This past summer my family and I had the opportunity to visit the famous prison island, Alcatraz. The most severe punishment an inmate could experience there was to be placed in solitary confinement. There is almost nothing worse than to feel completely alone and abandoned.
In today’s reading, David was threatened by enemies all around (vv. 19–24). In that situation it would be easy to believe that God had abandoned him. To counter this idea, David reminds himself of important truths about God. First, we are fully known by God. God knows what we are doing and thinking. He declares, “before a word is on my tongue, you, LORD, know it completely” (v. 4).
Second, God is present everywhere. We are never alone. Even if we journey to the furthest corner of the earth or to the deepest part of the sea, “even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (v. 10). Even in the midst of threatening enemies, God is right there with us.
Third, God cares about us. Before David was born, God is the one who “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (v. 13). David’s life (and ours!) is under the sovereign care of God (v. 16).
All three of these ideas were counter-cultural in David’s world. Most people believed that the gods were confined to particular places. The gods also did not know everything or care deeply about their worshipers. Some people even thought the gods required child sacrifice. David knew that God is different. He values human life even in the womb (vv. 13–14).
>> As God’s child, you are never alone. During political turmoil, a pandemic, sickness, or loss God has not abandoned us. Sometimes we need to be reminded that one of the final promises that Jesus made to us was: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Your omnipresence is a comfort to us, Lord—to know that our decisions can never take us outside of Your presence; that our sin can never banish You from our lives; that our mistakes can never remove us from Your reach.