O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers
Questions to Consider:
1. What is the purpose of the book of Psalms? Which genre(s) of biblical literature (prophecy, epistle, narrative, wisdom, etc.) is the book of Psalms? What is the historical backdrop for this book?
2. Summarize each section of this psalm:
Why do verses 19-22 seem not to fit, or to interrupt the flow of this Psalm? Explain why and how they do fit in the context of the rest of this psalm.
In 1-2 sentences, how would you summarize the overall main idea of Psalm 139?
3. What does this psalm teach us about God’s:
God as Creator
God as judge
4. How does the psalmist respond to the attributes of God in #3? Examine your heart. What is your response to these attributes? Are your responses positive (ex: joy, thankfulness) or negative (ex: fear, repelled)? Why?
5. Meditate on the fact that God knows the innermost thoughts and attitudes of your heart, and He sees all of your actions. Pray verses 23-24 back to God.