In meditating on Psalm 139, I noticed that there is a kind of a choice set up for me.
“If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalms 139:8 ESV)
The context of the verse is David giving great glory to God and describing that glory. Back when I taught the attributes of God to my students, this Psalm was a key place of study. Roughly speaking we may see the all knowing nature of God (omniscience) by considering verses 1-4. We may see His omnipresence (He is everywhere) from 5-10. Then beginning about 11 through 15 (and beyond) we see His work in our creation. This reminds us that He is all powerful (omnipotent).
This is a Psalm of comfort because it reminds us of the nature of God and therefore I should be encouraged (rather than fear).
Yet, nestled in verse 8 is an interesting and comforting contrast. Whether I am ascending to heaven or making my bed in Sheol, God is there. (Thanks be to God for His omnipresence).
My application is that every morning I get to decide to ascend or make my bed.
I can run up the stairs of my Father’s throne by soaking up His word or I can make my bed in the circumstances of this life.
Yesterday I read the pastor’s note in the bulletin of the church we attended. The pastor urged the people to use summer as a time to renew their Bible reading. He noted that as a young believer he was urged to have “Bible before breakfast.” He suggested this to his church. He noted that this “…it’s not a law, it’s an opportunity.”
This seems a good application, the opportunity to ascend the stairs to the throne of grace (reading Scripture) to know Him better and to prepare my heart to pray, in His loving, merciful, and accepting presence.
Ascend, friend, don’t lay in the bed of anxiety.
Consider the words of Paul: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2 ESV)