How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. – Psalm 139:17-18 ESV
David is blown away with God. The very fact that God created him and knows everything about him was just too much for him. He uses a Hebrew word, yaqar to describe his feelings. It can mean to “be valuable, be precious, be costly”. But it can also be used metaphorically to mean “be heavy” or “hard to understand”. It is the same word used in the book of Daniel when the king asked his magicians to tell him his dream and his meaning. Their response was, “The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Daniel 2:11 ESV). Given the context, it would seem that David is saying that God’s thoughts regarding him are too heavy or difficult for him to comprehend. Remember, David has been speaking of God’s creation of him, how He knew David before he was even formed in the womb. God already knew the day of his birth and the length of his life – long before his conception. God was aware of David’s thoughts – even before they came out of his mouth as words. All of this was too much for David to get his head around. He said, “How vast is the sum of them!” He could have gone on forever, recounting even more amazing facts regarding God and His intimate involvement in his life.
David seems to say that when he goes to bed, he falls asleep thinking about about it and when he wakes up, there’s still more. The word translated, “I am still with you” is `owd and it means “a going round, continuance” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). It can simply mean “more”. In other words, David says he wakes up in the morning and there is even more to be amazed about regarding God’s thoughts for him. It reminds me of another psalm of David where he writes, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4 ESV). Even Job, in his suffering, said to God, “What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment?” (Job 7:17-18 ESV). The very idea that God takes notice of us, created us, cares for us, never takes His eyes off of us, and loves us, should astound us. To think that the God of the universe gives me a second thought at all should blow me away as it did David. As David has already acknowledged, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2 ESV). God is not some distant, disconnected deity who has no knowledge about or interest in His creation. He cares. In fact, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. He knows our weaknesses. He fully understands our inability to live up to His righteous standards. He is fully aware that we are incapable of not sinning. So He provided a way for us to be made right with Him that is not based on our own human effort, but on the death of His own Son. God knows us. And in spite of that, He still loves us. He knows our thoughts, even when we think we have kept them hidden. And yet, He is still willing to forgive us of those thoughts, if we will simply confess them to Him. He sees everything we do – the good, the bad, the ugly – and is still willing to show us mercy and extend to us His grace. That truly is amazing.
To think that God even gives me a second thought should leave me astounded. How easy it is for me to live my life thinking that all I say, think and do is done is obscurity. I am just one among billions. I am virtually unknown and little more than a blip on the radar screen of life. I can easily conclude that my contribution to life is inconsequential and of little value. But God, the one who created me, knows me, cares for me, watches over me, thinks about me, loves me enough to discipline me, and gave His Son to die for me. That’s heavy. That’s mind-boggling. But what a great reminder from the pen of David. I need to constantly consider the fact that I am known and loved by God. I must never forget that He made me – just as I am. As David said, He “formed my inward parts” and “knitted me together in my mother’s womb”. He made me for a reason. He saved me, not because of anything I had done to deserve it, but simply because He loved me. He is constantly transforming me into the likeness of His Son. He never takes His eyes off of me. He holds me in His hands. He protects me, provides for me, guides me and disciplines me. And He always knows what is best for me. Hard to believe? No doubt about it. But my disbelief won’t do anything but rob me of the joy of knowing just how much my God loves me. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV).