For you, O Lord, have searched me well


Psalm 139


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Psalm 139

By James Vasquez

My thoughts you know e’en from afar,
For you, O Lord, have searched me well,
Before my tongue gives form to words,
Their meaning you will tell.

And when I sit and when I rise,
Or lying down or going out,
Of all my ways you are informed,
Nor have I cause to doubt.

You hem me in, behind, before,
Your hand upon me heavy lays,
Such knowledge is too wonderful,
My ignorance betrays.

And where shall I from you retreat,
Or from your watchful Spirit flee?
In heav’n or yet in Sheol shall I,
Your very presence see.

And rising on the wings of dawn,
Or ‘cross the blustery sea I nest,
Your hand will ever hold me fast,
And guide me to my rest.

Nor may I say, “The darkness will,
Enclose me round about as night,”
For night will shine like day with you,
And darkness is as light.

I praise you, Lord, for fearfully,
And wonderf’ly have I been made,
Your works I know full well for they,
Are wondrously displayed.

My inmost being while in the womb,
You knit together and each day,
Ordained for me within your book,
You wrote in full display.

How precious, Lord, are all your thoughts,
How vast, unknown to me their sum,
As grains of sand, were I to count,
Nor to their end would come.

Awaking with the dawn’s first light,
Or ere the night is halfway met,
I find myself of life assured,
And in your presence yet.

Away, you men for blood athirst!
Deign now, O God, their lives to end,
With ill intent they speak of you,
And your blest name offend.

Do I not hate, O Lord, the men,
Who rise against you in their hate?
I count them naught but enemies,
May ruin be their fate.

Now search and know my heart in full,
My anxious thoughts, O God, now test,
Though vile my ways are found, now lead,
Through paths forever blest.


from the May 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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