Psalm 139

1    O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;  

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

    you discern my thoughts from afar.

2    You mark out my journeys and my resting place  

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3    For there is not a word on my tongue,  

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4    You encompass me behind and before  

and lay your hand upon me.

   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  

so high that I cannot attain it.

6    Where can I go then from your spirit?  

Or where can I flee from your presence?

7    If I climb up to heaven, you are there;  

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8    If I take the wings of the morning  

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9    Even there your hand shall lead me,  

your right hand hold me fast.

10  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me  

and the light around me turn to night,’

11  Even darkness is no darkness with you;

    the night is as clear as the day;  

darkness and light to you are both alike.

12  For you yourself created my inmost parts;  

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

13  I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  

marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.

14  My frame was not hidden from you,  

when I was made in secret

    and woven in the depths of the earth.

15  Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;  

already in your book were all my members written,

16  As day by day they were fashioned  

when as yet there was none of them.

17  How deep are your counsels to me, O God!  

How great is the sum of them!

18  If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,  

and at the end, I am still in your presence.

19  O that you would slay the wicked, O God,  

that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!

20  They speak against you with wicked intent;  

your enemies take up your name for evil.

21  Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?  

Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?

22  I hate them with a perfect hatred;  

they have become my own enemies also.

23  Search me out, O God, and know my heart;  

try me and examine my thoughts.

24  See if there is any way of wickedness in me  

and lead me in the way everlasting.


Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.

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