Psalm 139 is a Psalm that boggles the mind; it stretches it to a realm far beyond its boundaries into the very nature of the Almighty creator God who lives. This Psalm is the humble attempt of a fallen human being to describe the majesty of two attributes of God: His omniscience, and His omnipresence.
“In this Psalm David, that he may dismiss the deceptive coverings under which most men take refuge, and divest himself of hypocrisy, insists at large upon the truth that nothing can elude the divine observation — a truth which he illustrates from the original formation of man, since he who fashioned us in our mother’s womb, and imparted to every member its particular office and function, cannot possibly be ignorant of our actions. Quickened by this meditation to a due reverential fear of God, he declares himself to have no sympathy with the ungodly and profane, and beseeches God, in the confidence of conscious integrity, not to forsake him in this life.” – John Calvin 1
“Amongst its other excellencies, it is for nothing more admirable than for the exquisite skill with which it descants on the perfections of the Deity. The Psalmist’s faith in the omnipresence and omniscience of Jehovah is in the commencement depicted · with a singular and beautiful variety of the most lively expressions: nor can anything be more sublime than that accumulation of the noblest and loftiest images, in the 7th and following verses, commensurate with the limits of created nature, whereby the Psalmist labors to impress upon the mind some notion of the infinity of God.” – Bishop Manth 1
“One of the most notable of the sacred hymns. It sings the omniscience and omnipresence of God, inferring from these the overthrow of the powers of wickedness, since he who sees and hears the abominable deeds and words of the rebellious will surely deal with them according to his justice. The brightness of this Psalm is like unto a sapphire stone, or Ezekiel’s “terrible crystal”; it flames out with such flashes of light as to turn night into day. Like a Pharos, this holy song casts a clear light even to the uttermost parts of the sea, and warns us against that practical atheism which ignores the presence of God, and so makes shipwreck of the soul.”2
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” – Psalm 139:6, ESV.
Join me as we journey through this majestic and lofty Psalm, stay tuned!
1 Calvin, John. “Psalm 139.” Commentary on Psalms. Vol. 5. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library. 32. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Calvin College Computer Science. Print.
2 Spurgeon, Charles H. “Treasury of DavidPsalm 139.” The Spurgeon Archive. Philip R. Johnson. Web. 05 Jan. 2012. <http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps139.htm>.