Scripture: Psalm 139
Key Verse: (7) Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
Reflection: There is hardly one sentence in this psalm that does not contain the words I, me, or my. It is an intense, intimate, personal psalm. One feels that they are reading a diary as much as holy writ. Jesus too would have read these words and known their power.
Some writers have suggested the psalmist may be expressing frustration and fear with God’s unflinching gaze: God you hem me in behind and before, you know every word I am going to speak! Where can I flee from your presence? If I turn here–you are there. If I turn there–you are here!? This psalm can be perhaps an uncomfortable psalm for us as we are reminded that no aspect of our lives is concealed from God, no word has been unheard, no action unseen.
One person has described this psalm like living in a small town where even your deepest privacy is invaded. God knows when I sit down and when I rise up. God discerns my thoughts from afar!
But before we get carried away with these descriptions, note that there is no suggestion of judgment in this psalm. God sees us, every part of us, yet loves and delights in us. God who knit us together in our mother’s womb (what a tender image!) spends the rest of our lives calling us to be what he has created us to become. God who began a good work in us, continues to lovingly fashion us, persevere with us, transform us, with his loving gaze. Let this psalm read you today until its words are your prayer and its truth your redemption.
Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. In Christ, from whom nothing can separate us, we pray. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].