The 7 Most Important Lessons to Learn from Psalm 139

What are the lessons you can learn from Psalm 139? If you have asked this question, then you came to the right place. Discover the infinite wisdom of God and how He deeply cares for you through this Psalm!

What can we learn from Psalm 139

Among the most powerful and beautiful psalms written by King David is Psalm 139. It talks about God’s omnipotent and all-knowing character. Through this magnificent psalm, we get a deeper understanding of the loving nature of our Heavenly Father.

Therefore, Psalm 139 deserves our full attention. In this blog, let us go deeper in understanding Psalm 139, the lessons we can learn from it, and how we can become better followers of God by applying its many wonderful principles.

A quick look at Psalm 139

Psalm 139 is best known for its first verse, which states:

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me.”

As a hymn psalm attributed to King David, it is used to proclaim and sing about the glory of God and His wonderful works. Psalm 139 comes with 24 verses and each verse is packed with inspiring insights into God’s love, nature, and work.

Here are the words written in Psalm 139:

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.

You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

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;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

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.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

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.

Read the lessons from the life of David and learn how to conquer your giants by reading this post.

Lesson no. 1: God is especially interested in you

The opening verse of Psalm 139 tells us:

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

On the surface, this verse looks like a simple statement of David. However, if we look deeper, you will see a more special meaning.

The word “searched” on this verse came from the Hebrew word, “chaqar,” which means to examine intimately. This word is primarily used in reference to the act of digging and boring as if a person is looking for precious metals and water.

This carries the meaning that God takes special effort just to search and know us. He doesn’t simply look at the surface, but He goes down deep to the tiniest detail of our existence. He isn’t satisfied with just knowing our name, He wants to know who we really are.

Notice as well that it is the LORD, whom David is addressing here. LORD here refers to the personal name of the Supreme Ruler of this vast universe –  YAHWEH. David wasn’t talking about any other false gods, but it is YAHWEH who Himself choose to search and know us.

Though YAHWEH, the LORD, is the Supreme Ruler of the entire universe, He takes time to stay updated with every affair of our lives.

Thus, it is a wonderful truth to know that God, Himself, is always there to take care of us by knowing everything about us.

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Lesson no. 2: God knows everything about us

Because God supernaturally searches us, then it follows that He knows everything about us.

When I say, “everything,” I literally mean everything. Nothing escapes His attention. He knows us from the tiniest to the biggest details of our lives.

We read in the first six verses of Psalm 139:

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Notice the different words used to show how God has a great knowledge of us. He knows, understands, comprehends, and acquaints Himself to everything that we are!

Verse 2 says He knows your sitting down and rising up. It means that there’s no movement that we can do without Him noticing it. Whether we sit down or rise up and anything in between, He knows it!

Verse 2 further says You understand my thought afar off. God knows what we are thinking in the past and in the present. He knows our plans and aspirations. He knows our successes and failures. He knows our ups and downs. He knows literally everything!

Verse 3 tells us that God comprehends our path and our lying down. If you look at the Hebrew word of comprehends, it means God is sifting out who we are. He is looking at our substance and takes away what’s not of value. He further tells us that He knows every path that we take in the entire course of our life.

Verse 4 tells us that God knows all the words that we say – including that is what we can say and what we have said. It is worth noting that God even knows every intent behind our words. What the ears can’t comprehend, He understands.

Lesson no. 3: God’s presence is everywhere

God is omnipresent. There is no place that He is not present. He is in every place that you go to. In verse 5 we read:

You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Hedge here means God has surrounded us, in every side in such a way that God knows what comes near us and those that come away from us.

In verse 7-10, we read:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

King David here was asking where he can go where there is no God! Whether David go to heaven or in the grave, God is there. Even if David flies by using the wings of the morning or goes down deep in the uttermost parts of the sea, God is still there!

Sometimes, we thought that darkness can hide us. Sometimes, we go to our secret place to conceal whatever that we are doing. However, in verses 11-12, we read:

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Even darkness is nothing to God. In his mighty power, even the “night shines as the day!”

That’s how God is ever-present in every place we go to.

Lesson no 4: God knows us even before we were born

God does not only know us when we have already existed, but He has already known us way before we were born.

We read in verse 13-16:

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;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
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.

God is our Creator and as a Creator, He knows every detail of our bodies. He knows how it works. He knows every beat of our hearts; every cell in our bloodstream; every dead tissue that falls off from our body; every strand of our hair; and even every biological process inside every organ.

When we are still being formed in our mother’s womb, we are not hidden from God. He doesn’t only know us, but He formed us. He fearfully and wonderfully made us!

From the two cells that unite, when nothing resembles a human being, God has already inspected us. We are his work and through God’s eternal wisdom, He formed us and has raised us to be His children.

Thus, it is not difficult to see how David eventually said, “MARVELOUS are Your work.”

For this, he praised God. He expressed his great gratitude to God for forming him and being with him even during his conception.

Lesson no. 5: God is especially concerned with us

With God’s unimaginable and intimate knowledge of us, it is not difficult to see how He cares for us.

In verse 17, we read:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

As a parent, there’s not a day that passes by without me thinking of my son, Caleb. Now, God is way, way GREATER than me or any human father on earth.

If I, a sinner and a frail human being, is able to think about my son, how much more would God think about us, His children?

King David expressed his thoughts by saying that God’s thoughts of us are precious. The number of times when God thinks of us is numerous. If we try to count them, it would be like counting the grain of sand!

God’s thoughts to us are mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

That’s the thoughts of God for us. He plans for us to prosper and to give us hope and a future!

Lesson no. 6: God brings everything we do in judgment

Because God knows everything, then He is the perfect Judge. Whether what we have done is good or evil, He can bring it before us during the Great White Throne Judgment.

We read in Ecclesiastes 12:14:

For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

If we have done good, then we should greatly rejoice because God is not unjust who will forget our good works and the labor of love we have shown (Hebrews 6:10).

However, if we have done evil, we must fear with a godly fear because we will surely reap what we sow. Having the knowledge that God knows everything we think, say, and do should convince us to be more careful about how we live our lives. We must always remember that we will ultimately give account to everything that we do when the time finally comes.

It is quite interesting why there’s a sudden change in the train of thought of David in verse 19-22.

We read:

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

It could be that David knows that God also knows how his enemies behave. God knows their innermost thoughts. Therefore, God can justly judge them and serve justice for David.

If we are wicked and evil, we will be like the enemies of David. God will deny us entrance to His Kingdom if we don’t repent and change our ways. Thus, it is very important that we do our best in doing His will in our lives.

Lesson no. 7: We must ask God for guidance

Since God knows everything then it follows that if we want to know something, then we can go and ask Him about it.

One special area in David’s life that he wanted God’s help is knowing more about his life. While David truly is the best one who knows about himself, there are other things that he doesn’t know and only God can reveal them to him.

That’s why, at the closing of Psalm 139, we read his prayer:

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.

David recognized how incompetent humans are in estimating themselves. He knows how poor we are in examining ourselves and without God’s help, we can fall under the delusion that everything is okay. We might think that we are already good enough, but the truth is, we are not.

Thus, David prayed for God to search Him, that He will exercise this great power of His on him. He prayed for God to know His heart – to know his worries, imaginations, memory, hopes, dreams, aspirations, feelings, plans, and everything that is between.

Most importantly, David prayed for God to specifically show him his wickedness. For by knowing where not to go, God can then clearly show where the way to everlasting life is.

Final words

These are just some of the best lessons of Psalm 139. It is definitely a beautiful Psalm packed with so many valuable lessons.

It shows us a deep understanding of God in our lives. So, whatever you are going through, whether you are in your darkest times or in your happiest moments, know that God is with you.

If you want to share the lessons you also learn from Psalm 139, let me know. Leave a message below. As always, please share this blog to as many friends as possible if this post has inspired you. 

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