Sermons

Our Intimately Acquainted God, Pt. 4 (Psalm 139:19-24)

Part of the Elders' Elective Series series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

David Torres
David Torres
August 11, 2013

Sermon preached on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Psalm 139:19-24.

Take your Bible if you will and open it to the book of Psalms, Psalms chapter one hundred thirty-nine (139).

It was the Apostle John, advanced in age, the sole remaining apostolic survivor, who penned these words in 1 John 1:3b-4 -

3 ...indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

John is not speaking of theory, a sheer abstraction, or a philosophical concept, but rather he is speaking of a wonderful fellowship [Gr. κοινωνία] we share and experience and that is our fellowship with the Father and with His Jesus Christ.

We “were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor 1:9). This fellowship is not a mere partnership of those who have the same beliefs and are thus drawn together. Rather, it is the mutual life and love of those who are one in spirit.

Paul put it this way in 1 Cor 6:17 -

17 ... the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

This union is indeed a mystery (Eph 5:30), but a beautiful, glorious, and intimate reality - our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

*A man who knows anything about this intimate fellowship with God cannot stop speaking about it.

That is where we find David in Psalm 139. He cannot stop speaking about this intimate fellowship with God. But here it is spoken from a divine vantage point.

That is to say, God’s intimate knowledge and fellowship with His elect. Of this fellowship David testifies,

God knows you intimately (vv. 1-6)

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

He knows you better than anyone. He is intimately acquainted with all your ways.

God is with you closely (vv. 7-12)

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

There is nowhere God is not present. No matter where you go in life, His hand will guide you and will hold you fast.

And then perhaps one of the most well known passages of Scripture reveals this extraordinary truth...

God made you uniquely (vv. 13-18) –

13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

The Lord has made you skillfully in your mother’s womb! That launches David in a state of praise because he realizes that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v. 14).

It is no wonder that God knows you so intimately, He made you.

Perhaps one of chief characteristics of God is that He is holy. In the words of Hannah in 1 Sam 2:2 -

2 “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

Not only does she speak of His majesty, but of His uniqueness.

Moses described God in this manner in Ex 15:11 -

11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?

If you want to play the comparing game, there is no one like God. No one. He is stands apart.

All other gods are distant in nature and thus impersonal. Our God is near and personal.

We simply do not realize how intimate our relationship is to God.

The culprit is always sin. Sin separates us from God. In sin do we lose the joy of our fellowship with God. In sin do we lose the closeness of fellowship with God. Praise be to God that we never lose the reality of eternal life nor the abounding love for His own.

The call is always to draw near to God. James says in James 4:8 -

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...

The author of Hebrews implores in Heb 4:16 -

16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

There again is where we find David - in time of need. Less we forget, this psalm comes to us in a specific time in David’s life.

Although we cannot pin-point its exact place in David’s lifetime, we can pick up some clues as to the kind of time it was.

For example, we read early in this psalm in v. 1 -

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

God here is called up on as the sovereign and eternal judge, You have searched me and known me.

It is the kind of language that we read in Jeremiah 12:3 -

3 But You know me, O Lord; You see me; And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage!

With strong words he says, “sanctify them for such a day.”

There is somewhat of a polemical element in David’s words from the start.

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

David also speaks of dark trials in life in this psalm. Notice v. 11 -

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”

This darkness refers to the dark nights of the soul. Dark trials that is. This is where we find David. You would not think that this was written in a time of distress, where David faced hardship, but it was so.

No more is this evident than in the last verses of this psalm.

Please stand in the reading of God’s Word.

Read Psalm 139:19-24.

CONTENT

Here we note the last of four chief thoughts, all which point to the all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, all-holy God, to whom we render our worship.

It ought to come to no surprise that as you gaze upon the attributes of God, you come to a most accurate view and come away with an overwhelming sense of the sinfulness of man.

Isaiah saw a glimpse of God in His holiness and it caused him to be painfully aware of his sin and that of those around him (Isaiah 6).

True worship, a true understanding of the One True God, will always affirm the utter holiness of God and the overwhelming sense of unworthiness in the presence of Almighty God.

Consider the call to worship in Psalm 96:7-9 -

7 Ascribe to the Lord,

[Lit. “give” / “give glory to the name of the Lord” / attribute or credit Him glory;
the term in similar passages demands that everyone acknowledge the Lord Yahweh as the great king and offer such ascription of glory and greatness equal with, corresponding to, in measure to His majesty]

O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.
9 Worship the Lord in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.

KJV reads - “fear before him, all the earth.”

It is a fear that grows out of overwhelming sense of unworthiness in the presence of pure holiness.

For example, in Genesis 18 Abraham confessed in the presence of that he was but “dust and ashes” (Gen 18:27). Job said the same thing (Job 42:6 - “I repent in dust and ashes”). Ezra 9 records Ezra’s sense of shame as he came before the Lord to worship and confess. He fell on his knees and stretched out his hands to the Lord. He wept and prostrated himself before the house of God.

You see my beloved, when we see God as holy, our instant and only reaction is to see ourselves as unholy.

You will never know the depth of your own sin until you grasp the holiness of God. If we are not deeply pained about our sin, then we do not understand His holiness.

David understood the holiness of God. It has caused true and genuine worship in his life and it has made him aware of the ugliness, costliness, deceptiveness, and presence of sin not only in his life but in those wicked men who are malicious and arrogant, who would unashamedly speak against the Lord wickedly, who would take the Lord’s name in vain.

This section is intense and extreme for it speaks of righteous hatred and humble introspection. It looks upon others as well as self.

I trust God will cause a reforming in our hearts this day.

As Thomas Watson has said -

“We have much conforming, but where is the reforming?”1

Let us be about the reforming with and through God’s Holy Word.

Look at verse 19 where we find the next chief thought in this psalm.

About David Torres: David Torres is a graduate of The Master’s College (BA ’01) and The Master’s Seminary (MDiv ’06). He served as a pastor-teacher in Garden Valley, CA for 8 years. He presently works at Grace to You as the GAV Broadcast Engineer and is currently studying at TMS pursuing a Th.M. degree. David is committed to expository preaching and shepherding God’s flock, and he desires to one day serve the Lord again in this way. He was married to Angie in 2000, and they have been blessed by God with six children: Isaiah, Emilia, Micah, Eva, Isabella, and Elizabeth.

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