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  • Writer's pictureSimon Mawhinney

Even There, He Will Be with Us (Psalm 139:9-10)

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, ¹⁰even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. —Psalm 139:9-10  

Every now and again, something comes into my mind that will make me shudder with a sense of fear and dread. Circumstances and situations so bad that I am unable to imagine anything worse. It’s like standing over a great, dark chasm, and staring into the unknown. Maybe you know the feeling; maybe as you read this, there is something that comes to your mind and makes you think, What-if...that? 

In reality this life is filled with brokenness and trouble–and it will be–until Christ returns in glory to consummate His Kingdom and bring His people home. Till then, there are no guarantees that the What-ifs we fear will not impact our lives. So where is our hope and confidence to be found? 

In Psalm 139, David exults in the intimate knowledge the Lord has concerning His people. To say that the Lord “knows us inside out,” does not even do justice to what the inspired author pens here. And intimate knowledge is not where it ends. What comfort would there be in a God who knows everything about us–our sitting and rising; our thoughts and our words; our ways and our lying down; and yet is far off, distant, or uninvolved? 

It's not enough for my children to know that Daddy knows them well–when they are hurt, afraid, anxious. What they need is to know that Daddy knows them and is there with them. That is the beautiful hope our verses give us: 

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 

even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Few things held more terror and uncertainty for the Hebrew people than the sea–the vast, deep, raging unknown! Can you imagine looking out into the distance and wondering, What if I ended up there? What if I was in that place, that danger, that dread, that unknown? And then comes the response, Even there He is with you. There is no place that God, in His love and care for His people, will not be with them. There is no situation, no circumstance, no trouble that we may find ourselves in where His hand will not lead us and His strength hold us! 

The promise is not that He will keep us from the “What-if” fears. The promise is that even there, in the what-ifs, He will be with us to comfort and strengthen us. As Jesus hung on the cross, bearing our sin and satisfying the Father’s wrath for us, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The man Christ Jesus was forsaken in that moment so that those who are in Christ never will be. The Savior who promised “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20) is the One who will be with you wherever you go. No matter what comes, because of Jesus we can say with David, “even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” 


 For Reflection

  1. What is your “What-if”? What might this reveal about what you treasure? 

  2. Do you place your hope in "chances are it won’t happen" or in the presence and promises of God in Christ? 

  3. How does the truth that God’s hand will lead you, and His right hand hold you, change the way you think about the uttermost parts of the sea? 


Simon Mawhinney is a native of Northern Ireland where he pastored for five years before moving his family to Louisville, KY, to study at Southern Seminary. He is married to Lynda and they have 6 kids. He hopes to return to pastoral ministry after his studies. Simon says Scripture memorization and meditation has been the greatest means of enjoying God’s presence in his life.


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