When I Wake Up, You Are Still With Me

Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!


Decades after David is first anointed by Samuel as the future king of Israel, the time finally arrives for him to take the throne. Between the giving and the fulfilment of the promise, David faced many challenges and opportunities for doubting God’s word. Yet as we have seen he clung to the faithfulness of God as his anchor, and at the right time was elevated to his position of authority and influence.

The time of David’s reign becomes a landmark in the history of the Israelite nation, often referred to as the golden age of their time. In the prophets he is symbolised as a holy tree from which the future promises of Israel’s restoration will come forth. David becomes a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s descendants, the stars, are multiplying toward the promise of God, anticipating the coming of the Messiah and the explosion of salvation that will be set in motion by his arrival on earth.

Through the tapestry of the history of the Israelite nation we see God working on a grand public scale, but also weaving threads of intimacy and relationship in the small details. Constantly we see the incorporation of sinners into his story, as he brings redemption to his people again and again. It is these moments of connection that ultimately unfold the lineage of Jesus Christ.

It’s believed that this psalm was composed after David’s succession to the throne. Even in the midst of public honour and glory, David is privately drawn back to the awe and wonder of God’s love for him. The passionate wonder of these words is breathtaking, as David is consumed not by his own achievement and triumph, but by the desperate, intimate love of a Creator of infinite wonder and infinite grace.


In the midst of waiting on the fulfilment of your promise keep your heart focused on God’s faithfulness and his love for you. Then in the moment of your triumph and deliverance, your heart will be ready to praise God above all else, for it is in him alone that we find our being.

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