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A Complete Savior

17. January 2018

Columns, Psalm of the Month,

  —Kit Swartz

Psalm 139

Psalm Category: Individual lament, enclosed by praise and prayer

Central Thought: God exercises His majestic attributes for our blessing

Key words: Search, know; wonderful, precious; wicked, hatred

Poetry: A Complete Song

Psalm 139 is often and rightly referenced when declaring that human life unequivocally begins at conception. But it is critical that we understand the Scriptures before we endeavor to apply them. Otherwise, we will subject the Scriptures to our purposes rather than submit ourselves to the Lord’s revealed will. This psalm’s introduction, A Psalm of David, reminds us that every psalm, along with all of Scripture, is ultimately messianic. This psalm is an elegantly crafted whole with links between the parts ( hand, vv. 5, 10; darkness, vv. 11, 12, 13–16) and with a doxology closing each of the sections of praise (vv. 6; 12; 17, 18). Verses 1 and 23 tie up the whole with the main point, which is to be known and loved by God for His glory.

Praise: A Complete Savior (vv. 1–18)

In this section, David meditates on the great attributes of God, which are not abstract ideas but majestic power exercised to save and bless His people. David confesses that God has searched him thoroughly for an absolute knowledge of him (v. 1). In His omniscience (vv. 1–6), the Lord knows every ...

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