Psalm 139 - God Is Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Psalm 139:1-6 ESV
O 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.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139:7-24 NIV
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Be concerned (and worried) or be comforted (and encouraged) because God is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent!
We need to know about God’s nature. Many Christians (including me) centre our Christianity around ‘ME’ – on how we follow the instructions in the Bible, how we repent of our sins, etc. These are all fine, to a certain extent, but as Hebrews 5:11-14 says, we need to move away from these elementary teachings and be mature.
God’s nature is written clearly in Psalm 139. Many don’t understand it fully, including old Christians like me. Even David described this knowledge as “it is high; I cannot attain it”; but he fully embraced it. By knowing the nature of God, we can be better prepared in our decision-making. For example, if I don’t know that God was there when I sinned, I will sin more (thus I should be concerned). If I am not aware that God was there when I showed love to people and got rejected, I would feel discouraged (however I will be comforted if I know He is there).
Therefore, knowing the nature of God would either cause concern, or be a comfort to us. It really depends on our walk with God.
God Is Omniscient
God knows EVERYTHING. David said of God, “you have searched me and known me” and “you discern my thoughts from afar”. To ‘search’ is to examine intimately, and the word for ‘know’ in Hebrews, Yada, means to know by observation, to care for and to instruct. The word for "discern" in Hebrews also means to attend, or to consider. The word “search out” also mean to understand, to diffuse with knowledge, to have a complete understanding; and to be “acquainted”, means to be familiar with.
We get the point of David’s emphasis here – God knows everything about me, very, very well. God knows what I am doing now, what I am thinking, and what’s ahead of me.
God’s all-knowing nature should be comforting to me or it could be concerning to me, as it depends on my walk with Him. I will be comforted if my walk with God is good, but concerned if it is bad. I am accountable to God’s Word and the Word is double-edged (Hebrews 4:11-13). The Word can comfort me, or it can cause me concerns. It is important to understand that God knows everything, as it will determine our daily walk with God. How many of us truly believe in God’s omniscience?
God is Omnipresent
God is EVERYWHERE. “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Whether I soar to my highest or sink to rock bottom, God is there. When I love someone, God is there. When I am kind to someone, God is there. Knowing that God is there when I am rejected, comforts me. But, when I am in sin, God is there too. When I am tempted, about to sin, or in the midst of the sin, God is there. I cannot assume that God is not aware because God is always there. I can only ask for His forgiveness.
We have God’s personal presence. He is with me now. He can be with someone else, and still be with me at the same time. This is a profound knowledge. God is in the spiritual realm, and is everywhere geographically too. God is there in the day and the night, He is everywhere.
God Is Omnipotent
God is ALL POWERFUL. God’s “works are wonderful”. He “knit me together in my mother’s womb”; He is my creator. And He is the creator of all things too. He made this world from nothing. No one knows how God did it as we were “made in the secret place”. I do wonder... if God is so powerful, why doesn’t He stop all the terrible and violent things that are happening in the world now? We may not know the answer to that, but we do know that God does not interfere with all things even though He has the power to do so. The things that God allows to happen will all work together for good in the end. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 ESV)
God’s thoughts of us are precious. He thinks of us a lot, enough to “outnumber the grains of sand”. It is so comforting to know that He is omnipotent, and yet His thoughts are always of us.
God knows everything; God is everywhere, and God has the power to do everything. So I welcome God, to “search me” and “know my heart”.
Heavenly Father, I want to show you my thoughts and how I feel. For the all the wrongs I’ve committed and all my grievous ways, correct me and lead me. I also need to be concerned about my sins, but I can sing new songs of forgiveness for I understand your amazing grace. I need your forgiveness for the all sins that I have done. I want to be refreshed; my soul needs you every hour. I need to dig deeper into the Scripture to know you and be mature in Christ, to continue in my walk with you, and to make better decisions in my life.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.