SCRIPTURE: Psalm 139

In this Psalm, the writer opens up his heart, asking God to examine and judge him. First, we see that the Psalmist is completely vulnerable before God. The passage tells us that God knows his movements. God understands his thoughts. God scrutinizes his path. God is intimately acquainted with all his ways. Second, we see that God’s presence is inescapable. Above and below, God is there. Across the span of the entire horizon, God is there. In light and in dark, God is there. There is nowhere the Psalmist can hide imperfect pieces of himself from God. 

Later in this Psalm, the Psalmist acknowledges that God will destroy wicked people, so the Psalmist must be very confident that he is in the clear, that he is not one of these wicked people. He is bold enough to ask God to judge him because he believes he will be proven clean and worthy. He is not afraid of exposure. Why is the Psalmist so confident? Is it because he has lived a perfectly clean life or because he is an exceptionally good person?

No. The Psalmist’s boldness stems not from who he is but from whose he is. The Psalmist’s faith in God gives him confidence before God. He is a child of God. He is not afraid for his sin to be exposed because he knows he is covered by grace.  

The fact that the Psalmist is a child of God also gives him a high sense of self-worth. He says to God, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, And my soul knows it very well.” The Psalmist is not self-centeredly boasting about how wonderful he is, but about how wonderful God is! Just as a painting displays the talent and expertise of the artist, so the Psalmist displays and reflects his Creator’s wonder. To fuel his confidence, the creation looks to the Creator. 

Just like the Psalmist, those who claim Christ as savior do not have to fear exposure in light of God’s judgment. Faith in God gives us confidence before God when we sin because we know nothing can take away our eternal life with him: we are always and forever his.  And faith in God also gives us high self-worth rooted in humility: we are God’s creation! He loves us more than we can imagine.  

PRAY: God, examine my heart. I know you see every part of me. Examine my life. I know you are present everywhere. Knowing that my relationship with you is eternally secure, convict me of my sin so that I can grow into becoming a better reflection of you. Thank you that no matter what I do, I always belong to you. Thank you for making me look more and more like Christ. My worth and my confidence are rooted in you. Amen.

REFLECT: Think about one area in which you have low self-esteem and another area in which you have pride, or inflated self-esteem. What would it look like to reframe your perspective in each area with the truth that God is your creator and you are his creation?

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