1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
God knows everything about us. Hebrews 4:13 states, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”
Do you remember the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4? Remember, Jesus was passing through Samaria on his way to Galilee when he came to the town of Sychar. He was tired and so he sat down by a well. There was no one else at the well until a Samaritan woman appeared. Jesus began to talk to her and asked her for a drink of water. She was amazed and surprised that a Jew would talk to a woman, particularly a Samaritan woman. She asked him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
She was confused. “Sir,” she said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Then Jesus said something very interesting. He looked at her and said, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her [very gently], “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
She was flabbergasted. She must have been thinking, “How could he know this about me when I have just met him?”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.”
And so, as Jesus continued to talk to her, He began to open her eyes. Suddenly, she saw Jesus as her Savior and she believed in Him. Then, the text says that she left her water jar, and went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ.”
David cried out, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Listen, the Lord knows everything that we have ever done! But here is the good news – in spite of what God sees in us and knows about us, He still loves us very much. In fact, He loves us so much that He places His loving arms around us and draws us into His protective care. Verse 5 states, “You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” I believe David clearly had the children of God in mind when he wrote this particular verse. For the child of God – God is a refuge and a hiding place.
Psalm 91:1, 2 and 4 state, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust…He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”
I believe that as David considered the sinfulness of his heart and at the same time realized that he belonged to God, he was overcome by wonder and joy. In fact, that truth was so amazing to him that he couldn’t fully grasp it. And so, in verse 6 David cries out to God, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
When you think about some of the places you have been, some of the things you have thought, some of the things you have said and done, do you ever wonder about God’s amazing grace?
Lauren Daigle in her worship song, How Can It Be, writes, “I am guilty. Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become. These hands are dirty. I dare not lift them up to the Holy one. You plead my cause. You right my wrongs. You break my chains. You overcome. You gave Your life, to give me mine. You say that I am free. How can it be? How can it be?”
When I consider that God knows my every sin, every evil thought, every mean, gossipy word I have spoken – in spite of all that He knows about me, He still chose me. I have only one thing to say: How can it be? “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”