Mothers have eyes in the back of their heads. We all know this to be true.
Okay, I’m being a little silly in saying that, but one thing in which I have become a firm believer over the years is women’s intuition. There are things my mother knew that I found baffling. How could you possibly know that?
It is the same with my wife. She knows things, sees things, senses things to which I am oblivious, which I am inclined to doubt, and which later prove to be spot-on true. It is uncanny!
From that baseline, there are two directions I can go. I can see the remarkable insights of my wife as spooky and unsettling, or I can embrace it as a beautiful gift, something to trust and appreciate. How beautiful it is to have a mate and a best friend who often knows me better than I know myself.
LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me. – Psalm 139:1-5, ESV
Given the truth of Psalm 139, what we have to grapple with is our perception of it – our reaction to it. Note that David is not asserting that God knows all, that he knows everything. What David is saying is, “God knows me – all about me. Everything!” Every facet of my life is laid bare before God (Hebrews 4:13). So unabridged is God’s knowledge that David says, “You have penetrated me and known me.” We can be threatened and horrified by that, or we can rejoice, and even be comforted that God knows us and loves us as we are.
As a king, the heart of David was unknowable to his subjects (Proverbs 25:3), but it was laid bare before sovereign God. Even our most commonplace activities (sitting down and rising up) do not escape the notice of our loving and attentive God. He sees the formation of the words on our tongues before we even speak them. We are completely transparent before him. This intimacy with God began before David was even born, as God knit him together in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
Is that comforting, or unsettling?
The way you answer that question says a great deal about your perspective on God, his traits, his attributes, his relationship with you. Is God a “spy,” constantly digging, searching, examining us to learn our secrets, or is God an intimate companion, a dear and welcome friend, an encouraging guide?
There is no place we go but that God is already there. I find that comforting, rather than alarming. I breathe “Oh, yes!” rather than “Oh no!” Yahweh is my welcomed, constant companion.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. – Psalm 139:6, ESV
The apostle Paul observed…
In him we live and move and have our being . – Acts 17:28, ESV
There is something beautifully intimate in what Paul said above, so much so that it has been incorporated as a tagline on my website. We live, move, exist in God, as though we swim in a sea of his love and care.
Knowing the goodness, mercy, and loving-kindness of Yahweh, David actively invites God to the greatest, deepest levels of relational intimacy. He closes his psalm by inviting God, asking God to search him out, to test him.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! – Psalm 139:3-4, ESV