Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 139:1

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

O Lord, thou hast searched me - The word rendered searched, has a primary reference to searching the earth by boring or digging, as for water or metals. See Job 28:3. Then it means to search accurately or closely.

And known me - As the result of that search, or that close investigation. Thou seest all that is in my heart. Nothing is, or can be, concealed from thee. It is with this deep consciousness that the psalm begins; and all that follows is but an expansion and application of this idea. It is of much advantage in suggesting right reflections on our own character, to have this full consciousness that God knows us altogether; that he sees all that there is in our heart; that he has been fully acquainted with our past life.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 439

Let our ministers and workers realize that it is not increased light that they need from the pulpit, so much as it is to live out the light they already have. Preaching the solemn truth to the people today, and then falling into the most abominable practices on the morrow, or pursuing a crooked course next week, will not answer. The Searcher of hearts, the One who weighs character, will denounce every unrighteous action at His great tribunal. “Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou ... art acquainted with all my ways.” “Thou understandest my thought afar off.” Now consider this. There is a witness to all your most secret actions, which you would never do in the presence of men; but because God is unseen by human eyes, you do before Him things which are an abomination in His sight, as though He had no knowledge. Now read the claims of God upon every man and woman: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” He will not release one atom of His claim; He will not accept half worship while half the heart is given to some idol. All the heart, God requires, all the mind. You are not allowed to have the mind diverted from God and centered upon any other object. TM 439.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 433

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. MH 433.1

“Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated.” Isaiah 6:1-7, A.R.V., margin. MH 433.2

“There is none like unto Thee, O Lord;
Thou art great,
And Thy name is great in might.
Who would not fear Thee, O King of nations?”
“O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
And art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue,
But, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset my behind and before,
And laid Thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
MH 433.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1160

33. See EGW on Judges 6:15, Vol. 2, p. 1003. 3BC 1160.1

2. God Reads the Secret Devisings—It is for the eternal interest of every one to search his own heart, and to improve every God-given faculty. Let all remember that there is not a motive in the heart of any man that the Lord does not clearly see. The motives of each one are weighed as carefully as if the destiny of the human agent depended upon this one result. We need a connection with divine power, that we may have an increase of clear light and an understanding of how to reason from cause to effect. We need to have the powers of the understanding cultivated, by our being partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let each one consider carefully the solemn truth, God in heaven is true, and there is not a design, however intricate, nor a motive, however carefully hidden, that He does not clearly understand. He reads the secret devisings of every heart. Men may plan out crooked actions for the future, thinking that God does not understand; but in that great day when the books are opened, and every man is judged by the things written in the books, those actions will appear as they are.... 3BC 1160.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 281-2

From the representations given by the Holy Spirit to His prophets, let us learn the greatness of our God. The prophet Isaiah writes: 8T 281.1

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 8T 281.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1153

126. When David in his day saw the departing from the law of God, he expected that a manifestation of divine displeasure would be seen. He looked for the Lord to show forth His righteous indignation. “It is time for thee, Lord, to work,” he exclaimed, “for they have made void thy law.” He supposed that in their lawlessness men had exceeded the bounds of God's forbearance, and that the Lord would not longer restrain Himself (MS 15, 1906). 3BC 1153.1

Where Will the Church Stand?—It is possible for men to go so far in wickedness, under continual remonstrance, that God sees that He must arise and vindicate His honor. Thus it is at the present period of this earth's history. Crime of every degree is becoming more and more strikingly manifest. The earth is filled with violence of men against their fellow-men. 3BC 1153.2

What position will the church take? Will those who in the past have had respect for the law of God, be drawn into the current of evil? Will the almost universal transgression and contempt of the law of God, darken the spiritual atmosphere of the souls of all alike? Will the disrespect of the law of God sweep away the protecting barriers? Because wickedness and lawlessness prevail, is the law of God to be less highly esteemed? Because it is made void by the great majority of those living on the earth, shall the few loyal ones become like all the disloyal, and act as the wicked act? Shall they not rather offer up the prayer of David, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law” (Manuscript 15, 1906)? 3BC 1153.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 234.4

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me,” writes the psalmist. “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.... 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” (Psalm 139:1-12). TMK 234.4

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