CONFIDENCE FROM EXPERIENCE
Psalm 138, A Psalm of David.
Now this again is a psalm of David, and it follows his pattern of praise. Like the psalm before, David has seen despair but David knows that God will answer, even as he did for the children of Israel in that later captivity. This is a psalm of one who has seen the victory, and this may have encouraged Israel even when they were oppressed in Babylon.
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. Psalm 138:1-5
This is the bible. The bible includes the statements of John as inspired by god. He tells us that Jesus is the word of God, he is the bible, and he is God. So David can praise God and his word which lives in his heart. David also has fellowship with God the father through prayer. God has magnified his word, his son above his own name so David’s reading of scripture is blessed to show him these truths. David’s prayer to the father is rewarded with strength. He knows that kings of the earth will praise God which verifies the Holy Spirit in men in leadership like himself. David and the godly leaders of the earth will sing praises as a fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are alive in the world to David and the godly men of the earth.
Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. Psalm 138:6-8
David has been the young shepherd who became king by God’s blessing. He knew better than to walk in pride, having seen others fall in that. David has powerful enemies but he can trust a greater power for his safety. David has understood the right hand of God to be messiah from his earlier psalms. Only one name is given to save men; Yeshua, Jesus. God will repair the flaws that remain in David and his mercy is unlimited. David trusts God to complete the work he has begun and holds the hope to see his salvation completed.
Psalm 139 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
David seems to be a mature adult, and possibly a senior in this psalm. He has lived long enough to know that his hope is ever near and dependable. David depends on God and he is not living in the pride that a king might be tempted by. He knows how close his king is to his very soul.
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Psalm 139:1-5
When you allow God to take your life, he gains entrance into your heart and mind. Now David’s conversation is with the God who is his roommate within his very soul. Today I too have no closets that are closed to the God who has all of my keys. If we drive to work he is within us with knowledge of our route and our traffic experiences. God has more intimate knowledge of our words and thoughts than our marriage partner. In all of this he has given us comfort, encouragement, and guidance. His hand guides us to the best path.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:6-10
To know that God is a spirit who is so close and loving is hard to comprehend. How could we run away from God? Can I hide my sin or run from God? Many who want to hid guilt have run to the remote places like our own wild west. Even now men dream of a place in space where they can live by their own rules. Star Trek fantasies imagine social experiments that defy biblical direction. But even these escapes often try to find answers in the spiritual realm. Be sure that the spiritual realm has answers where ever you go. You can fly or run to the sea but God will find you even as he found Jonah.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psalm 139:11-15
David knows that the dark of night will not leave him vulnerable. David has discovered spiritual sight that is aware of his surroundings. To God there is no darkness, there are no secrets. God holds his reins and guides him now even as he did in his mother’s womb. He was formed by the knowledge of the Lord even before his birth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Psalm 139:16-20
God knew the form of David when he was a fetus, without the form of a man. He was already recorded as a whole being in God’s book. So we are received by God as being whole as soon as we are willing to receive him. Our salvation is conceived and born by faith while we are in the womb of our confession and surrender to Jesus. It is finished even as it begins, we are saved by faith. The mind and thoughts of God are more vast than the universe of his creation. We are just beginning to fathom some of the physical universe and this spiritual mind of God is far beyond our minds now. He who planned to save the humble is surely set against those who remain stubbornly angry against their father and creator. We should reject sin and come apart from those who have chosen the bloody way of rebellion.
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:31-34
David knew about the way of violent and evil men. Israel was to discover that kind of evil in the captivity of Babylon. Even today we see violent evil manifest in the land of Babylon under the flag of the Islamic State. David was offended by evil even as Israel was in the later years of their captivity in Babylon. But David’s fear was not of the violent men around him, but rather of the dangerous thoughts within himself.
The church today may share David’s danger if we do not ask God to discover the evil within us. Do we need God to cleanse and protect us, or do we trust in our right to bear arms? The day will come when men and women become weak in the infirmity of old age. But we will never be weak if we are borne in the arms of the Lord.