Psalm 139:1-6 (The Message)

God, investigate my life; 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 it all in!

 7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings 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. 

13-16 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 marvelously 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 nothing 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. 

17-22 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! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers – out of here! – all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all the godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! 23-24 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. 

I recall my grandfather citing this as one of his favorite passages; reading it, I see a passage by which he lived – the legacy he left for his family. He was a man of God and he desired nothing more than to see his family as a part of the kingdom of God. Though he’s long gone, his legacy remains, and this passage serves to remind me of all that he knew and wanted us to know.

These past eight months have been nothing but an adventure for me; constant leaps and bounds outside of my comfort zone. As I focus on this passage, I am filled with a sense of peace in knowing that God knew about all of these challenging situations before I even thought about them. Every decision I make, every step I take, God knows – it’s all part of His plan.

Knowing this helps me to doubt less, even when I feel like I’m in way over my head.

This passage also reinforces that God sees everything – every thought, every choice, every decision – and in a way, it holds me accountable. If I cannot escape God, how willing am I to fight Him on a choice that I want to make for myself? The answer is that I shouldn’t be willing at all, but the reality is that human nature encourages us to consider our own personal well-being above all else. The accountability that this passage reminds me of helps in the adventure to deny our human nature in favor of something far greater – eternal life with God.


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