Taking the Father’s hand…



Psalm 139: 1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

This psalm speaks of the intimate relationship between King David and God the Father. Four key thoughts come to mind for me related to this psalm:

1) David doesn’t just acknowledge God’s comprehensive insight into his life, but he welcomes it. He doesn’t see intimacy with God as something to be feared or resisted. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m ready for someone to know EVERYTHING about me. There are parts of me I’m not particularly proud of. Some of my thoughts and actions are not God-honoring. There are times when I hide behind the facade of my public face because I don’t want people to see the real me, the broken me, the sinful me.

2) Yet the truth is, whether I like it or not, what was true of David is also true of me. God already knows EVERYTHING about me. He sees my broken side. He knows my sinful thoughts and deeds. He is all too familiar with my weaknesses, failings, and short-comings. The reality and totality of who I am is already exposed – in full – to God the Father. Oh, and what is true of me is true of you as well. WE are completely known to God.

3) Despite God’s intimate knowledge of us, warts and all, he loves us anyway! Rather than being despised and rejected, we are embraced as children of God. How? Because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the price for our sin on the cross. He took upon himself the judgment you and I deserve. Isn’t that remarkable? Isn’t that amazing? This is not to say that, because we are his children forever by Jesus’ death and resurrection, we should hold onto our sinful ways. That’s not it at all. We are called to respond to God’s love by repenting of our sin and, by his grace, receiving strength of spirit to be made new.

5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

4) And as children of God, then, we welcome the boundaries God sets on our lives. This is what is meant by v.5 above. We may be free to do whatever we choose, but not every choice is a good one. God places limits on us to give us life, not to take life from us.


  • Are you aware that God the Father already knows everything about you?
  • What are the parts of your life you’d rather God not see?
  • What would it look like if you allowed God to take control of those areas of your life you’re not proud of?
  • What would it look like for you to embrace the boundaries God desires for you?

Heavenly Father, you are the Creator of all people. You know everything about us. EVERYTHING! In fact, you know more about us than we know about ourselves. Give us grace to take your hand as David did. Rather than hiding from you, or running from you, help us to seek you with all our hearts. And in so doing, make us into the people you intended from the moment we were conceived. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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