"Our Awesome God"
Rodgers Baptist Church
801 West Buckingham Rd. - Garland, TX 75040
Text: Psalm 139.
Introduction: (Show clip of Oprah Winfrey.) Everywhere you turn today, people are either denying the God of the Bible altogether, or redefining Him. Our beloved, beautiful, benevolent Oprah Winfrey, has been deceived. She has become an aggressive spokesperson for New Age doctrine and spirituality, which is not new at all. New Age doctrine displaces the God of the Bible, and sets man in His place. According to New Age thought, your search for God need go no further than yourself. You are God! Oprah is using her popularity and influence to spread this seductive, satanic lie!
This morning, I am preaching one of those Bible based, doctrinal messages about our great God, Oprah mentioned in that clip. I am not presenting the God of my design. I am not presenting the God of David's design. For sure I am not presenting the God of Oprah's design. If this message places God in a box, then it is the box of God's own choosing.
The psalm before us is one of the psalms of David. In this great psalm, David describes our awesome God. Of course, as David writes, we are aware of the spiritual dimension and nature of his words. Paul tells us in II Timothy 3:16 that, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable." Peter tells us in II Peter 1:21 that "..the prophecy (Bible) came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit." We can be sure that David's words in this psalm, are God's own words! As David describes our awesome God, the Holy Spirit of God is moving through him, and therefore what we have here are God's words about Himself, spoken through the personality of a man, David.
David knew God. We were all created by God to know Him and fellowship with Him. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, that God has set "the world," olam or eternity in our hearts. When man removes the knowledge of God from his life, it leaves a God-shaped void. Nothing can fill that void, not money, not possessions, not pleasure. This void is God-shaped, and only God can fill it. It is like the missing piece of a jig-saw puzzle.
There is a real danger before us. The world is coming full circle. Having fed on the dry husk of materialism, secularism, and naturalism, it has created a spiritual thirst in humanity. People are returning to spirituality, however it is a spirituality that has been disconnected from the Bible. While it is a good thing for mankind to once again realize that he or she is a spiritual creature, a spirituality that is not based on biblical revelation is dangerous! John warns us in I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." There are voices present in the world, "seducing spirits," which will turn you away from the God of the Bible. This is why you need God's Word more than ever, in your life today. You can be deceived!
Here in this great psalm, we are given a truck load of truth concerning Our Awesome God. God has spoken, He has revealed Himself in His Holy Word, the Bible. You need not be confused or deceived. In this psalm, we are given:
Four Great Bible Truths About Our Awesome God!
Truth one: God knows everything about you.
God is omniscient. The word omniscient means all knowing. In verse 1, David says, "O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me." The word "searched" means to dig deep as you would dig deep into the earth to search for precious metals. The word "known" speaks of a personal, intimate knowledge. God is a real person. You may say that you do not know God, but God already knows you. As a matter of fact, God knows you more than you are aware of, and He knows you better than you know yourself.
God knows your personal, private moments. David says in verse 2, "Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising." The psalmist is saying, "Lord you know when I get out of bed in the morning, and when I go to bed at night." Bedtime represents our most intimate, personal, and private affairs. God knows your most personal, private moments.
God knows your intimate thoughts. Verse 2 continues, "Thou understandest my thought afar off." The mind represents the most private of domains. Everyday, we allow ourselves thoughts that are unholy; thoughts that are mean spirited, selfish, wicked and immoral. We would die if others knew our thoughts, yet it never occurs to us that God knows them all! God can read your mind, like you read the morning paper or website.
God knows your public moments. In verse 3 we read, "Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways." God sees and knows everything you do. He records all of your actions and discovers every last detail about them. God knows the motivation behind your deeds and their impact upon yourself, others, and the cause of Christ. In our public moments, we can deceive others, but not God.
God knows your words. God not only knows where you go and what you do, but He knows what you say. Verse 4 says, "For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether." Words are powerful to destroy or to deliver, to build up or to tear down. Everyday, we speak oceans of words, never once giving thought that God is listening.
God is omniscient, therefore there are no secrets with God. A scandal involving the Governor of New York shook the nation just a month ago. Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was well known for his crusades against corruption, was busted for his involvement in a prostitution ring! His secret is now common knowledge. Now we are discovering that the Governor's wife knew all along! One thing is certain, God knew! God was never fooled! Notice verses 5-6. "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." God is behind me in my past, He is ahead of me in my future, and presently, His hand is upon me. We are fenced in, hemmed in by God! There is no getting past God. God is omniscient. He knows everything!
Truth two: You cannot escape God's presence.
God is omnipresent. God is ever near us. In verse 7, David asks, "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?" This passage does not teach pantheism. God is not a tree, bush, flower, or mountain. This passage teaches that God maintains His personhood. God remains "other than," His creation. The psalmist addresses God as "Thou," a person, not a thing or idea or force. No matter where you go in creation, God is present!
God is with you in times of exhilaration and joy. Verse 8 begins, "If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there." You can share your good times of laughter and joy with God. God is not against having a good time, as long as it does not compromise His nature. God's people know what pleasure and fun are all about.
God is with you in times of despondency and grief. Verse 8 continues, "...if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there." The word "hell" in the Hebrew speaks of the grave. Some of the most difficult moments in life, are when we give up our friends, family, and loved ones. Death brings grief to our lives, yet even in the "....valley of the shadow of death," God is with us! As a pastor, I have witnessed first hand the difference knowing God makes when people are facing death. God will help you in your sorrow and grief, if you will acknowledge Him.
God is with you in all of your adventures and journeys in life. In verses 9-10 David says, "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me." Are you at a crossroad in life? Are you about to go off to college, move to another state, begin a new job, a new adventure? If so, know that God will go with you and be with you. God is into growth, reaching out, and expanding your influence for His glory! As you seek to do more and be more for God, count on His help and presence. His hand will lead you and hold you!
God is with you, even if you attempt to leave His presence. Notice verses 11-12. "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee." Jonah proved that you cannot hide from God. You can run, but you cannot hide!
The reality of God's presence is both comforting and convicting! God is with us when we please Him, and when we bring Him shame. Even when we choose to abide in darkness, His love will seek us out and attempt to draw us back to the light. Paul in Romans 8:39 reminds us that nothing in death or life; no angel, principality, or power; nothing in our present, past, or future; nothing high above us or deep below us; not one creature, "....shall be able to separate us from the love of God; which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Yes, God is a jealous God! God is not jealous of you, but for you. Jealousy is a part of love! God is jealous for anything that replaces the intimate relationship He wants to have with you. As the redeemed, we are "...bought with a price." We are not our own. We belong to Him! God is jealous over us, because He loves us! His love will not let you go!
Truth three: You are the greatest evidence of God's creative power.
God is omnipotent. The word omnipotent means unlimited power. One of the greatest evidences of God's awesome power is His creation. God by His power, spoke the worlds into existence, yet man himself is the object of God's personal, "hands on," creative efforts. Verse 14 says, "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well." God formed man from the earth in His own image and likeness, and then breathed into him the breath of life.
Today, people often ask the question, "When does life begin?" This passage declares the sanctity of life and the womb, telling us that life begins at conception.
In the womb, God formed you. Verse 13 says, "For Thou hast possessed my reins (physical organs): Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb." David is telling us that while in the womb of his mother, God formed his inward parts, his vital organs such as the kidneys, the liver, lungs and heart. The phrase "hast covered," speaks of weaving together. God wove or knitted him together as a tapestry, while in the womb.
In the womb, God fashioned you. Verse 15 says, "My substance (my body) was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth." David knew nothing of the modern science of embryology, nothing of the mysterious process by which a body is formed in the womb. The womb of a mother was a hidden world, yet God revealed to David that we are "curiously wrought," or intricately made with great care by God while in that mysterious world. In the womb, we are no less a person to our God.
From the womb, even before the womb, God has knowledge of you and has a plan for your life. Notice verse 16-18. "Thine eyes did see my substance (my body), yet being unperfect (in the process of formation); and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee." Think about it. Before we were in existence, before we were ever born, God had already written in His book, everything we would ever accomplish or become! God made you just like you are. You are the only person just like you, so rejoice in it, and make the most of it!
God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Don't go through life trying to be someone else! God has a purpose and plan for your life. Jeremiah was purposed to be a "prophet to the nations," before he was even conceived! God made you and He has plans for your life. What an awesome God!
Truth four: God calls you to live in His holy light.
David describes a God who is not only personal, ever present, and powerful; but He is also pure. John in I John not only describes a God who is love, but a God who is light! God is perfection and purity.
David's response to God's holiness is to learn to hate sin and those who promote it! He says in verses 19-22, "Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate Thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies." Someone said, "Most people have just enough religion to bug ‘em, but not enough to bless ‘em. They want to be ‘in Christ,' but not ‘too far' in." This is so true! We want to be Christlike, but remain "cool" in the eyes of the world! James 4:4 tells us that being a "friend" of this world system, makes us and "enemy" to God! Tolerating sin, sinful influences and people in our lives, we are often trapped by it! Victory comes when we hate what God hates, and love what God loves!
David chose to live in the light of God's holiness. Darkness hides the dirt and the grime. We can turn out the light and close the door on a dirty, messy room, and it will not bother us. As long as the light is out and the door is closed, we are not motivated to clean it up. When we open the door and turn on the light, we are confronted with it's condition and hopefully motivated to clean it up. It is a Holy God who can clean up our lives when we dare to open the door of our hearts and let His holy light shine in.
In verses 23-24, David opens the door of his heart to a Holy God. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." David gave a God a warrant for search and seizure to his life. He asked God to search his heart, his mind, his ways, with the light of His holiness, so to reveal any wickedness, any sin. You might respond, "What a reckless thing to do! Surely God will find all sorts of things that need to go, need to change. How could David hope to survive such a search?" The answer is faith. David trusted the Lord because he also knew that God was merciful and gracious. God already knew his sin anyway. Besides, the God who made him, created him, did not desire to destroy him, but rather desired to deliver him. You see, God was already in the future, hanging on a Roman cross crying out, "Father forgive them."
Leighton Ford said, "God really is God. He's not just applying for the job." God has not left us alone to follow blind guides. God has revealed Himself in His Word, the Holy Bible. Do you know this awesome God? Be assured that He already knows you. He knew you before you were even in the womb. God also knows your heart and your sin. God is present here today to search your heart, and if you will let Him; He save your soul. You see, God's holy light became flesh, Jesus Christ the "Light of the world." God's Light hung on a cross, the "just," innocent One, dying for the "unjust," guilty world, so to bring you to Himself. Why not come to God today and let Him lead you in the way everlasting?
Perhaps you already know God personally by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You are saved, but you are a run away. For some time you have hid from God, as if you could. It could be that you have had an offense against God. You have blamed God for sin's wages in your life. God wants an intimate relationship with you today! Come to the awesome God with a broken spirit, a contrite heart and feel His loving arms around you!