Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Psalm 139 ~

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Do you ever have days when you feel like a misfit? Do you have times when you feel as if you are all alone in the world, and that no one really understands? I know I do. When I face those days, I cling to the words of Psalm 139.

This Psalm is one of my favorites. It is such a wonderful view of the intimate way God loves us and knows us. I love how the psalmist uses a literary device found in ancient texts called a palistrophe to help us find the main point of his psalm. A palistrophe is a pattern in literature where the main point of the text is found in the middle. This psalm is a wonderful example of this.

In verse one the psalmist says, "You have searched me and you know me." At the end of the Psalm, he reaffirms that the Lord is continuing to search and know us. The point of the Psalm is in the middle verses (13-16). The reason God searches and knows us is that he created our inner most being.

If you wanted to outline the psalm you could do it in the following
ABCBA pattern:

A. You have searched me and you know me.

B. God knows our thoughts and actions.

C. Because He put me together and created my  inmost being.

B. We can know God's thoughts and they are precious.

A. God is continuing to search me and know my heart.

So many times in my life it feels as if no one really understands me or how I feel about something. But God does. He intricately wove me together. Every cell, every blood vessel, every neuron in me he shaped and created. He knows me inside and out and understands thoughts and words I have before I even think or utter them.

The next time you are feeling alone and unloved, remember that there is one who knows you intimately and loves you. He has laid out your life and is walking with you. He longs to guide you and help you along the way.

You are God's ultimate handiwork and you are special!