This psalm of David begins with the well-known sentences, “1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.” The bulk of this psalm reveals God’s intimate knowledge of man. David speaks of God’s knowledge of his path of travel, his sleep patterns, and even every word he speaks before he speaks it. He says that God has hedged him behind and before and laid His hand upon him.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
This Scripture has been quoted and preached many times, and shows the omnipresence of God to be a comfort. God is always wherever you are and wherever you need Him to be. He is that very present help in trouble.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Here, David declares God to be Creator, forming him before He was even born. He says that God saw Him even as he was being molded in the womb, and planned the events of his life. David goes on to declare his disdain for evildoers and those that oppose God. He asks God to slay them. He then sums up the psalm with this stanza:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,And lead me in the way everlasting.
This psalm has several different elements. David speaks of God’s omniscience, the fact that He knows everything, including events and thoughts. He speaks of God’s omnipresence, how He is everywhere that David could possibly go. He speaks of His omnipotence, calling Him Creator and Designer of life and substance, and believing Him capable of overcoming His enemies with power. He speaks of His eternity, knowing things before they happen in our realm, and calling Him everlasting. He even speaks of His immutability, or unchanging nature, by asking Him to lead Him in the way everlasting, David here gives a nice representative picture of the incommunicable attributes of God by praising and worshipping Him in a song. This hymnic chapter of Scripture is deep theologically and meaningful to anyone who reads it. Rejoice in our great God and give Him the glory due His name!