O Lord, You have searched me and You know me.
The Psalmist begins by acknowledging that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He is aware of our every action and anticipates our innermost thoughts. David continues by pointing out that God’s knowledge of him is:
David pictures God watching us without any distance between us: “You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.” Although David describes God as seeing us from afar, it does not mean that he thinks that God is far off. He is closer than we think and intimately involved in our lives every second of the day.
God’s knowledge of us is also:
Deeply Personal: v2-3
God knows us from the inside. David uses the language of “perception” and “discernment” to characterize God’s knowledge of him. Despite the Lord’s complete knowledge of my deepest fears, secrets, private pain and desires, I am still the most important being in the universe to Him. He understands me and sees more in me than I could ever know.
This knowledge is so complete that it is:
“Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord.” This is so much more than God reading our minds. It means that God sees our thoughts before they are fully formed. We might question the need for prayer: If God knows what I am going to say before I say it, why do I need to pray? The trouble with this view is that it assumes that the main reason we pray is to get what we want. But there is more to prayer than the asking. Prayer is a relational encounter. Often, we want something from the Lord but not Him at all. I do not know what I am going to say beforehand. I do not know what my future thoughts are going to be. He knows not only my thoughts but my ways too; He knows the steps I take. David sees himself running into God again and again. He is behind him and also in front of him. “You hem me in” – v5.
Therefore, we do not have to be anxious since we are surrounded by the Lord and His hand is continually upon us.