I could meditate on God through this song forever, there is so much to know from it! I just keep finding here, new nuances which add tone to my understanding and appreciation for who God is, and who I am!
Psalm 139 sure sounds like David’s spirituality-Lord, you have probed me, and known me entirely, thoroughly; You who see everything completely. So take out of me all that is not of You. You are everywhere, and I couldn’t nor don’t want to escape from you. All that I am, You, God know, can see, can probe. And you love me. You, who pre-existed me, and live beyond me; Every aspect of my being is known by You, because You are everywhere, and know everything; therefore…(the rest of the psalm is a conclusion or result of this fact). At the end, metaphorically, David has joined sight with God, and sees his own wickedness and the wickedness in the world, and speaks in God’s justice against it. Slay what is vile in me and in the world. He judges what rebells against God’s Presence in himself and the world. For God is not just omnipresent, but has Omni-Presence!
Our identities were formed, and are known and seen by God—more than we can see ourselves. He formed us, and sees entirely within us; both what is rebellious and what is eternally in Him. God knows us. As a husband knows his wife. As a result…
I can also see that this Psalm is like clearing the air of all evil. It is ushering in an awareness of God’s Presence, which moves everything which is rebelling against it; and it attracts all that is not—in us, and around us. This is a metaphysical psalm in this way.
To be seen by God transforms us! But His Presence is also there always seeing us; so we should live accordingly. And then we learn that self worth comes from being seen by God! And then turning and seeing ourselves accordingly!
David is then able to see the wonder of himself through God’s eyes, and declares himself to be wonderfully made! Here is the difference between self worship and appreciating the beauty of oneself through God’s Eyes! Here is the subtle but enormous difference between egotism, and celebration of self! Our self worth is revealed in this Psalm. Just like all of the creation praises and reflects God, so I am also part of that amazing creation! So I celebrate myself as well!.
Prophetic teaching starts from a scripture and applies into a person’s spirit. This Psalm is the most important in my own life. It has aspects of seeing, identity, self worth in a true context; and in the mystery of God. All my favorite things. It starts with an action of God probing and scoping our entire being, and moves on from that intimate seeing or knowing towards a celebration of creation and God’s other art!
The pattern revealed in this song also delivers us from only serving God, and lets us firstly be known and know Him intimately. Our serving, in David’s case, in in acting justice, comes out of our identity being in Him. The first part of the psalm is about identity—God’s and our own; then moves on to action in the world—slaying the wickedness within us and without.To know ourselves is to know God. We gaze at Him, He gazes on us and reveals us to ourselves. Many have said that the two most basic needs are to know ourselves, and to know God.
There is also a model of Reality in this Psalm and of transformation. We start with recognizing God’s Presence, and in wonder are led to see all things through the lens of His Presence, even ourselves. The nature of Reality is revealed when we know and are known by God! David unions with God in this Psalm, and then sees things, even about himself which he would not be able to otherwise. This is the essence of the prophetic insight. We see more than we could naturally see, through unioning with God!
The psalm provides a framework for metaphysics as well! The nature of how things really are, is revealed here. In Reality, God is everywhere and aware of everything. As Paul much later puts it when talking about Jesus: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. He is even aware of the aspects which are wicked and rebelling against His Presence. God is always constantly knowing His creation. He is an ongoing knower! Again, this is the very nature of Reality. We are being known and loved, though many are not aware or thankful, or in communion with their Maker. Still, the fact is God is here knowing us, seeing us, beholding us, loving us! What a comforting picture of Reality!
What’s interesting here is that we also get another glimpse into David’s mysticism. He unions with God in order to know or understand. For this reason, he often writes prophetically, even from the future suffering of Jesus on several occasions. David “streams” things from God as he unions with Him. As a result we also see the pattern of true mysticism in this song. One recognizes who God is, as a result, perforce, confesses sin, and then worships from true vision, and then at the end, David wants to do Justice. You see the pattern of mystic union with God in order to know things. This is David’s way throughout his life. His personal spirituality was in union with God—intense intimate contact with His Creator. So at times, he speaks directly FROM God, not just about. He confesses then praises into, and then speaks from God! That’s the way of the prophet and mystic! This psalm comes from an illustrates mystic union between creature and Creator.
In short, David is arguing from our inescapability from God!
Nothing can technically be hidden from God. He sees all. So our response, being fully seen, is to confess sin, and thank and wonder at who He is! And take notice of the wonder of His Creation! Since we are fully seen in all we think, feel and do; we are challenged to live “seen lives”, and lives of Seers. His Knower is roving everywhere, past present and future; there is no where we can go from His ongoing knowing. In light of this, we are lead supernaturally into confession, wonder, praise, worship of who God is, and then acting out in Justice or from righteousness. That’s the pattern here in this Psalm. And in David’s life! What a song to meditate ones way into God through!