It really is about me . . . sort of. If the songwriter’s song was intended to become the reader’s song, and I think it was, then it’s about me. Twenty-two of the twenty-four verses have the word “I”, or “me”, or “my” in it. I am the center of attention.
But not the center as in “the world revolves around me.” I am not the sun. Instead, I’m but a small chunk of rock that revolves around the sun, encompassed by its light. So it’s more like I’m the center as in “He who made the world envelopes me.”
Hemmed in, says the psalmist. Entirely known by Him, inside and out. Completely exposed to Him, nowhere to run and hide, even if I wanted to. Formed by Him. My days ordained by Him. My life ultimately directed by Him.
On one hand, who or what can stand such scrutiny? What prevents the sun’s intense rays from destroying? It’s not distance–everything in the song reminds us that He is near, so very near. So what provides such protection that the songwriter pleads, “Search me, O God,” inviting, rather than running from, such potentially searing gaze?
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with You.
(Psalm 139:17-18 ESV)
His precious thoughts. They’re the UV protection. They take what could be damning heat and turn it into marvelous light. They are the source of well-being though standing barefoot before His flaming presence on holy ground. Because, when all is said and done, those precious thoughts are expressed on the wondrous cross.
That God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts isn’t surprising. That the sum of them is beyond our imagination just makes sense. But they are not beyond our grasp. For they are found in His Son, Jesus the Christ, and in His redeeming work on our behalf.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son” ~ Jesus
(John 3:16 ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus . . . For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, . . . He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? ~ Paul
(Romans 8:1, 29, 32 ESV)
How David embraced such scrutiny of God is a bit beyond me, and is testament to the nature of God’s presence with him. But that we should rest in His holy scrutiny is possible because of the gospel. God having redeemed us to reclaim us. The Father having saved us to perfect us. Jesus having wooed us to Himself through His Spirit in order to present us to Himself as a Bride “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” Having begun a good work in us, with every intention of completing that work. Not because of who we are, but solely because of who He is and what He’s done.
If God is for us, who can be against us. If He spared not His Son for us, how can we think He is not all in to fulfill His promise to etch the image of His Son upon us?
Thus, for the believer, such knowledge of being enveloped by the sun-like rays of His attention is no cause for alarm, or shame, or hiding. On the contrary, it is a source of great comfort, of great encouragement, of great rejoicing as we chew on the vast sum of His precious thoughts toward us.
It is a joy worth worlds that the Lord should think upon us who are so poor and needy: it is a joy which fills our whole nature to think upon God; returning love for love, thought for thought, after our poor fashion. ~ Spurgeon
Precious thoughts . . .
. . . of God’s amazing grace . . . for God’s everlasting glory.