All-Knowing, Ever-Present Lover of Our Souls (Psalm 139:17-18)
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. —Psalm 139:17-18
The Psalmist acknowledges, with wonder and thankfulness, the care God had taken of him all his days (vv. 17-18). God, who knew him, thought of him, and his thoughts towards him were thoughts of love, thoughts of good, and not of evil. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s omniscience, which might justly have watched over us to do us hurt, has been employed for us, and has watched over us to do us good. “And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:28).
God’s counsels concerning us and our welfare have been—
Precious to admiration: How precious are they! They are deep in themselves, such as cannot possibly be fathomed and comprehended. Providence has had a vast reach in its dispensations concerning us, and has brought things about for our good quite beyond our contrivance and foresight. They are dear to us; we must think of them with a great deal of reverence, and yet with pleasure and thankfulness. Our thoughts concerning God must be delightful to us, above any other thoughts.
Numerous to admiration: How great is the sum of them! We cannot conceive how many God’s kind counsels have been concerning us, how many good turns he has done us, and what variety of mercies we have received from him. If we would count them, the heads of them, much more the particulars of them, they are more in number than the sand, and yet every one great and very considerable. “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told” (Psalm 40:5). We cannot conceive the multitude of God’s compassions, which are all new every morning.
Constant at all times: “When I awake, every morning, I am still with You, under Your eye and care, safe and easy under Your protection.” This speaks also of the continual devout sense David had of the eye of God upon him: When I awake I am with You, in my thoughts; and it would help to keep us in the fear of the Lord all the day long if, when we awake in the morning, our first thoughts were of him and we did then set him before us.
Can you think of other passages in the Bible where the Lord promises to be with us? Write down these passages on notecards to carry with you and refer to throughout the day.
When we are asleep at night, we are most vulnerable. Yet, God never slumbers. He gives us His very personal care through the night even without our conscious awareness. We see the contrast of this vulnerability and God’s faithful presence in the declaration, “I awake, and I am still with you.” In what ways can this passage help you with your fears in the fight of faith?