Sunday, June 23, 2019
Worship in the Psalms
Search Me, O God: The Intimacy of Worship
This morning we are looking at Psalm 139. Psalm 139 is a worshipful prayer of King David, and it would be well for us as a church to make this Psalm the prayer of our church as we move forward.
The 139th Psalm is a good text for us to study if we want to know some of the characteristics of God as He relates to us. In studying this text, we find that God is omniscient, or all-knowing.
We also find that He is omnipresent, or everywhere present, and we find that He is omnipotent or all powerful. If you want to know God and know more about Him and His purposes and His ways, you’ve got to study His Word.
First, let’s look at verses 1 through 4. These verses tell us that:
I. God Knows Us – Vs. 1-4
Verses 1-4: “O 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.”
God continually searches our thoughts and observes our actions. When you have a problem, He knows it. So, go to Him and tell Him everything.
David was very aware that God knew him inside and out, backward and forward, head to toe. Folks, God knew all about you before you were ever born. He has searched out your innermost being.
He knows you better than your father knows you. He knows you better than your mother knows you. He knows you better than your doctor knows you. He knows you better than you know yourself.
God even knows your thoughts; not just the thought you are thinking right now, but He knows your thought afar off, the thoughts you had yesterday and the thoughts you will have next month.
This should be very sobering to all of us. If your thought life isn’t as pure as it ought to be, just know that God knows what you have thought, what you are thinking, and what you will be thinking.
It is said that we have over 10,000 thoughts a day. God knows them all. He knows the ones that fly in and right back out again like a hummingbird, and He knows the ones that come in and roost in our brains like a buzzard.
ILL: A. W. Tozar said this about our thoughts, “Our thoughts not only reveal what we are, they predict what we will become. We will soon be the sum total of our thoughts.”
If we are to become the sum total of our thoughts, then we need to feed our brains with worthwhile and righteous material, not carnal and worldly “junk food.” The Holy Spirit will take the Word of God and nourish our brains and renew our minds.
God knows us. He is omniscient, and also:
II. God is Ever-present with us – Vs. 5-12
Verses 5-12: “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. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Do you ever wonder if you should confess your sins in detail to God? I say spell them out to Him. He already knows about them because He was there when you committed them.
He knows what you did was a sin. Let Him know that you know it was a sin. To confess your sin is to agree with God. He says it is sin, and you agree with Him that it is sin.
God is in front of us and He is behind us. He is to our right and to our left. He is an ever-present God. You and I will never understand this while we are in this world. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us.
If you have ever thought that you could hide a sin or cover up a sinful act so that God wouldn’t find out – forget about it. If you have ever tried to run away from God because you’ve felt Him calling to you to a work or a ministry – forget about that, also.
If you should try to ascend into heaven or descend into hell, He is there. There are many Christians today who are trying to run away from God. Something in their lives is standing between them and their relationship to God.
It may be pride or anger. It may be hurt feelings or feelings of guilt. They stop going to church, because the preacher seems to be preaching directly to them.
They stop associating with Christian friends because they feel guilty for running. They try to get as far from the light as possible, but the light is there.
Christian man, woman, boy or girl, you will never be satisfied. You will never feel complete or at ease as long as you try to run from the will of God.
If God is speaking to your heart about something you are doing that you shouldn’t be doing, or if He is leading you to do something and you are refusing to do it, you won’t have peace in your heart until you are in the center of His will.
Just remember that God’s shoulders are a lot broader than yours and mine. He has promised to help us carry our burdens, and 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
It is futile to try and hide. Bring out your sins and shortcomings and lay them on the altar before our merciful and forgiving God. Ask Him to forgive you and make you whole again.
If you air your dirty laundry before God and ask Him to forgive you, He will. Though your sins be as scarlet, He will wash them white as snow.
God is ever present, and:
III. God is our Creator – Vs. 13-16
Verses 13-16, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
God created us. He formed our inward parts and he covered us before we were born. It would take a library full of anatomy and physiology books to describe the intricate workings of the human body.
The human body is a marvelous work of bioengineering. It is no accident that the various types of tissues and cells and organ systems came together and formed a breathing, thinking, feeling, seeing, walking, talking, living human being.
Folks you and I are fearfully and wonderfully made, and don’t let anyone tell you that we evolved from a single-celled organism that crawled up out of the slime billions of years ago.
You and I are the end products of Intelligent Design, and the Designer was our Creator God.
Some poet wrote this about the theory of evolution: “Once I was a tadpole, beginning to begin; then I was a frog with my tail tucked in. Then I was a monkey in a banyan tree. Now I am a professor with a Ph.D.”
It takes a lot more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than it does to believe in a Creator God and intelligent design.
God Knows Us. God is Ever Present. God is Our Creator, and:
IV. God Loves Us – Vs. 17-18
Verses 17-18: “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”
God’s thoughts should be precious to us, because His thoughts are of us. He created this universe for us. He created us in His image. There are numerous verses in the Bible that tell of His love for us.
Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us.”
Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
And, of course there’s John 3:16 that tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
God loved us before the beginning of the world. He loves us now and He will love us throughout eternity. God loves us with a love that is beyond human understanding. He is merciful and He is patient, but His love does not give us unlimited license to do reject Him and go against His will.
His grace is sufficient for all our needs, and His mercy endures forever, but He will not put up with sin forever. Sin must be judged.
V. God’s Desires Become Our Desires – Vs. 21-22
“Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.”
Those who love God and His glory likewise hate all that stands against God and His ways.
Sadly, not everyone delights in God and choose to be at odds with Him. Those who speak against God with malicious intent are those who actively oppose God and His gracious purpose.
The true believer’s loyalty to God goes so far as to own God’s attitudes.
VI. God Sanctifies Us – Vs. 23-24
Verses 23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!”
This prayer tells us a lot about King David. It tells us that he was a humble man.
A prideful person would have said, “Hey, God. Search me all you want. I’m a good man. I’ve done a lot for the nation of Israel. So, go ahead and search me. You won’t find any wickedness in me!”
This prayer tells us that David knew the ways of God. Someone who didn’t know God would have said, “I’ve done some wicked things in my life, but I’ve kept them well hid. God will never find out.”
But David was humble, and he knew that God already knew all about him. He knew he was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. He was agreeing with God and he was asking God to calm his worries and to guide his path.
These verses show that the believer ardently invites God to continue His sanctifying work in searching and knowing their heart exposing those things that need to be gone. When this happens, then we can walk in proper relationship with Him.