's Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. Because of Jesus Christ we are new persons, so we should have as much respect and regard for ourselves as our maker has for us. 

(139:21-24) Loving God  - David's hatred for his enemies came from his Zeal for God. David regarded God's enemies as his enemies, so his hatred was a desire for God's righteous justice and not for personal vengeance. Is it all right to be angry at people who hate God? Yes, but we must remember that it is God who will deal with them, not us. If we truly love God, then we will be deeply hurt if someone hates him. David asked God to search his heart and mind and point out any wrong motives that may have been behind his strong words. But while we seek justice against evil, we must also pray that God's enemies will turn to him before he judges them (see Matthew 5:44). 

(139:23-24) Sin - David asked God to search for sin and point it out, even to the level of testing his thoughts and anxieties. This is exploratory surgery for sin. How are we to recognize sin unless God points it out? Then, when God shows it to us, we can repent and be forgiven. Make this verse your prayer. If you ask the Lord to search your heart and your thoughts and to reveal your sin, you will be continuing on God's "way everlasting. 

(139:23) Anxiety - God cares even about our anxious thoughts, both little cares and devastating obsessions. Anxiety robs lives of joy. All of us, from teenagers to retirees, face crippling performance expectations, fear of the future, and the scary daily news of this dangerous present world. Our emotions lie to us, saying, 'God doesn't care" or "He isn't involved." Movies and television lie to us, portraying the world as though all hope is lost. Bringing our anxieties to God cools our overheated minds and connects us to him, the great comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Practice this prayer: "Lord, be near to me. Soothe my heart and mind."

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Greatest Gift of All

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 139. In our text today, we see the theme of the All-Seeing, All-Knowing, All-Holy, All-Present God who knows us, loves us, and is with us. In making application, we see that the greatest gift of all is the God who spoke this World into existence and allows us to know Him and be saved. How about you? Do you see this gift of God? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to realize that the God of the Universe loves us and wants us to be saved; know Him for now and Eternity.


Psalm 139

Psalm 139

 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.