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  • Writer's pictureDale McIntire

Right Theology, Right Relationship (Psalm 139:6-8)

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. ⁷Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? ⁸If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!—Psalm 139:6-8

Some people I know like to turn their nose up at theology. “Relationship,” they say, “I’m all about relationship not theology.” It’s an odd thing to say given that without theology none of us can have a relationship with God at all. Jesus said, in his prayer in John 17, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Theology is knowing God. It is knowing the facts God has revealed about Himself and the implications of those facts for all that He created, including each and all of us. Without theology—God telling us about Himself—we could not know Him or love Him and eternal life would elude us. Without theology—the knowledge of God—we have no hope.

David does theology in Psalm 139. And he does that theology for the sake of relationship with the One of Whom he speaks. David describes God’s omniscience in verses 1-6. He describes God’s omnipresence in verses 7-12. He describes God’s omnipotence in verses 13-16. Then, and only then, after he speaks theologically about God does David speak relationally about himself and God.

Omniscience describes God’s “all-knowingness.” David shows us a deeply personal omniscience. God has searched and known David: his daily routines and activities, his thoughts and considerations, his choices and habits, even his intents. Of God, David writes, “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” He concludes that this personal, extensive, encompassing knowledge God has of him is amazing and wonderful and lofty and glorious. It is a knowledge of himself he is powerless to garner for himself. We say, “God knows me better than I know myself.” We get that from David, right here in Psalm 139:6.

What David knows about God shapes his understanding of the relationship he has with God. He writes, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them.” David’s theology of God, his understanding of God’s nature, God’s person, God’s ways, God’s heart lead him to entrust the deepest reaches of his own heart to God. “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t lay my heart open to just anybody! Right theology leads to right relationship. And right theology comes from God’s self-revelation, the Word that you are memorizing.

The personal theology you are learning from David has the potential to lead you, according to Jesus, to know God and gain eternal life. And you thought you were just memorizing verses.


For Reflection

  1. God’s omniscience means that he knows everything, even the words on our lips before we speak them. What personal significance does knowing God knows everything about your life have for you?

  2. God’s omnipresence means that God is everywhere at all times as all that He is. What significance does knowing God is right there with you at this very moment, as all that He is, have on your perception of your experience?

  3. God’s omnipotence means that God is able to do all that He chooses to do without the need for outside assistance, even to the degree of making us in our mother’s wombs. If God can do that, is there anything God desires to do that He cannot do?

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