This is a most interesting and instructive Psalm which shows that the Psalmist, and each one of us, is under the searching gaze of the eye of God. David realized that the LORD had searched and known him: Every part of his being had been thoroughly exposed to the all-seeing eye of Him Who searches the reins and the heart. While it is a solemn thought that nothing in us can be hid from God, it is a healthful exercise to take this matter up before Him as knowing that He is a God of love and rich in mercy. The soul can be at perfect rest in God’s presence, even although we know that He knows all about us. How different it would be if we were in the presence of any other with the consciousness that he knew all the secrets of the bosom—the thoughts, feelings, and desires of the sinful heart. But the knowledge that God knows us, though dreadful to the natural man, when exposed before God brings rest to the saint of God. We can go into God’s presence not only knowing that He knows us, but that we know Him. In Him there is the perfection of goodness, and the grace that can make us feel at rest, in the light of His presence.
Every detail of our lives is known to God; every movement of the body, and the thought of the mind and heart at its inception. Every moment of the day of activity, the time of our rest; yea, all the ways that distinguish us down here are thoroughly known to Him. Before the word that has been conceived has left the tongue it is known to God. He knows it altogether: the motive and spirit of its conception, the object of its transmission. Others may be deceived by its sound; we may deceive ourselves regarding the motive for it, but He knows everything about it perfectly. How good it is to go through life in the consciousness of these things. O that we were constantly conscious that we have to do with God in everything. Sometimes God will not let us go forward; at other times He will not let us go back, for He besets behind and before. In His governmental ways with us He knows how to keep us from ways that would dishonor Him and bring shame and sorrow to our poor hearts; and at times He puts His hand upon us, so that we might feel that it is Himself that is dealing with us in wisdom and in love. Do we feel with the Psalmist that the knowledge of these things is too wonderful for us? How great God is! and yet to think He stoops to deal with puny mortals, with such insignificant individuals as we are. It is indeed wonderful that God should be so interested in the creatures of His hand. Yet it is so!
To have the consciousness that God’s eye is upon him constantly is a dreadful thing to the natural man, and at once awakens the desire to be hidden from God. Where can he go to escape the spirit and presence of God, to be sheltered from the eye that penetrates to the deepest recesses of the heart? If he ascended to heaven, God is there; if he took his life and departed to hell, he could not find refuge there. Not even if carried by the swift rays of the morning sun to the distant parts of the ocean where man is not, could he be concealed, but rather would he be led by God’s hand, and held in the strength of His grip. Neither darkness nor light could screen him: At all times, and in all circumstances, for time and for eternity, the creature of God is thoroughly exposed to the eye of his maker. All the directing forces of man’s inner being, all the secret springs of his heart, all the desires and thoughts of his nature and spirit, are in the possession of God Who formed him in the secret processes of his mother’s womb.
When we think of how God has made us, does it not make us wonder at His greatness and wisdom? What a marvelous creature man is! Well do we praise God for His creatorial power, and for the wisdom displayed in making such a creature. What mysteries are wrapped up in the development of the unborn child! Every part imperfect, but not imperfect—mysteries of nature, body, mind, soul and spirit; mysteries that alone are known to God. Every member was foreknown to God before it existed: It was written in His book, and before it really existed, during the process of its formation, God’s eye rested upon it. How blessed for the Christian to realize that God was interested in him before he had any being. Then to realize, as Paul did, that God’s eye was upon him from his mother’s womb (Galatians 1:15). There has not been a moment in our lives (and never shall be for all eternity), that God has not been interested in us; watching over us; caring for us, with an infinite and eternal love. He knew all about us when we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity; but there was divine provision for it all in the cross of Christ. What a precious thought: He sent His Son to die upon the cross that we might receive the forgiveness of sins, be justified, have peace with God, and be accepted before Himself in His Beloved Son.
How precious indeed are God’s thoughts to us! And how great is their number! God has sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to indwell us, so that our hearts might be engaged with things that “eye hath not seen”: all precious thoughts that belong to Him. And we can look beyond time, when everything is according to God’s mind, with Christ the centre of all; and indeed to when God shall be all in all. God has been working in secret in view of Christ’s glory. All the members of Christ’s body were foreknown to God, every one written in His book; and every one will be perfect in that day when, according to God’s will, He shall be displayed as Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. All God’s thoughts for us in relation to Christ are indeed more in number than the sand. How blessed to have the consciousness of God’s presence! We can lie down at night, and awake in the morning, with the sense of being in His company; and know that all the time between we have not been out of His presence.
As to the wicked who would trouble us here, we can leave them to God. Hating God, and speaking wickedly of Him, we cannot but abhor the wickedness manifested against the God that we have learned in the intimacy of His presence, and in the secret of His wonderful works. But while loathing the evil in others, we must constantly live in self-judgment. We must be open before God; He must search us. And this is the desire of the heart that lives in communion with Him. Every motive of the heart is to be laid bare before Him, every thought brought into His presence. He will enable us to discern anything inconsistent with Himself, and that being judged we shall be led along in the way everlasting.