Psalm 139 #139:0 We do not know when David wrote this psalm. Some people think that the prophet Zechariah wrote it; maybe he used David's words and rewrote (wrote again) them. Zechariah wrote a Book of the Bible. He lived 450 years after David.
God Knows Everything
This is for the music leader.
It is a psalm of David. #139:0 This psalm is in 4 parts: – Verses 1-6: God knows all about us. – Verses 7-12: We cannot hide from God. – Verses 13-18: God created (made) us. – Verses 19-24: David prays about his enemies and himself.
1 LORD, when you look at me you know all about me. #139:1 ‘When you look at me’ in verse 1 means ‘when you study me, or give me an exam.’ LORD is a special name for God. It is his covenant name. A covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agrees to love and give help to his people. They agree to love and obey him. The Lord sees every part of us. He even knows what we are going to say. He knows before we say it, (verse 4)! ‘Your hand’ in verse 5 means ‘your power.’ It means what God does in this world. To understand this is like climbing a very high mountain, (verse 6). It is too high to get to the top!
2You know when I sit down.
And you know when I get up.
You understand what I am thinking about
even when you are far away.
3You see when I go somewhere.
And you see when I stay at home.
You remember everything that I do!
4For example, before I say a word,
Lord, you know all about it.
5You are all round me, in front of me and behind me.
You have put your hand upon me.
6What you know about me is wonderful.
I cannot understand it.
It is so high that I cannot climb up to it.
7Where can I go from your Spirit?
How can I run away from you? #139:7 The Holy Spirit, or Spirit, (verse 7), is another name for God.
8If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went down to Sheol, you would be there also.
9If I went:
· to where the sun rises in the east
· to the other side of the sea in the west
10your hand would be there.
It would be my guide.
Your right hand would give me help.
11If I say:
· I am sure that darkness will hide me
· or, the light round me will change into night, #139:11 David had God as a guide and someone to give him help. We cannot see in the darkness, when there is no light. We cannot see when it is dark – but God can, (verses 11-12)!
12darkness and light are the same to you!
Darkness is not dark to you.
The night shines as bright as the day to you.
13But you, you made every part of me.
You made me grow in my mother's womb.
14I praise you for the mysterious and wonderful way that you made me.
I know very well that everything that you made is wonderful.
15Nothing hid my body from you when I was growing in a secret place.
This happened deep in the earth. #139:15 ‘The secret place’ and ‘deep in the earth’ mean his mother's womb, (verse 15). The womb is where mothers keep babies before they are born. Some Bible students think ‘difficult’ should be ‘valuable’ in verse 17. Both ideas are true!
16Your eyes saw my body growing.
Before I had lived one day, you wrote in your book how long I should live for!
17You have so many ideas, God.
They are so difficult for me to understand.
18If I could count them all,
there would be more than the grains of sand by the side of the sea.
I would have to live as long as you to count them all! #139:18 ‘Grains of sand’ in verse 18 are ‘little bits of sand.’
19God, I hope that you will kill the wicked people!
And go away from me you men of blood murderers. #139:19 There is a quick change in verses 19-22. The psalmist (David) makes a prayer of imprecation (asks for bad things to happen) for his enemies. They are God's enemies too, (verse 20). In verse 19, David says that they are ‘wicked people.’ ‘Wicked’ means ‘very, very bad.’ He also says that they are ‘men of blood’, (or people that murder other people).
20They are your enemies.
They say bad things about you that are not true.
21Do I hate them that hate you, Lord?
Do I really hate them that attack you?
22Yes I do hate them, I really hate them.
I think of them as my enemies. #139:22 Verse 21 asks if the psalmist hates God's enemies. Verse 22 gives the answer: ‘Yes!’ ‘Hate’ means the opposite of ‘love.’
23Look at me, God. And know what is in my heart.
Look into my mind and know my thoughts.
24See if I am doing anything bad that might hurt me.
And lead me in the old ways. #139:24 The psalm finishes where it started. God is looking into the psalmist's mind. ‘The old ways’, (verse 24), are the right ways that God told people to walk in. They will never come to an end.