Read Psalm 139:1-6
- What specific things does God know about “me”? What areas of my life are covered by God’s knowledge (Psa. 139:1-4)?
[“merism” – is a figure of speech which includes opposite extremes to include the whole spectrum].
How do you feel about God knowing everything about when, where, and what you’re going to do, think, or say?
- What else does God do besides know me (Psa. 139:5)?
And what does this tell you about God?
How do you feel about the fact that God is a protective, ever-present, caring God, and why?
- How does the psalmist react to the realization of these things (Psa. 139:6)?
What attribute of God is implied in this psalm so far?
Read Psalm 139:7-12
- What attribute of God is seen here?
And how is it expressed/shown (what three merisms)?
a. (Psa. 139:8)
[“Sheol” – is the place where all dead people went during Old Testament times, thought of as below the earth].
b. (Psa. 139:9)
[“dawn” – is in the east; “sea” – is the Mediterranean Sea; “Remotest part” – is in the far west].
c. (Psa. 139:12)
- How do you feel about God being omnipresent/present everywhere?
What affect does that have on you, and why?
- What relationship is pictured in Psa. 139:10?
Do you feel like God is your Father and you’re His child and that He’s leading and comforting you?
If so, why?
In what ways do people today actually try to escape from the knowledge and presence of God?
Have you ever tried to escape from thinking about God or hiding from God by drowning yourself in: sports, job, education, drama, TV, movies, video games, drugs, alcohol, computers, traveling, music, sex, nightclubs, science fiction, relationships, materialism, etc.?
If so, how, and why?
How successful were these attempts, and why?
Read Psalm 139:13-18
- Is a fetus just a blob of tissue or a beautiful, unborn child uniquely created by God?
What phrases suggest that it’s the latter (Psa. 139:13-15)?
[“fearfully” in Hebrew here means “reverently in awe”].
[“the depths of the earth” – a metaphor, meaning “remote to the human eye”, or “womb”].
Since God skillfully and wonderfully created us, should any of us have an inferiority complex or poor self-image?
- How intimately involved was God in the whole process of our coming into being (what phrases convey this, Psa. 139:13-15)?
[“formed … and weaved” – a metonymy, meaning “God’s sovereign superintendence through genetic reproduction”].
How does knowing about God’s intimate involvement in your conception and creation affect you, and why?
What attributes of God are suggested in this section?
- How does the Psalmist view God’s thoughts toward him (Psa. 139:17-18)?
How do you view God’s thoughts toward you, and why?
Read Psalm 139:19-24
- How does the Psalmist, David, feel toward the wicked who hate God and are murderers?
[“hate” – Hebrew “sane”, here regarding David’s attitude toward the wicked, means to reject, be set against, disassociate from].
[loathe – to greatly dislike with disgust].
[“Hate”, here regarding the wicked’s attitude toward God, means – an emotional attitude of maliciousness, wanting harm and suffering upon someone either with or without legal justification.].
[David’s reason for hating/rejecting and loathing the wicked is because they hated God and took His name in vain. It wasn’t because they did or said something to David. This is holy/godly hatred.].
[God hates all who do wrong/sin (Psa. 5:5). “Hate” can also mean “to prefer less to someone else” (Mal. 1:3; Lk. 14:26).].
- Was it right for David to hate like this?
Why (Prov. 14:7; 22:5, 10, 24-25; 24:1-2)?
Does David’s attitude contradict Matt. 5:44?
How, or why?
If it seems to, does that necessarily make it wrong?
- On the basis of all that the psalmist has realized about God and himself, what petitions does he now make (Psa. 139:23-24)?
Are you so desirous to do God’s will, what’s right, that you want God to search and know your motives for all that you do and think, so as to show you whether or not you have any hurtful or wrong motives, and if so, to instead be led by God in the everlasting, right way?
If not, what will it take to have such a desire?