“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
This verse is packed with a lot. Look at the words: ‘searched’, ‘known’, ‘understand’, ‘comprehend’, ‘acquainted’.
God thoroughly knows us and understands us, down to the depths, even when we don’t understand ourselves. He sees our motives, our fears, our sin, our misgivings, our desires –everything. He understands us and interestingly enough, He loves us anyhow. But with that knowledge of who we really are, what does He do? Walk away? No.
“You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”
He sticks with us, walking so close that He hedges us from behind and before. He holds the past, wrapping that up, and He goes on before us, leading us into the future. He is always there and this knowledge is too wonderful for the psalmist. He can’t begin to comprehend it. This is a close, caring relationship by the God who knows us through and through.
Yet when you think of it, it is amazing how we can mess things up. I like to think of it in terms of an illustration with three boxes. The middle one is resting in God, the one on the left is sinful reactions which need confessing (a simple fix), and the one on the right is actually more deadly because we think we are ok. This is the box of skewed perceptions which can add a weight and anxiety on us that we were never meant to carry. We think we see things correctly but we don’t. How we perceive other people, our trials, or even God can add burdens which weigh us down because we are not interpreting His storyline correctly. When we don’t interpret things correctly, ungodly reactions can come in that can trip us up, like fear or worry. How can we see the storyline correctly when we are human, and by nature blind? But, if we can’t see straight, God can, so look up, get in His Word, rest, and let Him lead you. Interpret everything by light of His Word. Let Him go before you. He is our guide that will be with us ‘till death.
The Psalmist then plays out whether there is even a possibility of God not being with us in all situations. Is He really going to stick with us anywhere, at any time?
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
In heaven? –no He is there.
In hell? –no, He is even there.
The uttermost parts of the sea? –Nope, for it is written: “even there, Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”
We can’t escape him by location because He leads and holds us even in the uttermost spots. What about by situation? Can a situation be so dark that God can’t possibly be there?
“If I say, ‘surely the darkness shall fall on me’, even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day. The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”
Notice how God views the above situation. A night that is so dark to us, He turns it into light; a light that shines as the day. He is above all that, it is the same to Him whether it is the darkness of night or the light of day. He will come through. He is master of all. All that you have to do is look to Him as a focal point through the darkness and that darkness will become light as you walk right behind Him.
The next part verse 13-16 shows again the close relationship between God and His children in the way He skillfully formed us and all our days ‘when as yet there were none of them’. He already planned your life, so since He knows it all already, it is better to rest and follow right behind Him through the dark as well as the light.
Verses 17 and 18 carry on the theme of how God views us.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.”
He is with us; He thinks about us constantly, and it is precious. It is amazing that the God of the universe should think on us. So great in power, and majesty and yet He thinks on us. This is something so wonderful that it is hard to comprehend. It is the same type of wonderful as Christ dying on the cross for us.
In the last section (verses 23 and 24) he makes an appeal to the One who knows him so well.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.”
In other words the psalmist is saying, know my heart, know my anxieties, know how I respond and think wrongly and love me anyhow by leading me on in the way of everlasting into victory.
And the most amazing thing is that He does.