This question comes from the heart of King David as he meditates on the greatness of our God. The twenty-four verses of Psalm 139 are filled with his wonder at the depths of God’s omniscience, His omnipresence, and His omnipotence. Recently our young grandchildren visited us, and I marvel at their sense of wonder and inquisitive little minds about the world around them. It won’t be long before they have passed through this stage into the cold, practical world of scientific explanations.
Unfortunately, our wonder has a tendency to get lost in all of our sophistication and progress, yet every new scientific discovery reveals yet another reason to wonder at our amazing Creator God. As someone has observed, it is tragic that, in the service of God, too many people lose the wonder of it in the work of it.
David hadn’t lost his sense of wonder. In Psalm 139 he expressed heartfelt wonder at our God — who knows all; who is everywhere present; and who is all powerful.
There Is the Wonder of the Lord’s Omniscience
This big word simply means that God knows everything. Five times in this psalm, David stated that God knew him. He began by saying,
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up… [You] are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but… You know it altogether. — Psalm 139:1-4
So what does God know? He knows what you do. He knows what you think. He knows where you go. He knows what you say. He knows what you need. When David tried to grasp the extent of this knowledge, he became overwhelmed. Paul responded in a similar way:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!.. For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. — Romans 11:33-36
What a wonder! God knows you… your e-mail address… your phone number… your worries… your hurts… your fears… your dreams. And He loves you.
There Is the Wonder of the Lord’s Omnipresence
This big word means God is everywhere. wondering at this truth, David asked,
Where can I go from Your Spirit? — Psalm 139:7
First he tried the heights and depths, but he discovered God was there:
If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell [sheol, the realm of the dead], behold, You are there. — Psalm 139:8
From daylight to dark, from east to west, David could go nowhere that God was not present. No matter where we are, God is there. Jonah attempted to flee from God’s presence. But to no avail. Adam and eve tried to hide from God in the cool of the garden. But, again, to no avail. Isaiah’s prophecy that the coming Messiah would be called “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us,” underscores this wonder-full truth that He is always with us (Isaiah 7:14).
Where can we go from god’s presence? There is not a corner of this big world where He is not present. Because God is always present, we are never alone. And this assurance of His presence brought comfort and hope to the apostle Paul in some of his darkest hours. On more than one occasion Paul described how the Lord stood by him or with him (Acts 23:11; 2 Timothy 4:16–18).
God’s constant presence with us is indeed a wonder. He knows you, and He is always near.
There Is the Wonder of the Lord’s Omnipotence
This third big word simply means our God is all powerful. Although David could have described the awesomeness of God’s power in a variety of ways, he chose to focus on the miracle of conception and birth. Talk about a wonder!
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. — Psalm 139:13-16
Think for a moment about this wonder of wonders. David described two microscopic pieces of protoplasm that come together and form a live human being with all the intricacies of a nervous system, a respiratory system, a circulatory system, a digestive system, a mind, a heart, a soul. What a testimony to the omnipotence of our loving God who Himself “formed” us in our mother’s womb! As I wonder at this miracle of birth, I can’t keep silent about the harsh reality that our once-Christian nation has legalized the murder of millions of innocent babies. After describing this wondrous aspect of God’s omnipotence — the conception of a child — David praised his Creator:
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. — Psalm 139:14
God knows us. He is with us. He is all powerful. Having basked in the wonder of God, David ended this psalm on a note of vulnerability that is commendable and worth emulating:
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 everlasting. — Psalm 139:23–24
Once we have caught the wonder of our omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God, we will likely be moved to join David in saying, “Search me… Try me… Know me… Lead me.” We could be in no better hands.
Q & A: “Where can I go from Your Spirit?” In a word, nowhere. Our God of wonder is everywhere always. And, wonder of wonders, He not only knows the number of hairs on your head, there is nowhere you can go from His Spirit. You are on His mind even now.
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. — Psalm 139:5–6
Excerpted with permission from The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins, copyright O.S. Hawkins.
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Read Psalm 139 today and join King David in praise! You are on God’s mind even now! Come share your thoughts and comments with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you about the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of our God! ~ Devotionals Daily
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