- Sermon Notes
What to Know When God Leads Your Way
If after realizing that the book of Psalms is 150 Psalms, you decided to look for a list of the top ten most popular or powerful Psalm in the book, few lists would leave out Psalm 139. If you found out that there were 2,461 verses in the book of Psalms, and wanted get an idea of what those who have read it believe the top ten most popular verses in the entire book might be, most of those lists would include a verse, if not two from Psalm 139.
Examples: Psalm 139:1-2; Psalm 139:7-8; Psalm 139:14; Psalm 139:17-18; Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB 95’)
The Psalm lands in the place of David asking the Lord, to lead him in the everlasting way, but leading up to that last verse, David makes it clear that not only does the Lord know the way, He knows everything, not only can God lead him, God is always present with him, not only can God show the way, He has the power to make the way and that is what David made clear, prior to asking the Lord to search him, know him, and lead him on the everlasting path.
What David declares throughout the Psalm is God’s perfect knowledge, His presence, and His power. These words have great meaning theologically. The word “theology” comes from two Greek words combined and mean “the study of God.” Christian theology is the attempt to understand God as He is revealed in the Bible. David gives us great insights into some terms that one would learn in Christian theology, those are God’s omniscience, God’s omnipresence, and God’s omnipotence.
Each of those terms start with “omni” which means “all,” and then attached to another word. Omniscient is “omni” or “all” and then “scient” or “knowledge,” God is all knowing. Then omnipresent, God is “all-present” or present everywhere. Then omnipotent, potent meaning “power,” God has all power over all things and in all ways.
A.W. Tozer Quote – What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us. (The Knowledge of the Holy)
Illus. Your leader.
The Psalm will land in the place of David asking the Lord to lead him in the everlasting way. It is his conclusion after declaring what he knew about the God who was leading his way. And this morning, I am going to point you to four truths about God that are important to know when you welcome Him to lead your way. Those four truths we will pull from Psalm 139 center on who God is: His perfect knowledge, His presence, His power, and the path He will always lead you to.
- He Knows Everything About You
Psalm 139:1-6, Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; you understand my thought from far away. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, Lord, You know it all. You have encircled me behind and in front, and placed Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot comprehend it.
- The first six verses make up the first section of the Psalm. In those verses, David is speaking about the knowledge of God, and how God, who knows it all, knows everything about him.
- There is a theme in the first six verses, the terms tell the story: searched, know, understand, scrutinize, acquainted, knowledge, comprehend.
- It’s all about God and what He knows, understands, scrutinizes, and comprehends.
- We looked at the term Omniscient, or all knowing, and David is detailing out what that term means in his life personally.
- God is unlimited in what He knows. He knows everything.
1 John 3:20, If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. (NIV)
Psalm 147:5, Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.
Romans 11:33-34, Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?
Hebrews 4:13, And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.
- God knows all things, He knows everything, and in this Psalm, David declares that that God who knows everything, knows everything about him.
- When David wrote “You have searched me…” to be searched out is to be examined thoroughly, to be examined and explored thoroughly.
- … “And known me…” To be recognized, it speaks to one’s awareness, their knowledge.
- He continues, you know with I sit down, when I get up, you know my thoughts, you see my path, you are acquainted with all my ways, before a word is spoken, you know it all; you are all around me, behind me and in front, your hand is upon me.
Psalm 139:6, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot comprehend it.
- David knows that God knows, and it is not just powerful information to know theologically, it is powerful truth to him personally.
Illus. A word on my tongue.
Illus. He Knows.
- God knows you. And this is important truth to know if He is going to lead your way.
- He Is Present Wherever You Will Go
Psalm 139:7-12, Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take up the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will take hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
- As David continues to express not only who God is, but who God is to him, he speaks to God’s presence, the reality that God is all present, the second omni, God’s omnipresence.
- It highlights the biblical truth that God is everywhere present.
- He begins the second section, with a couple of questions, “where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”
- The questions being asked are important ones, and in our lives there is a good way to ask such questions, and not so good way. It has to do with motives.
- The not so good way, is someone who is asks if they can flee God’s presence because they want to get away.
Illus. Question for mom.
- As David ponders these questions, and he details out just how present our omnipresent God is, the answer is not a concern to David, he does not want to get away, but rather, a comfort to David.
- Death cannot separate us…
Psalm 139:8, If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
- Distance cannot keep us from His presence…
Psalm 139:9-10, If I take up the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will take hold of me.
- When David wrote, “the wings of the dawn,” it is a reference to the rays of sunlight that streak across the skies in the morning, those streaks, referred to as the wings of the dawn.
- David says, if I travel like those wings, as fast and as far as they spread across the sky, you are there leading and guiding.
- If he goes and dwells in the remotest part of the sea, God is there, leading, guiding, taking hold of him.
Jeremiah 23:23-24, Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord. “No, I am far away at the same time. Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord.
- God’s constant presence and guiding hand would be upon him wherever he would go.
Romans 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- David continues, darkness cannot keep you from His presence…
Psalm 139:11-12, If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
- As David declares the truth about God’s presence, going into dark places or in the dark of night, God was still light around him.
- This speaks to what darkness does and who God is.
- Darkness limits what we are able to see. And dark times in our lives, limit our ability to see, or recognize the presence of God, who is Light.
- And it is in the darkness of night, that we need to know that God is not limited in His visibility (what He can see), and he is also not limited in His proximity to me.
- Not only is God able to see you clearly in dark times, He is also present, and not afraid. What a comfort to David, what a comfort to you and I who are in Christ.
- God is present, always and everywhere, whether death, distance, or darkness, nothing can separate you from His presence.
Illus. Powerful truth.
- David speaks to all these different places where a person might ask the question, is God here? And gives us the answer, He is there.
Psalm 139:10, Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will take hold of me.
Isaiah 43:2, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
- There are times when you might feel God is far from you, or you are alone, or in the darkness and out of His sight, but this Psalm shows differently.
- Wherever you are, there He is.
Illus. High, Low, wherever you go.
- This leads us to the next thing to know as God leads your way. He is omnipotent, which means, “all powerful.”
- His Power is Known Through His Work on You
- As David ponders God’s power, he illustrates God through what God had done for him personally.
Psalm 139:13-16, For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; and in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
- In verses 13 to 16 we read about God’s creation, God’s wonderful works, God skill in forming his formless substance, and the fact that God had written the story of his entire life, all his days, before the first day of his life.
- David declares God’s power, the way in which he declares it, is by looking in the mirror.
- David had many things he could have chosen from to display God’s power.
Psalm 19:1, The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse declares the work of His hands.
- Last week we looked at the power of God in creation, Genesis 1, He created the heavens, the earth, the waters, the light, the night, the dry land, vegetation, trees, the stars, the creatures and birds, the fish of the sea…He could have chosen some of those things.
- David could have chosen to highlight the wonderful works God had done in and through David and his life.
- Though he knew it was all true, and he had much to choose from, he decided to declare God’s power, wonderful works, and glory by looking at God’s work in creating humanity!
- And the reason for his looking to humanity, seems to be that when God created mankind, it was only mankind that was made in God’s image, according to His likeness. The greatest of all God created, humanity.
- David does not simply declare that God made humanity, however, he points to God’s work in creating him personally.
- He says His work is marvelous, it is wonderful, and he wrote, my soul knows it very well!
Psalm 139:13, For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
- When David wrote, “you created my innermost parts…” The word “created” is “the originator,” my innermost parts” which literally means “my kidneys.”
- The translation innermost parts, refers to one’s internal organ, their essential organs, God created them.
- He continues, “you formed me in my mother’s womb,” when he wrote “You formed” it is a word that means “knitted,” or “woven” or “joined together;” and when he wrote “womb,” that is what it mean, inside his mother.
Psalm 139:15-16, My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; and in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
- David speaks to his frame, that is, his skeletal system, his bones, the Lord builds upon it and skillfully formed him.
- He knows that the Lord saw when nobody else could, and had his days written in His book. Before he was born, when he was still unformed, God saw him, knew him, and had a plan for him, all his days were written.
- That word written is “recorded,” they have been written down.
Isaiah 44:2, This is what the Lord says, He who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you.
Jeremiah 23:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… (NIV)
- David wrote, all my days were ordained for me. He wrote wonderful are you works…My soul knows it very well…
- So, God’s love, care, concern and intentionality in the womb, but then from the womb to walking and living out his life and the days God had ordained!
Psalm 139:17-18, How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand…
- How precious are your thoughts toward me, God! How numerous, how vast, how important.
As He leads your way, know that He knows you, He is present with you, His power is displayed in His work on you…and lastly, when He leads…
- He Will Lead You in The Everlasting Way
Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, God, and know my heart; put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
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