Psalm 139

The Psalms

Psalm 139
‘Search me, O God’

Psalms index

Psalm 139 (NIV)

1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Psalm 139 – ‘Search me, O God’

(Verses 1-6) The LORD is ‘omniscient’ (‘all-knowing’). God searched David and knows all about him: where he sits and rises, his thoughts, where he goes and sleeps, and what he does and says. God is before and behind him. God’s hand is on David, but this is too ‘wonderful’ and ‘lofty’ to grasp.

(Verses 7-10) By His Spirit, God is everywhere. David cannot flee from Him. Whether high or deep, however early in the day, wherever he goes, God’s guiding and holding hand is on and with David.

(Verses 11-12) Darkness and light are alike to God. He sees His servant all the time.

(Verses 13-16) God even knew David in his mother’s womb and ‘knit [him] together’. That is why each baby is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, though unseen, from conception. God even ordains all our days of life ‘before one of them came to be.’ A foetus is not just a product of conception but he or she is already a human being.

(Verses 17-18) God’s thoughts towards all people He has created, from the womb onwards, are more than the sum of all the world’s grains of sand. He is personally always present with David, and now with each sinner who trusts in the Lord Jesus.

(Verses 19-22) David loves God so much that, by comparison, he hates all whose conduct and words show they hate God, and rebel against Him. They are his foes.

(Verses 23-24) David wants God to search, know, and test his heart and life. He asks God to remove from him both anxiety and anything offensive and lead him in God’s everlasting way. Jesus bore your sins and their penalty on the cross. Open your life to the Lord Jesus: repent and receive Him.