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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Psalm 139

Often times when we talk about David, the ancient king whom the Old Testament gives thorough account for, we talk about his accomplishments.  Slaying giants.  Shepherd becoming king.  Ark establishing, prolific songwriter.
What is often overlooked about his life is that at each major turning point David is faced with relational backlash from those who should have been closest to him.
His dad overlooked him the day God called him to be king.
His brother criticized him the day he killed a giant.
His mentor tried to kill him when David became more successful than him.
His wife was embarrassed at his excitement for God’s presence.
As the people who should have had their arms around David began to stiff arm him, how did He maintain his zeal for his calling and his God?
One way: knowing and trusting in the character and faithful presence of God in every season.  We catch a glimpse of this in a song he wrong called Psalms 139.  (If you’d like to grab a Bible, you can read it before you move on.  Otherwise, we’ll skim the major points)
Read Psalm 139 HERE.

1. DAVID FELT FULLY KNOWN BY GOD (PS. 139:1-4)

This was a man who was misjudged, misunderstood and mishandled by those closest to him. Yet he knew that in the presence of God he was fully known.  He’s thoughts, his words, his actions; all known ahead of time.  That gave David peace.  Why? Because he trusted the One who knew him the most.  He knew God would steward his heart well and would speak back to David with mercy and compassion.  David could be fully himself in God’s presence.
Have you experienced that place where you can be fully yourself in God’s presence?  The place where you can trust that your words and emotions will be stewarded well by the God of infinite compassion.

2. DAVID FELT FULLY SURROUNDED AND SAFE (PS. 139:5-12) 

David knew what it was like to be surrounded and terrified.  He had been on the run for years because of Saul’s hatred for him.  What he went through in that time would have been enough for any of us to keep our space bubbles a mile wide for the rest of our life.
Yet David alluded that as God “hemmed him in” it helped him feel safe.  In the greatest victories or the deepest valleys, God’s constant presence was an anchor to his soul.
Have you found that same safety in His presence?

3.  DAVID KNEW THAT GOD INTENTIONALLY CREATED HIM (PS. 139:13-18) 

His dad only saw David as a shepherd.  His brother saw him as conceited and self serving. His mentor only believed in him as long as it added to his own success. He embarrassed his wife.  Yet when he went into the presence of God he was reminded that the God of all creation had purpose and direction for David before he was ever born.
As David centered himself on that reality, he could wave the storms of relational dysfunction and keep moving forward toward God’s call on his life.
Who informs your understanding of why you’re here on earth?  Which opinions shape your self worth?  Have you found a way to regularly recenter your life on God’s view of you?

4.  DAVID KNEW THAT GOD WOULD REFINE HIM (PS. 139:19-24) 

At this point the song take a dramatic turn.  David begins to openly expresses his hatred toward the “common enemies” the he and God share.  We’ve all been here after a hard week, right? Please don’t leave me alone on this.
Two things we learn from these passages:  One is that David carved out a space in his relationship with God to be fully open about his anger and frustration.  He’s recognized that there is a space for righteous anger in all of our lives because life can be difficult.  But the second thing we see is that as David openly expresses his anger, he gives space for God to test it and refine it.
Was his anger justified, or was it a manifestation of his anxiety?  Were David’s enemies really God’s enemies? Or were the words of David offensive to the God who also knows, surrounds, and created the people David is speaking about?
David trusted God enough to submit it all to Him, and let God do the refining work.
Each of us either currently or have had people who have misjudged, misunderstood and mishandled us.  Our heart response to them will shape how we move forward.
But there is a God in heaven who is a perfect steward of our heart and our life.  He will reshape our identity if it’s been marred by others.  He will refocus our perspective if it’s gotten off track.  And he will remind us of why we have been put on this earth.  Our part is to give him our time and our heart.
-Pastor Cris Buck