Psalm 139 Part 1
The Riches of Grace
Psalm 139 is one of the most intimate prayers of David. In it, he acknowledges God’s love for him and his hand in his life. He affirms God’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. He prays for God’s deliverance from his enemies, but also reflects deeply on the times he departed from God’s will, finally asking for redemption for his own lack of righteousness.
In these next four weeks, I’m not going to discuss the literary elegance of David’s song, though there is much artistry in his psalm.
I want to explore with you the deeper harmony of the phrases, the heart song that rests within the words, the reflection of God’s love and grace that resonates within the verses. I want us to explore the relationship David reveals in this beautiful melody.
Let’s begin with verses 1-6:
1O 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.
Those of us who have given our lives to Christ have only begun this journey. We have only begun to understand the power in this relationship, the vastness of the grace and the love that God has for us. There are many things that remain obviously unpredictable as we throw ourselves headlong into profound and glorious uncertainty. Yet, our faith remains steadfast because we know Whose we are; we are sons and daughters of the One who loves us.
Deuteronomy7:6-8 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you.
Ephesians 1:4-5 Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this.
Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Does this overwhelm you? Does it awe you? Does it nearly drown you in God’s capacity to love you without condition? To know who you are at the core of your being? Are you ready to let go of the idea that you must achieve God’s love, and simply receive it?
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here’s how The Message puts it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Keep company. Yeah. No pressure. Just open your hands and heart. Breathe in and receive.