Psalm 139: 17-24                               


   In Psalm 139 we see God in three special ways.

      1. God’s Greatness  7-12

            a. God’s Knowledge of us 1-4

            b. God’s Protection of us 5

            c. God’s Awesomeness 6

            d. God’s Omnipresence 7-12

      2. God’s Creation of us  13-16

            a. Fearfully and wonderfully made  13-14

            b. Skillfully wrought 15

            c. Fashioned by the Lord 16

(Now today the third way we see God in this Psalm.)

      3. God’s knowledge of us 17-24 (This is the way the Psalm began)

                God has searched me and known me.

Focus:  We will look today in Psalm 139: 17-24 A description of God’s thoughts of  the believer and the unbeliever. 



I.  God’s Thoughts of the Believer  17-18

“How Precious Are Your Thoughts to Me O God!”  17a

A. They are Precious – Valuable – Usually something that is rare and is as such made valuable. We learn from the context that God’s thoughts are not rare but they are valuable.  We should consider them very precious.

            B. They are innumerable 17b-18  How great is the sum of them. 

                 1. How great is the sum of them.  17b 

                    The idea is literally, “How strong are the heads of them.” That is, the heading of them, or the summing of them up, would be a task beyond the power of man. And who “could” estimate the number of the “thoughts” necessarily bestowed on himself by his Maker in all the care exercised over him; all the arrangements for his development and growth; all that is done to defend him from danger; all that is indispensable in providing for his needs; all that was necessary to secure the salvation of his soul!

God not only formed us but ever sense our formation and birth God has been thinking about our needs.

                  2.  If I should count them… 18

Try to count all the thoughts of God toward me they would be more than the sand of the sea.  If in counting them I fell asleep when I awake I am still with you.   The amount to count would be just as much or more as before because God’s thoughts and working for us continues when we are asleep.  We would never catch up on this.


II.  God’s Thoughts of The Unbeliever  19-22

A. Description of the wicked 

      David describes the wicked in four ways.

                        1. The wicked – The morally wrong and guilty people 

                                    2. Blood thirsty - Depart ye bloody (blood thirsty) men. 

Men who sought to kill him pursued David.  This statement can come from those experiences.

     (If God’s working in David’s life is as described already in this psalm then David is wondering why the Lord does not take care of the problem the bloodthirsty men who sought his life.)

     This is how many must feel after the killing of 9/11.  We have seen in the last year that the world is full of bloodthirsty men.  Not nice to think of but 9/11 tells us that.

                        3. Evil Speakers  - They speak evil against you. – 20

                             They speak against the Lord wickedly

                             They take his name in vain.  How many there is that does that today.

                             This is so common today. 

                        4. Enemies - Do I not hate them & count them my enemies 21-22

                             David said:  “ I hate them with perfect hatred.”

B. A Prayer about the wicked  19  

The prayer seems to be this…Destroy all the wicked of the earth and clean up this mess. 

C.  God’s Gracious Answer  - There is no answer here and none in history to this prayer.  God does not answer this type of prayer now for more than one reason.

       1. Reason One – Because  of the believer

 The parable of the tares of the field. 

           The parable given – Matthew 13:24-30

           The parable explained – Matthew 13:36-43

               God is not going to judge the unrighteous until the end of the age.

If he judged the unrighteous now it would also be a judgment upon those who follow Him.     They would also die in the process.

       2. Reason Two – Because of the unbeliever

He is not willing that any should perish. 

2 Peter 3:9  - He is longsuffering and giving the unsaved time to repent.  He gives them time to turn from their sin to Christ. 

                  God gracious answer not to slay the wicked at least not now is till in effect.


III.  God’s Knowledge Our Hearts  23-24

       The prayer of these two verses could just as well be a statement of fact.   God has and he does what this prayer asks.

“Search Me And Know My Heart.” 

            A.  God knows our hearts 

1. See verses 1-4 tell us that God has already done this.  He does this for all of us.

2.  He has searched and tried us and he knows my anxieties.  These are the things that I worry about.

B.  God knows our tendency toward evil 

“See if there is a wicked way in me.”

                 The word wicked way means idolatrous way.  A road of idolatry 

This can lead to all types of wickedness.  We have a tendency to turn away from God. 

D. God Leads Us In The Way Everlasting

    “And lead me in the way everlasting.”

     The O. T. Saints needed to pray like this.  But today we know the way everlasting.  

            1. It is the way of old.  The way the saints of old walked.

                        What is that way?  It is the way of faith.

                         Hebrews 11:1-6 etc.  By faith the men of old pleased God.

                         This is the way we must walk today.

            2. It is the way to everlasting life – The way of the believer.

                        It is by faith we have everlasting life.

                           John 1:14-18;  3:36



God thoughts for us are innumerable and gracious.  He has provided the way everlasting thought the Lord Jesus Christ.  Be sure that you have trusted Christ as your personal savior.