My God, How You Know Me!!!

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O Lord, you have searched me and you know me… – Psalm 139

Psalm 139 is one of the longer psalms and it is rich with the human emotions of wonder and awe. It is child-like in its innocence and humility, in its pure emotion. The words are not those of the scholar. There is no pretense of sophistication in them. Rather, simple as they are, they are exuberant with the author’s sense of wonder and the sudden surprise of an insight beyond human reason. It is as if they are vibrating with giddy-ness. When I read them, I feel the same awe and wonder of God that David is expressing in them.

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This God is no distant clockmaker. This God is no puppeteer dangling us on strings, manipulating our every move. This God is more inimate than any relationship I have in my life. This God “KNOWS” me. Knows me more deeply than any human being could ever know me. This is the God who, “created every part of me, put me together in my mother’s womb.” (139:13) This is the God who, “When my bones were being formed… when I was growing there in secret, knew that I was there, saw me before I was born.” (139:15) I know with all my heart that I can not escape this God. I can not run away from this God, for He is everywhere and always present to me. This God knows me better than I know myself. “Even before I speak [He] knows what I will say.” (139:4) And with all my heart, I know that He loves me beyond my imagination. Because I know this, I give thanks and pray that He will, “Examine me and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.” (139:24)

In the end, this beautiful psalm is simply an exuberant canto of love. It is David’s (and our) recognition that this God, this profoundly intimate Presence, actually and really loves us more deeply than we deserve, cares for us more purposefully than even our mothers or fathers, husbands or wives ever can. This psalm is a powerful expression of that awe that overwhelms us when we suddenly become aware that God’s incomprehensible, infinite love for us is real and always present. Thanks be to God!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.