Psalm 139 – Our response to the character of God, by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
Just more than a year ago, Maggie and I were in Sweden with our daughter. We were there because we wanted to again experience the wonderful feeling of being out in the snowy fields on a sled pulled by a team of huskies. And it was a fabulous experience, out in the countryside, looking at the majesty of God’s creation. But even that experience was dwarfed by the grandeur of God’s handiwork that we got to see on display one evening. We’d driven to a small town about a 100 kilometres from where we were staying as it was a prime spot for seeing the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. We didn’t see anything but on the way home, Adri happened to look up out the window and right above us was this amazing display of lights, which, as the very cold evening wore on, became brighter and more spectacular than we could have imagined. Now many explain away this amazing display with scientific jargon about magnetic particles, but what was on display was the majesty of God’s creative powers. We have a truly amazing God – an almighty God, who is present everywhere, who knows everything …. and a God who loves us deeply.
And this is what this psalm of David is all about. In the 24 verses of his psalm, David tells us about how God knows everything; everything about everything and everyone – or to put it in proper English, he tells us about God’s omniscience. That’s in the first 6 verses. And in the next 6 verses he goes on to tell us about God’s omnipresence: there is nowhere that God is not present. But there’s yet more, for God is also an almighty God, a God who can do anything – and David tells us more about God’s omnipotence in verses 13-18. And then in the final 6 verses, he tells us about how this all ties together in our lives. Now there’s a sermon in each of these sections, but this morning we’re going to take a look at this psalm in overview and see what each section tells us about God and what it also tells us about our response to him. So we’ll look at:
- God’s Omniscience (1-6);
- God’s Omnipresence (7-12);
- God’s Omnipotence(13-18); and
- Our response (19-24).