Psalm 139 presents us with an interesting challenge. There are two main theological concepts presented in this psalm, both of which promote immutable attributes of God.
God is omniscient and He is omnipresent. He knows everything and He is everywhere.
Theologians like to talk about that sort of thing; but what does that have to do with me? I don’t care about theology, so why do I need to know that?
If we only look at the theological aspects, then we will miss the beauty of the psalmist’s understanding.
We teach our children about the first part of the psalm. We tell them that God knows their thoughts and what they are about to say or do whether or not mommy or daddy knows.
What about the second part—the part where it says we cannot hide from the presence of God? This is the part that gets adults into trouble.
Before we come to Christ, this section (vv. 7-12) sounds like “The Hound of Heaven.” (Francis Thompson, 1859–1907) Thompson’s poem speaks of God’s loving pursuit of a lost sinner.
After we have come to Christ, this section of Psalm 139 sounds like a good ol’ houn’ dog who just won’t leave you alone.
Many Christians believe that after they have come to the Lord, they can just go about life the way they desire.
I am not talking about continuing in a sinful lifestyle. I’m talking about trying to live life on your own terms. The Hound of Heaven just won’t let you do that.
Like a good sheep dog, He will keep cutting you off as you wander to the left or to the right—continually pushing you back into the right path.
One November night in 1992, I walked away from the things of God. I quit. I quit everything that seemed religious or spiritual.
No more prayer; no more church; no more Bible reading or study. I simply walked away. (The WHY is a whole story in and of itself.)
But God wasn’t about to let me wander off on my own. Apparently, even though I was through with Him, He wasn’t through with me.
Like v. 10 says, He continued to lead me, guide me, and hold me. I was hardly ever without feeling His presence. And, without going into detail, I was in some places most of us feel that God would never go.
This is written for the one who is trying to get away from God.
GIVE IT UP. You can’t do it.
God won’t let you go.