Meditation Monday // The Lord Knows us // Psalm 139:1
This Monday I’m meditating on Psalm 139:1, the first verse of one of my favorite Psalms. It says,
“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!”
Maybe it was because I longed for a friend who would be a “kindred spirit” like I’d read about in Anne of Green Gables growing up. Maybe it had to do with my misshapen vertebrae and diagnosis of congenital kyphoscoliosis that kept me in a back brace through junior high. Probably for both these reasons and many more, when I encountered Psalm 139 as a teenager, it spoke directly to my heart in the most wonderful way.
As we consider this Scripture together today, I hope it encourages you too. Whoever you are, and whatever you’re going through, the Lord searches you and knows you. While this truth could be a frightening thing, it’s a precious comfort to Christians.
The Lord Knows Us and Loves Us
The Lord searches us and knows us. The Lord, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the self-existent one who is perfectly holy, examines us inside and out. Without the hope of Christ, this would be terrifying.
Have you ever imagined the final judgment day, and there’s a movie reel replaying your most uncharitable thoughts, ugly words, hurtful actions, and regretted choices? I have. Truly my only hope is Christ my Redeemer saying, “Her sin is paid for. She belongs to me.”
The wonder of the gospel is that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Even knowing our sin, God loved us, and he gave his only Son to save us from the punishment we deserve and bless us with eternal life (John 3:16). Instead of cowering in fear, we find comfort in the Lord who searches us but doesn’t hold our sin against us, the one who knows all and still loves us.
The Lord Knows Us in the Day to Day
Maybe you’re stuck in an office most days with little human interaction. Or you stay home caring for young children or homeschooling older ones. Guess what? Whether you write emails, change diapers, or teach a math lesson, God knows all of it.
The Lord knows when you sit down and rise up (Psalm 139:2). He discerns your thoughts, the roads you drive, how many hours of sleep you get, and is “acquainted with all [your] ways” (verse 3). He knows what you’re going to say before you do (verse 4).
Better than the kindred spirit I wanted for a friend back in high school, even better than a spouse, the Lord knows his children. Not in some distant, obtuse kind of way, but like the faithful, promise-keeping God that he is, our Lord watches over us, hemming us in “behind and before” (verse 5). He does all this, and he does it in the monotonous parts of our days that no one else sees.
The Lord Knows Us on Our Hardest Days
The Lord knows us on our mundane days but also on our hardest days. When three of my children were diagnosed with the same serious genetic condition, waves of grief washed into our home. There were specialist appointments to schedule and new medications to administer. Overwhelmed in the moment and anxious about the future, those were some of the hardest days I’d walked through.
The psalmist asks, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (verse 10). Through a series of “If” statements—if we go up or down, here or there—it’s clear. There’s nowhere we can go that the Lord doesn’t go with us. However difficult it gets, “even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (verse 10).
The Lord Knows All About Us
In God Is Still Good: Gospel Hope & Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood, I tell how the Lord used my childhood diagnosis of kyphoscoliosis to strengthen the faith of my parents. Doctors didn’t know if I’d learn to roll or crawl, let alone walk and run. Back then, my parents didn’t know I’d grow up, get married, and deliver children of my own. But the one who “formed my inward parts,” who knit “me together in my mother’s womb” (verse 13), knew all this and more. The one who wove me—and you—“in the depths of the earth” and saw our “unformed substance” also knew every one of our days (verses 15-16).
Many of my friends didn’t know this part of my story until I wrote about it, and there may be parts of your past that even your closest friends don’t know. But God does. We don’t have to catch him up or fill in the gaps. The one who made us knows us better than we do, and he’s planned all our days.
Such Knowledge Is Too Wonderful
The Lord knows us. As we soak in this truth today, may our hearts respond like the psalmist:
With wonder. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (verse 6).
With praise. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (verse 14).
With humility. “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you” (verses 17-18).
With loyalty. Not taking matters of vengeance into our own hands, we ask God to judge his enemies justly (verses 19-22).
Finally, we place complete faith and trust in our Lord and pray,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (verse 24)
Meet our guest contributer..
Katie Faris is a pastor’s wife and mother to five who also loves to write. She’s the author of God Is Still Good: Gospel Hope & Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood (2023), He Will Be Enough: How God Takes You by the Hand Through Your Hardest Days (2022), and Loving My Children: Embracing Biblical Motherhood (2015) and a contributing writer to several blogs. Katie lives with her family in New Jersey where they enjoy day trips to the shore. Connect with her on Instagram and learn more at katiefaris.com.