by Daniel Routh
Have you ever stumbled across someone else’s love letter?
I’ve heard of people finding their grandparents’ love letters in a dusty box in the attic. In Psalm 139, you are holding a love letter David wrote a long time ago to someone he loved with all his heart.
Peek into it, and you’ll see how intimately he knows the love of God. He delights in how God is always present with him, always knowing him, always thinking about him. “You know what I’m going to say before I even say it.” “Even in the darkness I cannot hide from you.” For someone who doesn’t love God, it might sound dreadful that God is always watching them. But not for David. He couldn’t get enough of his first love. “When I wake up, you are still with me!” Even more intimate than a lover, David whispers to God about those first moments when God’s hands were forming him in his mother’s womb. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
This incredible closeness with God makes David angry at those who blaspheme his closest love. “Shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?” he says passionately. It might help you to remember that in the Old Testament hate is primarily not choosing — rejecting. He refuses to accept the world around him that has no love and respect for this wonderful Love of his.
But this reminds him of his own sinful heart, and in fear of harming the relationship with his beloved, he cries out: “Search me, o God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts! Point out anything in me that offends you…”
As you pick up this three thousand year old love letter in Psalm 139, may your heart warm to our intimate, all-knowing creator, as we turn from the world and cling to him forever and ever.
by Daniel Routh