It has been a week of shock and revulsion. It has been a week of “how did we get to this place as a civilized country.” It has been a week of weeping for the most innocent and helpless among us. It has been a week for Psalms 139.
Even the most hardened of atheists would not deny the beauty of the poetry found in this Psalm. For those of faith, its beauty extends beyond the poetic.
It begins with the acknowledgement of God’s unconditional love through every part of our lives from our mother’s womb, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…“ to “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there, If I rise on the wings of the morning, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.”
The Psalm ends with the writer’s struggle in dealing with evildoers, “If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!” (sentiments I can relate too)
It is a Psalm written thousands of years ago, it is a Psalm written for today.
It is also a Psalm of intimacy, a Psalm of a one-on-one relationship between us and God, a Psalm of “You” and “I”, . (You know when I sit and when I rise).
Even more intimate than, “I love you,” are the words, “I understand.”
The King James translation says it like this, “…thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”
Sanctity of life extends beyond the unborn, newly born, impaired or aged to all of us. It is God saying, “I understand” through every trial and difficulty life throws at us. As Christians the same love and compassion we wish to bestow on the unborn must also encompass their mothers and all people. To the best of our abilities, we must mirror Christ’s love to everyone.
To answer the question at the beginning of this post, the love of God has no limits.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the morning,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.