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.
Psalm 139 describes a man who is thinking about himself and his relationship with God. It is divided into six verses. I would like to show you the first of the truths listed in this Psalm…the truth that God knows us! Read verse 1 again:
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.”
Have you ever been searched? Today, you can hardly walk through an airport without being searched. Before you are even able to board a plane you are forced to drop your bag, remove everything from your pockets and place them in a tray to pass through an X-ray machine. Sometimes they will pull you aside and wave a detector wand over your body to see if there is anything remotely suspicious – at which point you could be thoroughly frisked. This is what it means to be searched, and it can be a fearful process.
David says, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” The Hebrew word for “searched” is the word “to dig.” Literally, what David is saying is the Lord digs us! It is as if David said to the Lord, “You dig into me and therefore you know me.”
Now, what exactly does it mean that God knows us? I believe God’s knowledge of us is a relational knowledge. He knows those who belong to Him in an intimate and personal relationship. The Lord knew David and David knew the Lord.
In John 10:14 and 27, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” God knows those who belong to him and He sees them from the inside out. You see, God knows everything there is to know about us. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Look at the very descriptive words that are used to describe God’s complete knowledge of us.
Verse 1 “You have searched and known.”
Verse 2 “You know…you perceive.”
Verse 3 “You discern and are familiar.”
Verse 4 “You know completely.”
And so, the question is: what exactly does God know about us? Let me offer four things:
- God knows what we think.
In the Bible, the heart includes your mind, your will and your emotions. Your heart is that place deep within you where your values are formed, and your decisions are made. God knows our hearts inside and out. He knows our hearts better than we do. He knows exactly what we are thinking all the time. This is very convicting to me. I often wish that God did not know what I was thinking.
Did you know that the Bible states that what we think is really who we are? Now that’s a scary thought. Proverbs 23:7 (NASB) states, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Do you want to know who you really are? Then take a hard look at your innermost thoughts. These thoughts that fill our hearts continuously are determining our character. Because what we think about is what we will eventually become and what we act upon. You see our thoughts eventually lead to our choices and actions. D.L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark…true character is what we are when nobody’s looking, in the secret chambers of the heart.” Psalm 94:11 states, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man…” God digs into our mind and He sees our thought life.
- God knows what we do.
God sees everything that we do. Verse 2 states, “You know when I sit and when I rise.” Think about it – every action we take is either while we are seated or while we are standing. And God sees them all. He knows everything that we do.
- God knows where we go.
Verse 3 states, “You discern my going out and my lying down. You are familiar with all my ways.” Wow! God knows everywhere we have ever been. Are there some places you wish you had never been? Job 34:21 states, “His eyes are on the ways of man; he sees their every step.”
- God knows what we say.