“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Power of God’s Love for You – Psalm 139
Psalm 139 paints a beautiful picture of God’s unfailing love for all of us. A tender, intimate love that brings with it a treasure trove of benefits for all it touches (us!). Our days are jam packed, but when we slow down enough to reflect on who God is — how unfathomably great He is and how much He loves us — it’s difficult to not come to a place of blissful humility; realizing that He, Almighty God of the Universe, spends our entire lifetimes pursuing us and wanting an intimate relationship with us.
Let’s take a moment to dig into this beautiful passage of Scripture and unravel all the benefits of intimacy with God. We must remember that through His sanctifying grace, we are invited into a deep relationship with Him. Every day, we are offered another opportunity to be wholly known by Him and fiercely cherished. It’s no wonder so many songs record lyrics such as, “Who am I that He would consider me? Who am I that He would care about me? My life is but a breath and yet He counts me worthy of His great love!” May we be forever humbled by His love; filled with gratitude and taking none of it for granted.
There are countless benefits of intimacy with God, but as we break down Psalm 139 in “The Power of God’s Love for You – Psalm 139” we will look at four in particular:
The wonder of being known by God;
The peace in His inescapable presence;
The confidence and security in being knit together and wonderfully made;
The value of His interest.
Let’s get started!
Verses 1-6 — The benefits of intimacy with God
Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up;
You understand my thought from far away.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, Lord, You know it all.
You have encircled me behind and in front,
And placed Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot comprehend it.
Human beings innately long to be fully known … yet simultaneously, we fear it. Let’s admit it, intimacy can be intimidating! We know all that lies in the darkest corners of our hearts, and opening up those intimate places of our lives to be “fully known” also opens us up for potential hurt and feelings of rejection. That fear is sometimes too much to bear so what do we do? We close ourselves off from the one thing we actually need and want — to be fully known.
This is why Psalm 139 is so powerful. It tells us that God has examined our hearts and knows everything about us. Yes, everything! And guess what? He still loves us. Everyday, He chooses us and pursues a relationship with us even when knowing every dark corner of our hearts and minds. Oh what love! God knows us better than we know ourselves because He created us. Not only that, He knows us from the beginning to the end. Past, present, and future — always and forever! We are His; and being God’s is the best, most valuable gift we could ever ask for.
If you have been intentionally staying away from God because of guilt or shame or fear, rest assured that He already knows you. He knows everything about you and His response to us is never rejection. Instead, God continuously goes before us and behind, placing His hand of protection upon us wherever we go. In light of this, we never have to shy away from Him. To the contrary, we need to always run towards Him. He knows how to guide us to the Promised Land and to turn all our darkness to light.
So then, may we always come to Him just as we are and pour our hearts out to Him in prayer, knowing that there isn’t anything we can say that He doesn’t already know. He knows just what we need and is waiting for us to come to Him with an open and humble heart.
Verses 7-12 — The Peace of His presence
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to Heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take up the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
The idea of wanting to escape the presence of God will most likely make sense to those who have either experienced the blackness of despair, or the misery of rebellion. No matter how we may try, no matter how bad it gets, we cannot get away from the presence of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. He is right beside us every second, supporting and guiding us.
As we spend more time basking in the love of God, we will come to find great comfort and peace in that reality. The presence of God is never (ever!) going to leave us. No matter what happens, we belong to Him, and so the power of God’s love will always carry us through every trial, every stubborn rebellion, and every dark storm.
Verses 13-16 — The confidence and security in being knit together and wonderfully made
For You created my innermost parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my formless substance;
And in Your book were written
All the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Have you considered lately how intentionally you were created? Our God spoke the world into existence, and He did it with a purpose and a plan. Just as He perfectly created the Heavens and the earth, so He created you. There was no less design and effort put into that perfect creation of His.
The next time you look at the world around you or gaze up into the night sky and consider the beauty and magnitude of His creation, allow yourself to be stunned with wonder. And just think, God put that exact same care, the same attention to detail, that same mysterious complexity into every fiber of your being, purpose and life plan. This means, you never have to question your worth with any legitimacy. And don’t ever let the enemy convince you otherwise. When you start to feel insecure, begin to prayerfully reflect on how delicately woven together you were by the High King of Heaven. He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. So let us find confidence today not in who we are, but in who God is! Let us find meaning and purpose within the great power of His love.
Verses 17-18 — The value of His interest
How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
It should move us all to tears considering how much God loves us. The eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, mighty God of the universe thinks about us and loves us unconditionally. Jesus gave His life on the cross so that we would know and feel His love for all of eternity. His thoughts about you are endless and extremely precious. No matter where you go, He never leaves your side. We may not be worthy of this love on our own merit, but because of God’s unfathomable love through the covering of Jesus’s blood, we are made worthy. How truly incredible is God’s love for us!
Verses 19-22 — Sorting out our response to God’s unfailing love
If only You would put the wicked to death, God;
Leave me, you men of bloodshed.
For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate You, Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
What we know for sure is that sin is not God’s doing. Because of His great love for us, He gives us all free choice — free will — to make our own choices. And when we don’t make the right choice, He is patient with us; waiting for and wanting us to come to repentance. We may not always understand His greater plan but we know for sure that God can be trusted. His ways are infinitely above our own, and just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean God isn’t in control. This side of Heaven, we are not promised all the answers. We are promised that through faith, we have nothing to worry about. So no matter what things look like today, rest assured in the Lord’s protection.
Remember, our job is to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Let it be our prayer today that we will allow the benefits of our intimacy with God — the wonder, the peace, the confident security, and the sense of value and worth — to overshadow any confusion we may have. May His power and love help us to always, in every situation, surrender to His sovereignty and divine providence.
These last verses of Psalm 139 make up a beautiful prayer. May it be the life-long cry of our hearts as we respond to His unwavering love for us…
Verses 23-24 — Our response to God’s love for us:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.