Theme: God’s Knowledge and Our Obedience
In this week’s lessons, we learn about the benefits of God’s omniscience for his children.
Scripture: Psalm 139:13-24
What is it that David is pointing to in the perceptive wording of this psalm? He is speaking of his unique individuality from the first moments of his existence in the womb. From that very first moment, God knew him and had ordained what his life was to be: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 16). If that is how God views the unborn child, dare we call it only tissue and destroy the unborn, as we are doing in this country at the rate of more than a million and a half babies each year?
In the next two verses David reflects on the abundance of God’s thoughts toward him, ending with the words, “when I awake, I am still with you.” These words are a bit puzzling and have been understood in various ways. Some people suppose the writer to have been drowsing, even when he was composing the psalm. They imagine that he woke up at this point. Others suggest that he may be referring to death followed by his resurrection. If that is the case, then verses 13-18 would move nicely from the earliest moments of his existence, before his birth, to his continuous conscious existence after death. Womb to tomb, and beyond in both directions! Of course, it is more likely that David is only observing that waking or sleeping he is always with God, since God is everywhere.
However we interpret the verse, its point is that nothing will be able to separate the child of God from God, the exact point made in the Apostle Paul’s powerful ending to Romans 8: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 38, 39).
We can relate to what has been said in two ways. We can rebel against God’s knowledge and pursue evil instead. David notes this response in verses 19-22 and repudiates it. Or we can ask God to search us with the goal of our being directed in his way. The writer describes this response as his own in verses 23 and 24. By repudiating the first and embracing the second option the psalmist articulates a personal twofold response to this teaching.
When did David gain a unique individuality? What does this teach about God’s knowledge?
How has the clause, “when I awake, I am still with you” been interpreted?
What two reactions can one have to God’s knowledge?
Application: Memorize Romans 8:38, 39. Think upon it when you face difficult situations.
Key Point: Nothing will be able to separate the child of God from God.