O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. Before we’ve taken them He knows our actions and the motives behind them. He knows our thoughts before they’re crystallized, our words before they’re spoken. No matter what we do or where we go, He is there.
It’s been said that we have a God who loves us so much He can’t take His eyes off us. And an alternate translation of verse 17 reads, “How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God. How vast is the sum of them.” If this is true, He can’t stop thinking about us either.
He knew us before we were born and He has seen the day of our death. But He sent His Son so even that would not be the end of our relationship with Him. Speaking of the New Jerusalem, He says, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3)
It has always been beyond my ability to understand how God could know so much about me and still invite me to live with Him forever. Oh, I know He’s going to perfect me first, but based on what He knows about my past, I’ve got to wonder why He would go to the trouble. What is it that makes Him love us so much? We who have nothing He needs, who have always failed in our dealings with Him.
And yet one day soon He’ll send His Son to bring us to the place He’s prepared for us in His home. (John 14:1-3) There is no logical reason for this, it’s purely a manifestation of the incomparable riches of His grace. Paul must have been thinking the same thing when he wrote,
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:35-36)