Psalm 139:1-6 - Awesome Attributes of God! Part 1

Psa. 139:1-6: Awesome Attributes of God! Part One

Psa 139:1 (CWB)  0 Lord, you have searched my heart and know me
inside and out.
Psa 139:2 (CWB)  You know my comings and goings and discern my
thoughts before I think them.
Psa 139:3 (CWB)  You walk beside me all day long, and when I lie
down at night, you're still there. You know everything I do and say.
Psa 139:4 (CWB)  There's not a word that comes from my mouth, 0
Lord, that you don't know beforehand.
Psa 139:5 (CWB)  You are behind me, in front of me and all
around me wherever I go. You have touched me and drawn me close to
Psa 139:6 (CWB)  I can't comprehend it. It's so wonderful that
no matter how hard I try to understand, I can't grasp it all.


This psalm contains the clearest expression of the attributes
and character of God to be found in the Psalter. One could hardly
describe the omniscience and omnipresence of God more effectively.
[Believer's SB]

This poem describes the attributes of the Lord not as abstract
qualities, but as active qualities by which He relates Himself to His
people. [Nelson SB]

From the standpoint of OT theology, this is the climax of
thought in the Psalter on God's personal relationship to the individual.
The psalmist does not engage in abstract philosophy or speculative
meditation; he merely describes his humble walk with God and shares his
experiental knowledge of the Lord. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]

A. The omniscience of the Lord (139:1-6)
B. The omnipresence of the Lord (139:7-12)
C. The omnipotence of the Lord (139:13-18)
D. The loyalty of David (139:19-24). [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

God's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence are the
subjects of David's meditations in this beautiful psalm.... His first
meditation is on God's knowledge, that every aspect of his life was
searched out and controlled by what the Lord knew. He then realized it
was impossible to escape from such omniscient control, no matter how
far or fast he might go, for God is everywhere. David then stated
that God has such control over him because in His power He created
Him secretly and planned his life with great care. On the basis of
these meditations, David then affirmed his loyalty to God and prayed
for God to prove him by examining him. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

This psalm focuses on four great attributes of God: His
knowledge of all things (vv. 1-6), His presence everywhere (vv. 7-12), His
power in the formation of man (vv. 13-18), and His holiness, which
destroys evil men and searches the believer's heart (vv. 19-24). [Ryrie

David meditates on the omniscience (139:1-6), omnipresence (vv.
7-12), and omnipotence (vv. 13-18) of God. He then applies these truths
to the wicked, whom he calls on God to slay (vv. 19-22), and to
himself, whom he calls on God to examine and to lead (vv. 23-24). [Victor
Bible Reader's Companion]


2 The two opposites of sitting and rising represent all his
actions (this is a figure of speech known as a merism). [Bible Knowledge

3 The opposites of going out in the morning and lying down at
night represent the whole day's activities (another merism). [Bible
Knowledge Commentary]

4 There is not a word in my tongue: thou knowest all my words
before they are uttered, as thou knowest all my thoughts while as yet
they are unformed. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

5 Beset behind and before: God knows all the past and future:
(Adam Clarke Commentary)

5 Laid thine hand upon me: This is the body language of blessing
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]


David here lays down this great doctrine, That the God with whom
we have to do has a perfect knowledge of us, (Matthew Henry's

1 Thou understandest my thought: A most solemn reflection! How
unwilling would bad people be - would even good people be - to have those
round about them know always "what they are thinking." (Barnes'

5 Why did God hem David in? Though today we use this to express
a feeling of confinement or restricted freedom, David meant just
the opposite. When God hemmed David in, David was grateful for God's
close contact. Wherever he turned, he found God. As a result, David
was both comforted and awe-struck by God's care and protection (v.
6). [Quest SB]

5 The Psalmist rejoiced in a three-fold security.  God beset him
behind (past) and before (future) and had His hand upon him (present).
[Lockyer's Prayers of the Bible]


We need a high view of our God. He is absolutely sovereign.  No
one can change his mind or make Him do what He is not pleased to do.
 And so He tells His creatures, there is no god beside Him.  It
is God that ultimately brings both life and death.  Sometimes we
are tempted to think that the adversary, the devil, is a sort of
equivalent to God, but evil.  This is not true.  The devil is evil, but he
is no comparison to God.  There is nothing to compare God to,
because He is absolutely unique.  He has told His creation how life
works. We have it all in our owner's manual, the Bible.  Just as a rock
will never float in the air on earth, so too, if we obey God we are
blessed, and if we disobey, we suffer the consequences. Absolutely. Do
not demean God when things get difficult, by thinking He is not in
complete control.  He is God, and there is no one beside Him, and He will
accomplish His will.  [In His Time Walk With Wisdom]

Child, don't try to understand Me.  Just love Me.  Just let Me
love you.  You don't have to understand Me to open yourself to My
You're right - I do ride the wild winds into town sometimes.  I
do appear in forms you have never seen, sound notes you have never
heard.  This makes you wonder if I get My signals crossed, if I take
you south in order to get you north.  I seem to have plopped you
down, reasonable creature that you are, into an unreasonable world.
You do not understand all this because I am God and you are you.
May I remind you how different we really are?  You are human; I
am divine.  You are finite; I am infinite.  You need love; I
delight in love but do not need it.  You need to be understood; I am
above the need to be understood.  You cannot understand; I understand
perfectly.  You are of time; I am of eternity.  You are of reason; I am
above reason.  You are blown by the wind; I blow the wind.  Ruth
Senter [Time with God devotional SB]

Lord, thank you for knowing me and for continuing to love me
anyway. [Life Recovery Devotional SB]


There is comfort in the fact that God can never be taken by
surprise. [Daily Walk Bible]

All believers who come to understand the attributes of God
discussed in this psalm find them a great source of comfort, and a great
prompting to obey Him. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

Study God's word prayerfully. That word presents before you, in
the law of God and the life of Christ, the great principles of
holiness, without which "no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14. It
convinces of sin; it plainly reveals the way of salvation. Give heed to it
as the voice of God speaking to your soul.  {SC 35.2}