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Hearing God in Psalms 139

Sometimes the topic of Personal Spiritual warfare can be quite heavy to digest.  When that seems to be what your heart is say, if helps to take a few steps aside and find the comfort and peace that only the Scriptures can offer.  Here is one of my favourite passages in Psalms 139, from the transliteration by Eugene H. Peterson in ‘The Message’.

“God, investigate my life and get all the facts firsthand.   I’m an open book to You.  Even from a distance, You know what I’m thinking.  You know when I leave and when I get back.  I’m never out of Your sight.  You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.  I look behind me and You’re there, then up ahead and You’re there too – Your reassuring presence, coming and going This is too much, too wonderful.  I can’t take i all in!

“Is there any place I can go to avoid Your Spirit?  ….to be out of your sight?  If I climb to the sky, You are there!  If I flew on morning’s winds to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute – You’re already there waiting!  Then I said to myself: “Oh, He even sees me in the dark!  At night I’m immersed in the light!”  It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You.  Night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to You.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out.  You formed me in my Mother’s womb.  I thank You, High God – you’re breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvellously made!  I worship in adoration – what a creation.  You know me inside and out.  You know every bone in my body.  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from noting into something.  Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You.  The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Your thoughts – how rare, how beautiful!  God, I’ll never comprehend them!  I couldn’t even begin to count them – any more than I could count the sand of the sea.  Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with You! 

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me.  Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about.  See for Yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life.”

Here is the same passage, Psalm 139 from ‘The Living Bible’:

“Oh Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit or stand.  When far away, You know my every thought.  You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest.  Every moment, You know where I am.  You know what I am going to say before I even say it.  You both precede and follow me, and place Your hand of blessing on my head.

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe.  I can never be lost to Your Spirit!  I can never get away from my God!  If I go up to heaven, You are there.  If I go down to the place of the dead, You are there.  If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me and Your strength will support me.  If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me.  For even darkness cannot hide from God; to You the night shines as bright as day.  Darkness and light are both alike to You.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb.  Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex.  It is amazing to think about.  Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it.  You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion!  (Some translations insert: You instructed in wisdom before I was even born.)  You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe.  Every day was recorded in your book!

“How precious it is Lord to realize that You are thinking about me constantly  I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me…..and when I waken in the morning, You are still thinking of me.

“Search me O god, and know my heart; test my thoughts.  Point out everything You find in me that makes You sad and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

May this be your prayer as well,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author


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