“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me” (Psalm 139:1).
In Psalm 139 David understood the three doctrinal truths concerning God’s omniscience (all knowing), omnipresence (all present), and omnipotence (all powerful).
In verses 1–6 he states the fact that God is all knowing. “Thou hast searched me, and known me” (v.1). He marveled that God knew his every action externally: his “downsitting and mine uprising” (v.2), his lying down (v.3); plus, every path that he took (vv.2,3); and his every thought internally: “Thou understandest my thought afar off” (v.2). “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether” (v.4). As David thought on God’s omniscience, he exclaimed, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (v.6).
In verses 7–12 David acknowledges God’s omnipresence. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence” (v.7). God is everywhere present in the universe, not only in knowledge, but in His very Person. David knew that whatever direction he went—heaven or hell (v.8), uttermost parts of the sea (v.9)—or whatever condition he was under—darkness or light (vv.11,12)—that God was completely surrounding him.
In verses 13–16 he gave an illustration that wonderfully exemplifies the omnipotence of God; the formation of a child in the mother’s womb. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works” (v.14).
David ended the psalm by putting these doctrinal truths into practical daily living. Since God is omniscient and omnipresent, David then asked God to search him and try his heart and mind (thoughts) to see if sin was present in his life (vv.23,24). Since God is omnipotent, he asks God to lead him, step by step, right into “the way everlasting” (v.24). NPS