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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118 Psalm 119: 1-16
Psalm 119: 17-40 Psalm 119: 41-64 Psalm 119: 65-88 Psalm 119: 89-112 Psalm 119: 113-136
Psalm 119: 137-160 Psalm 119: 161-170 Psalms 120-125 Psalms 126-128 Psalms 129-132
Psalms 133-135 Psalms 136-138 Psalm 139 Psalms 140-144 Psalms 145-146
Psalms 147-150        
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Psalm 139:1-24

 

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

 

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.  Whither shall I go from they Spirit?  or wither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:  if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:  the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.  [margin: “as in the darkness, so is the light.” ]  For thou hast possessed my reins:  thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuation were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:  when I awake, I am still with thee.  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God:  depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.  Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?  and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred:  I count them mine enemies.  Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 139 says, we’ll read it [read above, it’s the full Psalm], notice, to the chief Musician.  Just remarkable, remarkable, remarkable Song, in ancient Israel.  David says these things, he says ‘My soul knoweth these things right well,’ things that are beyond and above him.  But the theological depth of those things that he says he can’t perceive fully, that doesn’t keep him from being comforted by the truths of these things.  And that’s the point of them as we go through.  He talks about God’s omniscience, he’s all-knowing, ‘You know when I stand up, when I sit down, you know my thoughts, the words of my mouth,’ and then he talks about Gods omnipresence, ‘I can’t get away from you, there’s nowhere I can go, I can’t flee your presence, there isn’t anywhere I can go to get away from you.’  He talks about God as Creator and omnipotent, ‘You formed, you made, you created, you did this, it’s unimaginable,’ and he said, ‘All of my days were written in your book before any of my days were ever lived out,’ God is all-powerful.  And then he talks about the fact that God is sovereign, he’s going to judge the world, he’s going to do what’s right, he’s not going to be guilty on any of his dealings.  And David says ‘Look, LORD, I ask that, I know that there’s a way that man has,’ he says ‘the wicked has a way, the righteous have a way,’ and he says ‘LORD, would you lead me in the way everlasting?’  I don’t want to jeopardize eternity, LORD, I want to be dependent upon you, I want you to lead me, LORD, in the way everlasting.’  Man has a way, our journey through time, through earth Time & Space, that is a pilgrimage, and that God knows the eternal side of the entire process.  And David is finding great comfort in that.

 

‘LORD, You’ve Searched Me, Penetrated Me, You Know My Thoughts From Afar Off’

 

He says, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.” (verse 1)  All of this is very interesting.  To search means “to pierce through, to penetrate, or to investigate.”  He says ‘LORD, you’ve penetrated me,’ the idea is, ‘you know the depths of my being, you’ve pierced through me.’  It isn’t like he just sat somewhere in a higher place and watched me walk down the street and watching things I do, that’s not the kind of knowledge he’s talking about, he’s talking about a complete knowledge where ‘You have pierced me, you have penetrated me, you’ve investigated me, LORD, you know me,’ he says, ‘you have searched me, and you have known me,’ David says ‘You know my sitting down, you know when I sit down.’  I love this, I’m gonna go home after church tonight, it’s kind of miserable and cold, I got a big batch of soup made last night, and I’m going to sit down on the sofa and I’m going to eat a big bowl of soup, I’m going to put some cayenne on it so it’s got a little burn, you know, wake me up.  He knows that, it isn’t like he’s disassociated, he doesn’t care, you know.  I feel so sorry for the deists [a deist is somebody who believes God wound up the universe like a giant clock, and just sits back and watches it unwind from a distance with no interaction with his Creation and mankind], and for people who are afraid of their God.  He says ‘LORD, you’ve searched me, you’ve penetrated me, gone through me, you know my being, LORD, you know when I sit down.’  Seven billion people on the planet and he knows when I sit down.  Sometimes we can feel forgotten, he says “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,” (verse 2a)  ‘you know when I get up LORD, you know what I’m thinking.’  ‘I wish I got up an hour earlier so I could have read for awhile.’  “thou understandest my thought afar off.” (verse 2b)  The idea is ‘in their origin, you understand what I’m thinking.’  Listen, that is both a challenge and a consolation.  Because sometimes we say ‘LORD, you know my heart, you know what I’m thinking,’ and he does.  ‘LORD, I wish I could do this,’ we see a mission project on television, and we say ‘LORD, I wish I could, LORD, I wish I could…’ and he knows that, about our heart.  He also knows when you’re thinking ‘If I weren’t a Christian I’d be knocking you out right now,’ he also knows when we have those thoughts.  He says if we lust after someone we’ve already committed adultery in our hearts.  If we’re angry with our brother, we’ve already committed murder, he knows our thoughts, it’s in their origins.  And what David’s going to say here, as we move on, ‘You know me, and you want to be with me?’  I mean, that’s the amazing thing, the conclusion that he’s coming to, as he moves down, ‘You know me, and still you hold me in your right hand.’  ‘You know my thoughts afar off.’  Do we have trouble with that, do we believe that?  Listen, because we think sometimes, you know, me personally, ok, none of you guys think like this, but you know, I reel myself in.  You know I’m a Christian now, so I have convictions, I have God’s Holy Spirit, but sometimes I think things different than I do.  You know, he, he’s going to say ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD.’  Because sometimes I say something nice to somebody, and underneath I’m thinking ‘You really bug me!’  Nobody else can relate to that?  Sometimes what I’m thinking is different than what I’m saying, and it says ‘he knows our thoughts afar off.’  That is great consolation to me, and it’s also quite challenging.  When I first got saved I knew I had to stop drinking, drugging, punching.  And when you get those three things out of your life you think ‘You’ve arrived, no immorality, I’m not slugging people, I’m not getting high.  What else do you want?  What’s left, eating?’  And if you’d have known then when you first got saved, that as the years went on, he was also going to challenge you about your attitudes and what you think, it would have been too much up front.  As he cleans us up, you know, he gets to those things.  Doesn’t he?  Andy Wildersmith, when he was here, and I got to spend really five days with him, University of Pennsylvania found out he was here, it was in the old building, he had three earned PhD’s in different fields, and he was considered one of the twelve brightest guys on the planet, I had no idea why he hung around me.  But I don’t know how many languages he spoke, just a remarkable guy, but the University of Pennsylvania found out he was in town, they had him come lecture while he was here, Temple found out, they had him come lecture while he was here.  And he spoke, he did Sunday mornings, he was 86 then, and he had recovered from brain surgery, so he only did three Sunday morning services, not four [Pastor Joe does four each Sunday morning], and he did Sunday evenings, he did Wednesday night.  But I got to hang out with him, just a remarkable, remarkable guy.  And he’s above Stephen Hawking, all these guys, those are the guys he rubs shoulders with, he’s home with the Lord now, but just a remarkable, remarkable man.  And he talks about the Duckbilled Platypus, and he says how 200 years ago they were captured in Australia, they were brought back to Europe.  And the European zoologists and scientists thought it was a joke, that it was something somebody sewed together, because it was kind of built like a duck, pelt like a beaver, it’s got fur, got claws, they also have spurs with poison in them, they lay eggs, this is a bunch of leftovers, it’s like God made everything, you know, you know the bottom of the turkey pan you scrape the stuff together, God kind of scraped the leftovers and made this animal with all these leftover parts.  And they couldn’t figure, one of the things they, the conclusion they came to, they noticed as they observed them, that when they hunt, they swim, and they’ll drive their bill into the mud and will pull up a crayfish or a worm, that they close their eyes, and their ears are part of their eyeslits, so when they close their eyes they close their ears, so they’re hunting blind and deaf, and the scientists say they must hunt by smell, like underwater, I don’t know how they think that, breathing water.  But there was a scientist in 1986 in Germany, Hanich Schweke, who was working with Platypus, trying to figure them out, and he dropped a little flashlight battery, fell into the tank where they were, and the Platypus dove down and ate the battery.  And they were astounded.  So, I’m sure they’d be in trouble with animal rights activists today.  They started throwing batteries in, and the Platypus started eating the batteries.  So they took a dead battery and they threw the dead battery in, and the Platypus didn’t pay any attention to it.  And what they came to realize, were, they have these little ports all around their bill, those ports are electrical sensors, and when they’re swimming, they can sense the nerve impulse, the electrical impulse in the nervous system in a worm or a crayfish, and they just close their eyes and they dive towards that electrical impulse and grab it out of the mud.  So they did all these experiments, they hollowed out a brick, and they put the worm in the brick and put it in the tank and watched the Platypus dive down with its eyes closed and swimming all around the brick trying to figure out how to get to the worm that was inside the brick.  And they said, “What we realized, these ports on the Platypus, scientists today can’t even make equipment sensitive enough to sense the nerve impulse in a worm, let alone through 8-foot of water and mud.”  So Wildersmith’s conclusion is, that if a Platypus is smart enough to sense the nervous system of a worm, that God Almighty can sense your nervous system in your brick [chuckles], ‘and he knoweth your thoughts afar off, because he’s way more sensitive than a Platypus, and you put out way more electrical impulse than a worm.’  Am I comparing God to a Platypus?  No, I’m comparing you to a worm.  I mean, that’s the Creator, ‘he knoweth our thoughts afar off,’ he has no trouble just reading through the brick, he knows what we think about, he knows what we worry about, he knows when we’re thinking right things, he knows when we’re thinking wrong things, he knows the system’s been marred by sin.  He understands that well. And he says here, ‘You’ve perceived me, you’ve penetrated me, gone down into me, you know me, you know when I sit down, you know when I rise up, you understand my thoughts afar off, in their origins,’ is the idea. 

 

‘You’ve Sifted My Ways, You’re Totally Acquainted With My Ways’

 

“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.” (verse 3)  Now “compassest” there you might have it in your glossary that says “winnowest” which means to “winnow or sift,” you know in that culture they would throw the grain in the air and the chaff would blow away and the wheat would fall down, that’s our word here, “Thou compassest my path” he knows your path through life, it says ‘he’s winnowed it,’ he understands the chaff is blown away, he understands what’s worthwhile in it, he sees it in our very life, individuals, over 7 billion people on the planet, he knows our individual path, he’s sifted it, he knows it.  And he says ‘You know my lying down,” “acquainted” there in verse 3, is “You are completely, or thoroughly acquainted with all my ways.”  Thoroughly acquainted.  I think of some of the struggles in my life.  I think of some of the things in my life that are not yet Christlike, I think about some of the latitude I give to myself, what’s not overt sin.  But I think, you know, ‘Lord, if this can be weeded out of my life too, you know.’  I remember years ago Larry King asked Billy Graham “If you could live you life over again, what would you do??”  And he said, “I would be more yielded to the Holy Spirit.”  And he said “Come on, Graham, look at your life, you’ve touched millions of people,” he says, “Yea, look at all that, and think what might have happened if I’d really been submitted to the Holy Spirit.”  ‘He’s so gracious, he’s sifted my path, he knows it, he knows the chaff from the wheat, and he is thoroughly acquainted with all my ways,’   

 

If You Know What I’m Going To Pray Before I Pray It, Why Pray At All?

 

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” (verse 4)  I’m glad it gives him time to put his fingers in his ears.  Right?  Isn’t that interesting?  You know, he tells us to pray, ‘But why do you want me to pray?  You know what I’m going to say before I say it.  Can we just have a Vulcan mind-meld here, just you know my thoughts afar off.’ He tells us we should pray in the name of Jesus [Yeshua].  When we pray in the name of Jesus, it accomplishes something, and the Father in heaven moves.  I remember talking to Louis Nealy’s father again, years ago, he’s full of cancer, and it was after 9/11, and he said “You know, Joe,” and he started 40 churches all around Wyoming and Texas, and said “Louis has always told me about you, and been waiting for you to call,” and I said “I’d have called 30 years ago if I’d have known that.”  Just a funny old guy, full of cancer.  I said ‘Don’t you worry?”  He said, “All my doctors are dead, I’ve outlived all of them.”  And he said, “9/11, that wasn’t God’s judgment,” he said, “The flood, that was God’s judgment, Sodom and Gomorrah, that was God’s judgment, this was just a shot fired across our bow,” and he said, “it should bring us to prayer.”  And he said, “The Church needs to remember, that when we get on our knees and when we pray in the name of Jesus, God will alter natural law and human element.  He’s a God that still can heal, and change the course of someone’s life, he will alter natural law, and he will alter human government.”  He can give us an extension, if the Church is where the Church should be, forgive me if I am not where I should be in your lives as a pastor, and that needs to change, I’m not content.  But he tells us to pray in Jesus’ name.  Isn’t that remarkable he already knows what we’re going to say before we say it.  But here’s the thing, he said “Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you,” but you sit and think about that, he’s the one whose asking, he’s the first asker, he asks us to ask.  It says he came to seek and save that which is lost, he’s the seeker, and he tells us to seek.  You know, he’s the one who knocks on our hearts, you know, he’s the one who initiates.  This great God that the heavens can’t contain, that knows us from the beginning, he’s the one who stoops down to us and he says to us, ‘Be an asker, be a seeker, come to me and pray,’ though he already knows our thoughts afar off, he already knows the word before it’s in our mouth, and yet he still asks us that we would come and pray, we would seek him.  He says “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” (verse 4)  [Also, when we pray in Jesus’ name we give honor to Jesus Christ, and God the Father gives honor to the name of Jesus Christ in answering us.]

 

‘LORD, You’ve Protected Me, From Behind And In Front’

 

“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.” (verse 5)  The word is for “beset me behind and before,” “besiege militarily,” it’s “to protect.”  ‘LORD, you protect me, you’ve set up behind me, you’ve set up in front of me, and you’ve laid your hand upon me.’ and certainly in blessing me and chastening me, David knew both of those things.  He came through all kinds of situations, he said for years his life was like a partridge in the mountains when he fled from Saul.  In all of that he said ‘LORD, you were behind me, you were before me, protecting me, you laid your hand upon me LORD, both in blessing and chastening, all for my good.’ 

 

“Such Knowledge Is Too Wonderful For Me”

 

And he says, finally, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (verse 6)  ‘It fills me with wonder.’  If it doesn’t do that for us anymore, we’re lacking something.  If we read through these things, and it doesn’t fill us with wonder, our hearts need to get checked.  If we sit alone with Jesus, and we should sit alone with Jesus, and when we talk to him and sense his presence, if it doesn’t fill us with wonder, we’ve cooled.  He says here Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (verse 6)  ‘it is unattainable, it is surpassing,’ and yet David finds comfort in it.  Here’s the wonderful thing, we can sit around and argue about theology, ‘Are you a five-point Calvinist or a four-point Calvinist?  Are you an Armenian?’ we could argue that all day long, and we should think and have our own personal systematic theology, I think that’s important, I think it’s important, I think it should be Biblical—but David, without any of that, finds incredible consolation in the fact that God’s ways are above his ways, ‘they’re past finding out, this is surpassing, it’s too wonderful for me,’ but he says, ‘I’m in your hands.  LORD, you know when I stand up, you know when I sit down, you’ve surrounded me, besieged me, you protect me, keep me, this is too much for me, I can’t grasp this intellectually to its fullest.’  And we’re told in Ephesians, ‘In the ages to come, he’s still going to be teaching us about his mercy and his truth.’  But David said, ‘I sit here and I’ve found incredible consolation LORD, in who you are.’ 

 

‘No Matter Where I Go Your Guidance Is There, Your Right Hand Will Protect Me’

 

And he says then, he asks, the next part of this, he says, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or wither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, [the Hebrew is literally “the heavens” plural] thou art there:  if I make my bed in hell [“Sheol” the place of the dead, the unseen realm]  behold, thou art there.” and the idea is, ‘and everywhere inbetween,’ the highest place, the heavens, the deepest place, the realm of Sheol, he says, ‘If I go to one extreme, LORD, or to the other LORD, you are there.  I can’t leave your presence, I can’t flee from your presence LORD.’  he says “If I take the wings of the morning,” the speed of light there, coming over the horizonand dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;” that was west, towards the Mediterranean “even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (verses 7-10)  The idea is, first he does, Paul says ‘That we might know the height, and the depth, and the breadth, and the width of God’s love towards us in Christ Jesus.’  David says here, ‘If I go to the heavens, if I go down to Sheol, if I go to where the sun rises, if I go to where the sun sets, the height, the depth, and the width,’ he says, ‘even there, to whatever extremity that I might go, thy hand shall lead me, even there, there’s guidance. Whatever the highest heights are, whatever the greatest depths are in life, whatever is in my life when it seems like a new day is arising, whatever it seems all the way to the Great Sea where the sun sets all the way to the west, LORD, your guidance is there for me, you will lead me.’  And then more specifically, “thy right hand shall hold me.” (verse 10b) , the right hand, that was the place of God’s power.  “thy right hand shall hold me” it is literally “to possess me,” but it’s in the sense of “you will protect me.”  Understand what he’s saying.  When was this written?  No doubt this is after Bathsheba, this is later in life.  Is it after the plagues that came on Jerusalem because of his ego when he numbered the people?  We don’t know.  Certainly, in his youth, someone who was rejected by his brothers, Samuel comes to anoint the king, wants to anoint Aminadab, because he’s tall and he’s handsome, and God said ‘Yo, you’re supposed to be my prophet, the guy’s good looking, tall like Saul.  You think he’s the king?  No, no, you got any more?’ and all of them come, Samuel says, ‘Anybody else?’  Jesse says ‘Oh, ya, not really one of my sons, just the kid out with the sheep, a Hippie playing songs on his guitar.’  ‘Well bring him in.’  Ruddy, youth.  When he goes to where the contest is, I love this, F.S. Domin calls it “the boundary of blood,” no giant can step across this, Domin, he says that’s where this contest takes place.  As David goes there his older brothers said ‘You’re a scoundrel, we know why you’re here, you’re here to cause trouble, you good for nothing funky kid,’ you know, that’s the way he was treated.  But standing for God, killing the giant, dragging his head around for a couple days, and his sword.  Then he stands up for Saul, and Saul is trying to kill him, and he has to flee from Saul, has to leave his wife behind, he has to leave Samuel behind.  He leaves Jonathan, whose about 30 years older than David, he was his mentor, Jonathan.  Everything was stripped out of his life.  Feigning madness, down in Philistine country, fleeing to the Cave of Adullam, being pursued by Saul for a year, just you know, the life.  And he’s in retrospect saying ‘You know me, you know my weaknesses, you know my strengths, I fell into sin, you know the things I did, you know everything about me, and LORD, this is too wonderful, I’m sitting here at this point in time.  I can’t go anywhere from your Spirit, I can’t flee from your presence, if I go up into the heavens you’re there, if I go into Sheol you’re there, if I go to the rising of the sun you’re there.  If I go over to the Great Sea, the Mediterranean, over where the sun sets, you’re there, in all of those places LORD.  You lead me, the LORD is my shepherd I shall not want, you lead me, you guide me.  And LORD, with your right hand you hold me, possess me, to protect me, and you know who I am.’  Listen, everyone of you in your hearts here tonight, God’s saying to us through David, ‘You know who I am, and you want me.  You know who I am, you hold me.  You know my thoughts, even the really funky ones, you know when I sit down and I’m being lazy, when I get up two hours late instead of seeking you LORD, you know me better than anybody else does, better than my spouse, better than my kids, and you hold me.  I can’t get out of your presence.  You protect me, you camp in front of me, you camp behind me, but this is too wonderful for me.  This is surpassing, I can’t take hold of this, fully LORD, how do I take hold of this?’  “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (verse 10) ‘Uphold me, protect me.’

 

‘LORD, There Is No Secret Place To Hide From You’

 

“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.” (verse 11)  He said, ‘LORD, before thee, and thee only have I sinned this great evil in thy sight.  There is no secret place, LORD, to hide from you.’  “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:  the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (verse 12)  It tells us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, he didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.  That’s what he said, ‘I didn’t come to condemn the world.’  “Even the night shall be light about me.”  He said, ‘LORD, before thee, and thee only have I sinned and done this great evil in thy sight.  There is no secret place, LORD, to hide from you.’ “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:  the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (verse 12)  ‘LORD, you made them.’  It tells us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, he didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.  That’s what he said.  You know there when he’s talking to Nicodemus, he said ‘God so loved the world, this is how he loved it, that he gave his only begotten Son.’  What could be more precious in a human relationship, let alone in a Divine relationship, this is how he loved the world, he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.  If you have accepted Jesus Christ, you have everlasting life.  You’re not going to have it when you get to heaven [or into the kingdom of heaven through the 1st resurrection to immortality], you have it now, it is dwelling inside, it has ruined you for this world, if you haven’t noticed.  And he said ‘The Son of man came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might have life.’  And he said, here’s the problem, ‘Men love darkness more than they love light, men agape darkness more than light.’  They’re dedicated to it, they’re dedicated to it.  It tells us in the Book of Revelation the day is gonna come when an angel preaching the everlasting Gospel is going to fly around the planet before the final vials of God’s wrath are poured out, proclaiming the everlasting Gospel in every language, and it says men are going to shake their fists at heaven and curse the God of heaven.  And God then before he pours out his vials, it says, he goes into the Temple [in heaven], no man can approach him, he goes alone, he’s brooding, he’s heart’s broken, the final act is going to be enacted.  But for you and I he knows, we’re sinners, all of us are sinners, saved by grace, we all have Adam’s disease, inherited.  He knows us, and he wants to be with us.  It’s not his will that any should perish, he didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but through him the world should be saved, but men love darkness more than light, and men don’t want to come into the light, because it manifests the way they’re living is darkness.  Here, he says, David from his own experience, “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  Yea, darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:  the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (verses 11-12)  [last part of that verse, margin reads: “as is the darkness, so is the light, to thee.”]  I remember, 1977, I was 27-years-old, when there was a blackout in New York City, the whole city blacked out.  When that blackout happened in New York City, nobody was mad at anybody in particular, the lights went out, over 2,000 stores were looted and burned, and over a billion dollars worth of damage was done in New York City, because the darkness, you know, kind of gives license, nobody can see, and thieves, people who love to operate in the darkness, David’s saying, ‘I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and you were watching, I killed a man, I committed adultery, I did these things, and LORD before thee and thee only have I sinned and I’ve done all this evil in thy sight.’   He says there’s no difference between darkness and light, you see all of this.  The idea is, ‘that you hold me, and you want to be with me, you know me well, and you do these things.’ 

 

“I Am Fearfully And Wonderfully Made”  What Has Science Discovered About That?

 

Our Mental Creation: ‘Thou Hast Created Our Ideosynchrasies, Characteristics And Preferences, My Very Personality’

 

He says, “For thou hast possessed my reins:  thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (verse 13) (I don’t think I’m gonna finish this tonight)  What he’s saying is, even in the darkness, no one’s hidden anywhere, take this circumstance into consideration, “For thou hast possessedis the Hebrew word for “formed” is translated “created” sometimes, “For thou hast possessed my reins the Hebrew there is the word “you have possessed or formed my kidneys.”  That’s pretty cool, right?  ‘LORD, here’s the most amazing thing, you made my kidneys.’  That’s not what he’s saying.  Now, in the sacrifice of an animal, the caul, the kidneys was the deepest part, there’s much in the Levitical system describing the animal being disemboweled, that was the deepest place, and it was an expression that was used, he says ‘LORD, you have formed the warp and the woof of my character.’  Again, I have four kids.  They’re adults now, they’re not kids anymore.  I would give a million bucks if I could spend a day with them again when they were all this big [probably holding his hand up at the 3-foot level], now that I know who they are, because I wanted to kill them sometimes then, they were tearing the house apart, you know, God makes them all so different.  Again, Joshua, when he was about 16 weeks [after conception] we got an ultra-sound, and he was sitting in Kathy’s stomach going like this, wringing his hands.  And the bones in his fingers were not connected at the joints yet.  You could see the bones forming in his fingers, but they weren’t even connected, and he’s in there, and I bet he’s thinking ‘I can’t wait to get out and ruin your house,’ you know, he was doing this.  When he was born we’d lay him in the crib, and he would lay in there and do this.  That was in there when he was this big.  ‘LORD, you have possessed my reins, you’ve possessed my reins.’  You know, I love certain things, I love the mountains, I’m trapped in a beach family, he’s made me that way, I love the mountains, I love, I don’t love to be cold, I hate to be cold, but I like to be in the cold with a hoodie and my Bible and a cup of coffee.  I’m happy, leave me in the mountains, go get sandy.  I love to sit alone, I can sit for hours and not talk, and I am happy [so God uses Pastor Joe to raise up a church congregation that topped out at 30,000 before he broke it up, obviously, amongst qualified pastors throughout Philadelphia to keep from going insane, of course].  I’m around talkers all the time, I mean, he’s made me the way I am.  I love certain things, I have inclinations, you know, and these are things that are not bad, they’re not, they’re priorities.  You know, you have a kid, Joanna, when she was born one way, she was a pretty good kid.  I remember 18-months old she kind of looked around and said ‘Dad, don’t antagonize me.’  [laughter]  18-months old.  And Mike was two and wouldn’t talk to anybody.  We would come down and find him talking with the dog.  And when we walked down he’d look at us and stop talking.  How opposite can that be?  And the third kid comes and you realize that opposite has more than two directions, and they’re all so different.  And you all are so different.  And of 7 billion people, over 7 billion people on this planet, not two of them have the same fingerprints, not two of them have the same irises, not two of them have the same patterns in their DNA.  He says ‘LORD, you have possessed my reins, my characteristics, my ideosynchrasies,’ and beautifully in verse 13 it’s for “thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (verse 13b) and in the Hebrew there it’s emphatic, it’s “thou and thou only” has nothing to do with evolution.  “thou and thou only hast created” not just my physical frame, which he’s going to talk about, which is a wonder, here he’s saying ‘my ideosynchrasies, my preferences, my characteristics.’  “thou hast covered me” that word means “to weave” or “to braid” “thou hast” the idea is ‘You have woven me together in my mother’s womb, you’ve braided me, you wove me.’ 

 

The Creation Of Our Physical Frame: ‘You Have Woven, Braided Me Together In My Mother’s Womb’: 

 

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (verse 14)  You know, what does his soul know?  He says, we’re woven together, we’re braided.  And again, we find more and more and more about that.  You know the spot where the sperm hits the egg when conception takes place, and immediately it turns gray, that’s where the gray matter starts.  And it divides to two, it divides to four, it divides to 8, it divides to 16, it divides to 32, and every one of those cells has the exact same information in them.  It duplicates with the exact same information.  But somewhere in the process, as it’s dividing, and if it would divide at that speed for, if the baby would produce cells at that speed, after it was born, within a year the baby would be as big as the moon.  That’s the speed that things are happening in the womb.  All of a sudden, certain of those cells, and they all have the same data, same set of information.  In fact, they’ve discovered, if you take the nucleus out of an egg and then you take the nucleus out of a bone cell, and put it in the egg, fertilize the egg, it will grow into a baby, because the information in the nucleus in the bone cells is the same information in the cell in the egg.  But all of a sudden, certain of those cells decide to be become bone cells, certain of them decide to become vessels and muscles and eyes.  They don’t know how that goes.  There’s a guy in England named Rupert Shelgreg, it’s hard to read him, a really brilliant guy, and him wrestling with it, he said, he believes there’s something called “morphic resonance” he believes there’s something that hovers around the baby’s embryo as it develops that kind of orchestrates that.  That’s called Jesus, we know what that’s called.  But now scientists, the interesting thing is, as they’re working in the genome and all that stuff, now they’ve discovered there’s the epigenome, sitting above the DNA coil, there are tags they didn’t know were there, that sit there.  And in the epigenome, certain of those tags decide to turn on and off certain parts of the DNA chain, and they think now somehow the epigenome is involved in orchestrating these things.  And they’ve discovered, this is just free information, this is completely free information.  They’ve discovered that the epigenome is effected by nutrition and environment.  And they’ve had people with a disease change their environment, change their diet, and sometimes within months, the epigenome has flipped and turned on parts to the immune system, and they become disease-free.  They don’t understand.  David just says “fearfully and wonderfully made…that my soul knoweth right well.” (verse 14c)  Because that single cell, as it’s impregnated, produces 213 bones, 600 muscles, thousands of miles of blood vessels.  And your heart beats 39,792,000 times in a year, and pumps 4,000 tons of blood every year.  If you’re not impressed, you’re asleep.  All of that information is in that original cell.  David says “fearfully and wonderfully made” ‘woven together.  It isn’t just that you know me here as an adult, you’ve searched me, you know me, you know when I sit down, you know when I get up,’ he says, ‘You’ve guarded me, you’ve kept me, and there’s nowhere I can go from your presence, the highest place, the lowest place, from one end of the earth to the other you’re there, you guide me, you keep me, this is way beyond anything I understand, this is too wonderful for me.’  And he said, ‘You’ve been involved, I can’t even hide in the darkness, there is no way to hide from your presence.’  And he says, ‘I know that, because I was nothing when,’ you know, he tells Jeremiah, ‘Before you were conceived, I knew you.’  [And here’s an issue that blows the mind.  All the illegitimate babies, those born out of wedlock, born through rape, God still knows them in the same way he knew David and Jeremiah, and helped fashion them in the womb.  They are not mistakes because of the mistaken way in which they were conceived.  At conception God takes over and ignores the mistakes of the parents.  God’s statements about loving and caring for the fatherless and widows, single moms, reflects what I have just stated.]  Wildersmith used to say, “That proves that time and energy and matter can’t produce life. Because he knew Jeremiah before he was conceived that means information is separate from time and matter.”  That’s just free, also.  Jeremiah said ‘Before I was conceived, you knew me.’  David’s saying here, ‘You’ve formed the ideosynchrasies I have, my characteristics, my preferences,’ the fact that I love to eat a whole bag of Oreos and drink a gallon of milk, ‘Honey, don’t be mad at me, he made me that way.’  He says “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (verse 14) you know, you think of what the genes in your body, 100,000 genes per cell, and each gene has what’s equivalent to a 600 page volume times a thousand, each gene.  You know, again, I think it’s Philip Yancey that says, by the time you’re an adult, the 23 trillion cells or whatever they’ve decided now, that you have as an adult, you take all of the DNA out of all of the nucleuses in all of your cells, you can fit all of that DNA in a package the size of an ice cube.  But if you take that DNA and you lay it end to end, it will go from the earth to the sun and back again 300 times.  93,000,000 miles there, 93,000,000 miles back 300 times.  That’s the information in the throw-away container.  Think of, David says, ‘You’re so intimately involved with me, you know my rising, you know when I sit down, you’ve known me from then, you’ve known me from conception, you’ve known me from beyond the point of origin.’ 

 

Our Creation In The Womb Summed Up:  ‘Thine Eyes Did Oversee As An Architect My Unformed Embryo, Being Rolled And Folded Together.  All The Days Ordained For Me Were Written In Your Book Before Any Of Them Came To Be.’

 

Verse 15, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”  There, “substance” is “frame,” speaks of the skeleton, and it’s translated that way in other parts of the Old Testament.  ‘You understood what my skeleton looked like, you understood I’d be 6-foot-3, you understood I’d be 5-foot-3, you understand I’d be big-boned if you want to call me that to be kind to me, you understood that I’d be thin, you understood that I’d be sleek, that I would be a runner, you knew my skeleton, you knew my frame, you knew the way it was,’ he says, ‘when it was not hid from thee.’  “when I was made in secret,” he says, and curiously wrought and now, it’s a word, he uses a word before that meant “to weave” or “to braid,” now this means to be embroidered but it’s a much finer word, it’s for very fine work, the Hebrews knew.  He says “When I was made in secret, I was embroidered in the deepest part of the earth.”  No doubt an idiom, speaking of the womb.  And he says, at that place, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (verse 16)  did see” is a Hebrew phrase that means to oversee as an architect.”  “Thine eyes did oversee my substance” many Hebrew translations translate that “my unformed embryo,” as an architect, as the designer, it says here.  “Thine eyes did oversee my unformed embryo,” yet being unperfect;” is the Hebrew phrase that means “to be rolled or folded together.”  Have you ever watched, watch Google-Ted Talks, and watch “Conception To Birth.”  It’s an unsaved scientist, it’s incredible.  But you actually see that embryo being folded and rolled, turning into different, he says, this is incredible, Thine eyes did oversee as an architect my unformed embryo, being rolled and folded together.”  And then he says, “and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (verse 16b)  If you have an NIV, the NIV does a great job here, what it says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Think of what he’s saying.  ‘You know me, you’ve searched me, you’ve penetrated me, you’ve delved into the deepest part of my being, you know me better than I know myself, you know me better than my spouse, you know me better than my parents do, you know when I sit down, you know when I rise up.  You know my thoughts afar off.  You have surrounded me, you’ve compassed me, you’ve sifted all of my paths, you’re completely acquainted with all of my ways, there is not a word in my tongue LORD, that you don’t know it altogether.  You have set as a guard for me, behind me, to protect me, your hand is upon me.  This is too wonderful, I can’t attain to this, I don’t understand why, there’s no rhyme or reason, I don’t deserve it, you know who I am, you know what I’m like, he knows us and he wants to be with us.  Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend up to the heavens, you’re there, if I take the wings of the morning, you’re there, if I go to the uttermost part of the Mediterranean, all the way west you’re there, and there shall thy hand guide me, and your right hand shall hold me, protect me, lead me.  And if I say surely the darkness covers me, even night shall be light before thee, yea, the darkness hideth me not.  Night shineth as day, the darkness and the light are both light to thee, and I know that because when I was nothing, when I was something that you needed a microscope [an electron microscope] to see, long before microscopes were ever invented, you knew, you possessed my reins before there was anything to see.  You knew my ideosynchrasies, you knew my characteristics, you knew the temptations I would face in the dark one day, you knew how I thought that maybe you wouldn’t see what went on with Bathsheba.’  He said, ‘I knew darkness doesn’t hide things, you knew me before I had substance.  You knew the warp and the woof of my character.’  

 

God Isn’t Saying He Caused The Bad Things To Happen In Our Lives…It Says He Foreknew All These Things

 

And I sat with this today, and I thought, Lord, just, I think of all of the things that have gone on in my life, I think of the tears, I think of the joy, I think of the brokenness, I think of the challenges, I’m sitting here thinking, “Lord, you knew all of this, Lord, all of my days were written out before I lived any of them.”  And I want to say something, look, that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes.  ‘When I have cancer, all of this was written out before I…Lord, my kid’s a prodigal, all this was written out…Lord, my spouse just cheated on me, all this was written out.’  It doesn’t say that he wrote it out and that’s why it happened.  It says he foreknew all these things.  And David is not saying this, and saying ‘This really bums me out, I can’t handle it, being chased by Saul, all the terrible things that have gone on in my life, my son Absalom is dead, he murdered Amnon, who had raped Tamar, this is what I get, you wrote this?’ it’s not what it’s saying.  It’s saying all of those days were known by God, and God kept his hand on David’s life to guide him and to protect him, and to keep him, [and for us, as was with David] even through the worst days where the sin of mankind manifests itself, where the imperfections of the fall, our physical frame from the Garden of Eden we inherited in disease and great difficulties in this world, and hatred and bigotry and all of these things.  David says ‘None of that is hidden from you, all my entire life, all of the days written out before any of the world, LORD.’  It says in another place, ‘My life is a tale that has been told.’  You know, I think of that, he saved me in 1972 [1969 for me], I think of my backsliding, and he saved me anyway.  He knew.  It wasn’t like he went ‘Ahh! Another lemon.  I can’t believe I picked another bad one,’ no, he knew, he knew when I would backslide, he knew the things I would do wrong.  He knows my failings, and he saved me anyway.  It was all written out in front of him, none of it was a mystery to him, and he chose me, and he loves me, and he calls me his son, he keeps his hand on my life, he knows my internal struggles, he knows my angry, lustful thoughts, and he wants to be with me, and he wants to sit with me, and there’s a plan for my life.  And a huge part of what I am and what I feel, it’s the work, as David said, he did in me, because my soul knoweth right well.  We are out of time.  God knew, it was written out that we wouldn’t finish this Psalm tonight, that was all clearly written out somewhere.  So we will have to come back to this.  I didn’t get to the stomach, I was going to talk about the stomach, have some great things to talk about here, we’ll get back to it, the stomach is 12 ounces, an adult stomach, it weighs about 12 ounces, and it can digest a pound of steak in between two and three hours, without digesting itself.  Do you know what kind of design that was in that one cell when you first got started?  And I’ve done that experiment a number of times [loud laughter].  I was thinking ‘I need to do this one more time to make sure.’  Listen guys, I can study, and I do, and I love to teach, and it’s a privilege for me to come and do this, and I love to do it.  But I don’t just want to teach Bible studies, I want to speak life to you, and we’re running out of time, the world’s falling apart.  He loves you.  Here’s the thing that’s hard for you to reconcile, he loves you and knows you.  He knows you and wants to be with you.  And how many people in our lives as they got to know us want to have less to do with us?  He knows us completely, and wants to be with us.  That is never an excuse for us to continue to go on and be ornery and miserable dirt-clods.  What that did to David is on his heart, after all of his failings and all his mistakes.  And Jesus says the one he forgives the most ends up to be the one who loves him the most.  And I can’t prescribe making mistakes and falling.  But I know this, you will embrace the measure of grace that is necessary for you to step closer to Jesus and walk with him.  And he loves you, he knows who you are and he loves you [in spite of that].  He paid for you, and he knew what he was getting when he did it.  Because he started with you before you were a single cell, he worked on your characteristics and your ideosynchrasies before there was a biological machine to attach them to [i.e. he was fashioning those things in the individual “spirit-in-man” that he would place within each of us, giving us the “software” that operates our brains].  And he made you what your are sitting in that seat.  And every one of you is a necessary contribution to his Kingdom, to his Church, every joint, every ligament supplies (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16).  When you walk out of here tonight, you need to know in the deepest place in your heart that he loves you.  I don’t care how many times you’ve messed up, I don’t care how jacked up you are, if you’re his, and you’re blood-bought, you do need to make sure your are [cf. II Corinthians 13:5], but if you’re his, he’s never sitting there thinking ‘Oh man, why did I pay for that one?’  That never, ever happens.  He knows you, he loves you, he knows you through and through.  He knows tomorrow’s mistakes and failings, he knows your weaknesses, he knows your strengths, he knows what you’ve done, he knows what’s been done in darkness, and he wants to be with you.  Amen?  Let’s stand, let’s pray, we’ll have the musicians comes…[connective expository sermon of Psalm 139:1-16, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]            

 

Psalm 139:17-24

 

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:  when I awake, I am still with thee.  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God:  depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.  Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?  and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred:  I count them mine enemies.  Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

Review of Psalm 139, Part I

 

“We’ll read through from the beginning, ‘LORD, thou hast searched me, penetrated me, investigated me thoroughly, mined me, and because of that, you know me,’ the idea is, of course, he knows us better than we know ourselves.  ‘Thou knowest my downsitting, my uprising,’ how many times you sit down at the end of the day, ‘you know that, LORD.  Thou understandeth my thought afar off, in their origin.  Thou compassest my path, you surround my path, my lying down, you’re fully acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether, before I even say it.  Thou hast beset me behind and before,’ this is to protect, protection, ‘and laid thy hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.’  Remarkable. ‘it is high, I cannot attain unto it.’ he’s speaking of the fact that God is omniscient, he knows everything, he knows it beforehand, he knows it all, he knows everything about us, and he loves us anyway.  The day he saved us, he knew what he was getting, he knew if we were going to backslide, he knew if you were going to make mistakes.  [What do you mean “if”?  He knew “when”]    You might have been shocked at yourself when those things happened, he wasn’t.  He knew, and he saved us anyway.  He’s omniscient.  Then he says he’s omnipresent, ‘Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, whither shall I flee from thy presence?’ there’s no way to get away from him, and David would come to that earlier and say In thy sight have I done this great evil, I’ve sinned before you, there’s no way to escape your presence (cf. Psalm 51).  Paul, when he preached at Athens there, he said to the Athenians, ‘Look, God is everywhere, within him we move, we have our being.’ the idea is, he’s omnipresent, he’s everywhere, ‘If I ascend up into the heavens, you’re there, we expect that.  If I make my bed in hell, Sheol, the unseen realm, the highest or the lowest, behold thou art there (Psalm 139:8)  If I take the wings of the morning, the idea is, as far east as you can imagine, or if I dwell in the uttermost parts of the Sea, that’s the Mediterranean, as far as to the west you can imagine, east to west, LORD, you’re there.  Highest, lowest, widest measurements, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about thee, yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, no one can hide in the darkness, but night shineth as day, and the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’  So God is all-knowing, he’s ever-present.  And look, David doesn’t just say ‘God is omniscient.’  He could have just said that.  He doesn’t dare just blow out some theological term, because what does that mean in your life, when you’re struggling?  He says it’s more than that, ‘it’s not just that you’re all-knowing, you’ve searched me, you know me, you’re omniscient, LORD you think about me, when I stand up, when I sit down, when I go through things, and you know my thoughts, with the billions of people on the planet, you know my thoughts afar.  You’ve surrounded me, my whole path, you’re completely acquainted with my ways.  Before there was a word on my tongue, you know it altogether, LORD, you protect me, you’re ahead of me, you’re behind me, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it’s so high I can’t attain to it LORD.’  He doesn’t just say the LORD’s omniscient, ‘This is how it works out in our lives.’  Then he doesn’t just say he’s omni-present, he says ‘No, this is the way it works, I can’t go anywhere from his presence, you go to the highest place, the lowest place, farthest to the east, farthest to the west, take the wings of the morning to the uttermost parts of the sea, LORD, your hand will guide me, it will lead me, it holds me, you protect me, keep me, even in the darkness LORD, there’s no place there where your presence isn’t there, and the light and the darkness, it’s all alike to thee.’  And then he says in verse 13, ‘You’re omnipotent, all-powerful, you’re sovereign, thou hast possessed my reins, the deepest part of my being, you formed them, thou hast covered me,’ we talked about this last week, ‘you’ve braided me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’  David doesn’t know all the biological terms, all of the intricacies of conception and birth that we know today, but he says ‘I know this, my soul knows this right well, I know there’s a marvel and a wonder to all of this.  My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, when I was curiously wrought, I was embroidered’ the idea is to weave together, no doubt speaking of the DNA, ‘in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance,’ the Hebrew says ‘you saw me as an architect, you oversaw my unformed embryo.’  I have a Hebrew translation of it, remarkably that’s what it says, ‘Yet being’ the idea is, ‘being unperfect,’ the idea is ‘being folded together,’ and when you watch that process, it’s exactly what happens.  And then it says “In thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  Your NIV, I love the King James, if you’re NIV positive you have that, it says ‘All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.’ and that really captures accurately what it says.  It says ‘Before any of my days were on a human calendar, they were written in your book.’  [Prophecy, one third of the Bible is prophecy, and Bible prophecy is the living proof of that statement, God knowing the beginning from the end, Isaiah 40 and 41, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm]  You know, in the middle of this he’s saying ‘This is too wonderful for me, I can’t understand it, I can’t get ahold of it.’  He says, ‘You’re all-knowing, you’re ever-present, you’re all-powerful, you’re sovereign to the point that you made the warf and woof of my character.’ 

 

What Is The Brain, And The Mind Which You Formed In Us?  How Do They Differ?

 

Look, you have several pounds of gray-matter that’s sitting in your head, we don’t even understand the potential of that, let alone that’s the brain, what is the mind and how do they differ?  When you’re born, you’re not a Republican or a Democrat, you don’t like chocolate or vanilla or strawberry, do you have preferences, you know, what’s the difference between the mind and the brain where all the functions take place?  And the intricacy of it is just incredible, I have this thing from National Geographic, is talking about the Israelis, it says “Israeli scientists have devised a computer that can perform 330 trillion operations per second.  More than 100,000 times faster than the speed of the fastest PC.  The secret, it runs on DNA.  A year ago, researchers from the Wiseman Institute of Science in Revot, Israel unveiled a programmable molecular computing machine composed of enzymes and DNA molecules, instead of silicon and microchips.  Now the team has gone one step further in the new device, a single DNA molecule that provides the computer with the input data, also provides all the necessary fuel.  The design is considered a giant step (I guess) in DNA computing.  The Guinness World Book of Records last week recognized the computer as the smallest biologically computing device ever constructed.  DNA computing is in its infancy, it’s implications are only beginning to be explored, but it could transform the future of computers, especially in pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.  Once the input software and the hardware molecules are mixed in a solution, it operates to completion without intervention, said David Holseck, the science judge at Guinness World Book of Records.  If you want to present the output to the naked eye, human manipulation is needed.”  But it performs 330 trillion operations per second.  Is that impressive?  I don’t even know.  330 trillion operations per second.  Your brain, as you sit here tonight, produces 38,000 trillion transactions per second.  This is a slow-baby, 330 trillion.  Your mind right now is doing 38,000 trillion transactions a second.  You should be impressed, with that many transactions going on, you should be impressed with this information that I’m giving you.  And you think, what’s the real potential?  My son and I, we were sitting down in the Kimbal Center watching this famous pianist from somewhere, I don’t remember their names, but he had an ensemble, and I’m watching this in awe, because the first violinist and the team of violinists and cello’s and it is so precise and so incredible, I’m thinking ‘What would an orchestra of Adam’s that weren’t yet fallen sound like?  What was man supposed to be like when he played orchestral music?’  You know, this is fallen humanity with fallen perceptions and a mind.  Think, ‘What will music be like when we’re in glory, man restored like he is supposed to be?’  [I tell you this, we’ll have total access to our memories, total recall.  I don’t know, as I really start to see myself for who I am, as the Holy Spirit reveals me to myself, I don’t know if that’s a good thing.  But God wants us to have that total recall when we’re in glory.]  We were talking the other day about this man who died in, I think he died in 2010, his name was Lawrence Kim-Peak, born in a Christian family, his parents noticed before he was two he was reading the newspaper.  [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek]  And he ended up being a savant, socially challenged, couldn’t tie his shoes or button his shirt.  But he could play classical music before he could see the piano keys.  In his home he had 9,000 volumes committed to memory.  What he would do is he would read a book, he read “A Hunt For Red Oktober” in an hour, I think an hour and fifteen minutes.  He can read one page in 8 seconds.  But his right eye could read the right page, and his left eye could read the left page at the same time.  If he turned the book upside down he could do it upside down, it didn’t matter.  And when he was done reading through it, it was memorized.  He had the Bible memorized, Church history memorized.  When he would read a volume in his house he would turn it upside down and put it on the shelf so he would know not to go back, because that was a memorized book.  And he had 9,000 volumes at home memorized.  So his parents would drop him off at the library and he would read white pages, yellow pages, phone books from across the country.  He knew every zip code, every address, you could ask him, what city, what part of the city, he’d tell you the street.  They made the movie ‘Rain Man’ about him.  And when he saw the movie, he understood himself a little more, he started to get out a little bit more and spoke to high school students, and they’d say ‘Tell us about the 1932 World Series.’  He’d say “Which team?”  He would tell you the batting average of each player, the order they batted in, he would tell you their addresses, he would tell you their wives names, the kids names, he just went on and on and on.  And the government went on, he died two or three years ago, a big facility around him, because of the capacity of what he had, and how things rolled out.  It said somebody once asked him, ‘Do you know Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address?’ and his mind immediately went to the place Lincoln stayed the night before he wrote the Gettysburg Address, and he gave them the address and the street for the Gettysburg Address.  And when everybody laughed he realized they meant something else, and then he liked it so much, that everywhere he went he joked about Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address before he recited the Gettysburg Address, he told them where he stayed the night before he wrote it.  He thought they wanted to know that Gettysburg address.  So, just, you think, what is the capacity of the human mind?  David says ‘Fearfully and wonderfully made, that God weaves us together,’ we’re in a fallen state. I wish when I was in high school I could have read a page in 8 seconds, and my right eye read the right page and my left eye read the left page, I couldn’t even read the Cliff Notes when I was in high school.  And I’m doing 38,000 trillion transactions a second, I don’t know how many that Kim Peek was doing, way beyond me.  Imagine, you know, the human mind, the human capacity in the Resurrection, what will that be like? [i.e. the 1st Resurrection to Immortality, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm]  What will it be like, what will we see, what will we understand, what will we know?  He says here, ‘Our ideosynchrasies, the warp and woof of our character, our capacity, all of that in two little cells [the sperm and the egg] that form and grow.’  And he said, It isn’t just the frame, isn’t just the capacity, it’s the journey that that machine which is indwelt by a soul and a spirit, the journey we will take, all of those days that are written out before any of them are ever formed.’  Now you look at that and think ‘Why do we do that?’ because people go through terrible things, people go through bad experiences, what does that mean?  Does God know all that is going to happen?  [prophecy indicates yes, he does, which blows my mind, to think he understands my entire life, and that before I was conceived, is what Pastor Joe and David are indicating.  It’s more than I can comprehend myself.]  How do we parcel all of that out?  I don’t know.  He’s saying here that these things are too wonderful for him, he can’t even figure them out.  When he says here ‘all of my days are written out ahead of time, everything I am LORD, you wove together in the womb.’

 

‘How Precious Are Your Thoughts Toward Me’

 

Then he says “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  how great is the sum of them!” (verse 17)  In other words, ‘You know all my days before I live a single one of them, now LORD, how precious are your thoughts to me, how great the sum of them, you know all of this about me.’  You know he says in Luke chapter 12, verse 7, ‘That even the very hairs of your head are numbered.’  He doesn’t say they’re counted.  The average human has about 100,000 hairs on their head.  It varies a bit.  But it doesn’t say that they’re counted, it says they’re numbered, so one falls out, and the Lord goes, there goes number 3,429 just fell out.  They’re all numbered, not all counted.  You have as many hairs on your nose, by the way.  Scary thought, huh?  The hairs on your head are terminal hairs, the ones on your nose are vellus hairs, they’re so thin and so small that they’re clear, you can’t see them.  But you got 100,000 hairs on your nose, too.  And then, in fact, just for you guys who, you think you’re follically challenged, that’s not an accurate term, because you never lose your follicles.  What happens is, you lose that permanent hair, that long hair, your follicle stays, and then that’s all replaced with the vellus hairs on your head, so even though you think you’re bald, you have all of those clear little hairs there, you have just as much hair as everybody else, even though it doesn’t appear like it.  That’s for your information, but this is all by design, even the very hairs of your head are numbered it says.  And he says “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!” (verse 17a) look, David was chased from cave to cave, from battle to battle, he lost his wife, he lost his best friend, he lost Jonathan, this is a man that went through all kinds of difficulties, and yet was able to sit back, no doubt towards the end of his life, and say ‘LORD, my way, my path, my steps, my days were written out.  How can I comprehend this, this is too wonderful.  And the truth is, thy thoughts, how precious are thy thoughts to me LORD, O God!  how great is the sum of them!’  Most of us are familiar with Jeremiah when Jeremiah says ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, sayeth the LORD, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you an expected end.’  We’re all familiar with that.  But if you read the beginning of the chapter, it says ‘Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests and to the prophets and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.’  These are people who have lost their homes, their city had been burned, many of them had seen loved ones die, unimaginable to you and I, carried away, carried away to another land, and it is to them that the LORD says ‘For I know the thoughts…’  because the first verses say ‘For thus saith the LORD, after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, I will perform my good word toward you in causing you to return to this place, for I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’  You know, sometimes in the hardest of days when we feel like he’s forgotten about us, he’s cast us off, he’s not thinking about us.  David said, ‘No, he’s all-knowing, there isn’t anything about us he doesn’t know.  And yet he besets us before and behind, he protects me, even though he knows what I’m like, he wants to be with me.  And he’s surrounded my life.  He’s so familiar with my life, he knew me when I was one cell, and he watched me over that point to full development, which is all miraculous.  It isn’t just my physical frame, all of my days were written out, before any of them were written on a human calendar, he knew them all.’ 

 

‘If I Should Count Your Thoughts Toward Me, They’d Number As The Sand’

 

He says, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:  when I awake, I am still with thee.” (verses 17-18)  Just for your free information, someone has come to the conclusion that the number of grains of sand in the world are 1 x 10 to the 28th power.  I don’t know how to check this person out, or who undertakes those kinds of things, you know they take a ton of sand, break it down how many are there, the whole thing.  But if what David is saying here is true, is the thoughts of the LORD towards us are more in number than the sand, and you take that 1 x 10 to the 28th power in number, and you figure the average human who lives to be 70 years, you break that down into days and to hours and minutes and to seconds, the truth is, according to David, he thinks of you every second, night and day, for 70 years, to 1 x 10 to the 17th power, every second, ‘how precious are your thoughts unto me.’  [I can’t wrap my mind around that, don’t know about you.]   I don’t even know what that means.  So he says ‘Even when I wake up, LORD, when I awake, I am still with thee, 24 and 7 LORD, you watch over me, you think about me, you’re there for me.  There are hard days I didn’t even understand, there were days where I said ‘all of your waves and billows are going over me, LORD, how long will I be cast off?’’  There were days when David poured out his heart and he was completely broken.  But in the final analysis, in hindsight as he sits, he says “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:  when I awake I am still with thee.” (verses 17-18) ‘LORD, when I awake, you’re there.’  And when I awake in the next world, it’ll be more true than ever for sure. 

 

‘Depart From Me You Wicked, Bloodthirsty Men’

 

So he says ‘LORD, if this is true, if you are all-knowing, you are ever-present, and you are all-powerful in my life,’ he says, “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God:  depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.” (verse 19)  King James says “bloody men,” that’s “bloodthirsty men” in the Hebrew.  He says, ‘You know, the wicked are going to have their day too,’ “For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.” (verse 20)  then he says, “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?  and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” (verse 21)  Evidently the New Testament teaches we’re supposed to love our enemies, but David says, ‘but I hate his enemies,’ we’re to love our own enemies, the New Testament vastly different than the Old Testament, there’s no imprecatory prayers in the New Testament, we’re not saying ‘Break their teeth, break their arms, Lord, drown them, crush them, rain down fire.’  You know, we can’t do that, we have to turn the other cheek and pray for those who despitefully use us.  But David says, ‘In keeping with the fact LORD, that you’re all-knowing, you’re ever-present, you’re everywhere, you’re all-powerful, I expect LORD, that it’s for you to deal with the wicked, it’s out of my hands.  That’s something you’ll do, and you’ll deal with my enemies.  They speak against thee LORD, wickedly, thine enemies take thy name in vain.’  I know it bothers us when we hear people mock Jesus Christ and make fun of him.  Again, the ridiculous things that happen at this time of year.  [Comment:  there is a little understood Bible doctrine which the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God hold, which if true, may reconcile God dealing with the wicked in this world, all 6,000 years of man’s history without Jesus’ being on earth with his Kingdom restored, dealing with them in an imprecatory manner now in their normal lifetimes, and then raising them up in a massive resurrection and giving them all their first real chance for salvation.  This secondary doctrine is explored at http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.  You don’t have to believe it, it’s a secondary belief.  We’ll find out later, at the Wedding Feast of the Lord whether it’s true or not.]  They don’t want a Nativity scene, ‘You’re not gonna do that.’  Ok, so we’re not supposed to talk about the one who came down to lay down his life, set good will on earth, peace toward men, we don’t want none of that around in this world?  Are you kidding me?  I was in England a couple years ago, in London, they were interviewing people about calling it the Winter Solstice, what should we call this, and they talked to a Muslim woman in a burka, and they asked her what she thought.  She said “It’s the stupidest thing I ever heard, Christmas has been the celebration of Jesus Christ the Prophet for 2,000 years, and you don’t know what it is?”  It was so refreshing.  She didn’t have the facts straight, he’s more than a Prophet, but you know, it was so refreshing to hear somebody that honest, ‘Have you lost your mind?  You don’t know what Christmas is, Christ-mas, you don’t know what it’s about?’  He says here, ‘LORD, they speak wickedly against you, your enemies, they take your name in vain.’  “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?  and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” (verse 21)  Because over in verse 14 he says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  He says over here, he says, ‘I’m grieved with those that rise up against thee.’  You can’t do both, you can’t praise him and love him and understand he’s all-knowing, he’s ever-present, all-powerful, and not be grieved with those who rise up against him and hate him, take his name in vain.  He says “I hate them with perfect hatred:  I count them mine enemies.” (verse 22)  I’m not sure what “perfect hatred” is.  I know some of you are thinking ‘I didn’t know I could do that.’   I would concentrate on love if I was you, till you get that nailed down, and put “perfect hatred” off in the future somewhere.  Certainly it can’t be a selfish hatred.  Certainly it can’t be a hatred that’s filled with personal vendetta, it has to be a hating of unrighteousness in some way that is right before God.  That is not our job.  “I hate them with a perfect hatred:  I count them mine enemies.” no beam in his own eye when he’s doing this.

 

‘Search Me, Mine Me, Go Deep Into Me, Know My Heart’

 

And then he goes into a prayer in these last two verses, listen, and he says this, “Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (verses 23-24)  This is the God who knows everything, whose everywhere, whose all-powerful, and he uses the same word from verse 1 “O LORD, thou hast searched me,” now he’s asking for it again, ‘LORD search me, penetrate me, investigate me.’  It was a word used in Job of mining for ore, digging for treasure.  He says “Search me, O God,” look, “and know my heart:” Jeremiah says “the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?”  David realized, ‘Hey, there’s no hiding, you can’t play any games, he can’t hide in the dark, can’t fool God, can’t get one over on him, he knows everything, he knows things before I think it, he knows things before I say it, so he sees me when I’m selfish and having lustful and angry thoughts, he knows all of that, and yet he still goes before me and behind me, he covers me, he keeps me, protects me.’  he says, ‘All this is too wonderful for me.’  So at the end of it he says, in a new and a fresh way he goes, ‘Alright LORD, dig me up, mine me, go down to those deep places, penetrate me, investigate me, LORD, do that.  I know that you love me, I’m not afraid of your attributes, not afraid that you can see the deepest part of my being, I’m not afraid of that LORD, because I know your love.  So search me, O God, know my heart.’  Then he says then, “try me, and know my thoughts:” (verse 23b) ‘as a refiner’s fire, as a refiner, then purify me, refine me, and know my thoughts.’  A great exercise, huh?  Sit home tomorrow or tonight before you go to bed, say ‘Alright LORD, I am a sinner, saved by grace, there are many things about my life that are not Christlike yet, LORD.  I can be angry, I can be selfish, I can be lustful.  I’m trying to control my life, but internally there’s all kinds of stuff, there’s a traitor that lives inside.  But you love me, keep me, you go before me, you protect me from behind, you know everything about me, and you still want to be with me.  You know me so intimately you knew me from the time before I was a single cell.  You told Jeremiah ‘Before you were conceived, I knew you.’  You’ve known me from conception, to birth, and you knew me before I lived my first day, because they were all written out before you, all my days.  And this is all too wonderful for me, LORD, this is all too high for me, and your thoughts are so precious, and they’re more than the grains of sand on the beach.  So LORD, ok, I understand there’s the wicked, I don’t want to go the way of the wicked, the wicked man has his way,’ he’s gonna say “lead me in the way everlasting.”  ‘I don’t want to go that way, the way of the wicked, you’re going to deal with it, no one gets away with anything, nothing’s unseen to you, nothing’s unknown to you, and you’re all powerful, I don’t want to go in the way of the wicked, LORD.  I’m struggling with my own things, and you love me, I’m yours, I’ve turned to you, so LORD search me, I’m willing to do that, to be repentant, to come before you, search me LORD, mine me, go to the deep places of my heart, and then try me,’ he says, ‘know my thoughts.  And see,’ he’s not telling the LORD to find out, because the LORD already knows, he’s asking the LORD to reveal this to him, ‘see if there’s any wicked way in me, LORD, bring that to the surface, LORD, do this to me, I’m willing to do business with you on this level.’  And then lastly, he says then, “lead me in the way everlasting.”  ‘Search me, try me, lead me, and lead me in the way everlasting, LORD, I don’t want to make an eternal mistake, I don’t want to be deceived about eternity.  All this is in your hand, you know all this, so LORD do this.’  What a remarkable Psalm, by the way, just remarkable, remarkable Psalm.  [transcript of Psalm 139:17-24, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related link:

 

“Before any of my days were on a human calendar, they were written in your book.”  Fulfilled Bible prophecy proves this out.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm

 

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