We continue our series on Psalms 139. Today we expound upon verses 5 and 6. These two verses continue the thought of God’s omnipresence and highlight the fact that it is all, “too wonderful for me”.
To read verses 3 and 4 go to, “God Knows the Word on our Tongue and Thought in our Heart”. To read verse 2 go to, “God Knows”. And to read the first verse of Psalms 139 then go to, “Searching For Gold”
God Behind and Before
“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.” Psalms 139:5
From downsittings and uprisings (verse 2) to setting behind and leading before, God guides us forward and abides with us always. “Thou hast beset me” like a father firmly grasping the hand of his child, keeping him in the way he should go.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12. Hallelujah for the hand of God that hast beset me behind and before!
“Behind us there is God recording our sins, or in grace blotting out the remembrance of them; and before us there is God foreknowing all our deeds, and providing for all our wants.” Charles Spurgeon.
The desire of all children of God is to have His hand upon us. Nowhere more beautifully prayed for than in the prayer of Jabez.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
To be blessed, to have increase, to be guided and to be protected, to be so enveloped in the hand of God that we can’t be grieved by evil! To be in such a relationship with God that his hand grasps us so closely that we can’t turn any other way but His way (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!).
“Thou so guidest me with thine hand, that I can turn no way, but where thou appointest me” Footnotes from the 1599 Geneva Bible.
To be beset behind and before, with the hand of God upon us, hand in glove, two as one. Jesus prayed, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” John 17:23.
God how can I possibly understand? You searched me, know my goings, are acquainted with all my ways, your very hand is laid upon me; such knowledge is too wonderful for me!
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Who can comprehend?
Elisha’s servant couldn’t comprehend the omnipresence and omnificence of God when he and Elisha were surrounded by the Syrian army. Elisha prayed for God to open his eyes so he could see.
“Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17
What would we see if our eyes were opened to what is? Do we have this capacity? We can contemplate but cannot fathom the magnitude or the magnificence of God. Fortunately complete faith and not complete knowledge is all that is required.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36
Just like I know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge (Ephesians 3:19) and filled with all the fullness of you, Lord I know your magnificence but do not know the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of it. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
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