How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
Most of us are well acquainted with Psalm 139. The Psalm is frequently used in worship services as a call to confession and assurance of pardon. With familiar phrases like, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” or “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” and “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139 is easily one of the most recognizable of the Psalms.
Still, there are times when you read a very familiar passage and God’s Spirit will show you something new. I was reading Psalm 139 yesterday when verse 17 suddenly leaped off the page, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God.” I’m sure I’ve read the verse before, but it never really penetrated. Perhaps I was preoccupied by the idea of God searching me and knowing me, and I was afraid of what God would find. Maybe I was consumed by the thought of the inescapable One, a notion that can be both comforting and terrifying (depending on what I am doing at the moment). Could be I was feeling reinvigorated after hearing that I, too, am fearfully and wonderfully made. Regardless, verse 17 had been overlooked, until now.
The Psalmist cries out, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!” It is a statement of praise and adoration. Considering the vast and immeasurable knowledge of God, especially in light of the intimate knowledge God has of our lives. God knows all there is about me, and while such knowledge is beyond me, I praise the one who knows me and still loves me.
However, in my fresh reading yesterday, I was lead to ask myself, “How precious to me are God’s thoughts, really?” I know what is precious in my life:
- My family is precious to me.
- My health is important (especially considering the sickness we’ve had in the house lately).
- My free time (of which there is precious little) is dear to me.
- I even have some gadgets – my cell phone, iPod, laptop, palm pilot – that have great value in my life.
But are the thoughts of God precious to me? Do I treasure what God thinks, is it of utmost importance to me?
If you look at how I spend my time and money, the answer would have to be “No” (or at least, “not as precious as it ought to be!”). My favorite shows, the latest gizmo, the busyness of work, the frothy latte in the morning, these things all seem to take a priority in my life over God’s word; and maybe your world as well.
Maybe this is why our world seems so upside down. Rather than spend our time and energy on passionately pursuing the One who knows us, and therefore can satisfy our every need, we chase after the things of this world which ultimately prove themselves empty and fading.
Let us hear Psalm 139:17 anew today, and learn to value God’s thoughts over everything else. Let us make the time to not just read, but to dwell in God’s Word; thinking about His thoughts and letting them transform and renew us. Let us put a priority on seeking God before anything else; a priority on worship, service and sharing our faith with others – giving to God from the abundance of our lives, not the leftovers.
God, may your thoughts be precious to me. May they have such importance in my life that I would let everything else go to know what you think, and to have you think well of me.