Psalms 139:17 MEANING

Psalm 139:17
(17) Precious.--Rather, weighty, the first meaning of the word. The parallelism requires this, as also the peculiar word for "thoughts," for which see Psalm 139:2. We have here the antithesis to that verse: while the Divine penetration discovers the most intimate thought of man, man finds God's secrets incomprehensible.

Verse 17. - How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! If God's works are admirable, and, therefore, precious, so still more are his thoughts - those deep counsels of his, which must have preceded all manifestation of himself in act or work. How great is the sum of them! Were they all added together, how immeasurable would be the amount! What a treasure of wisdom and knowledge;

139:17-24 God's counsels concerning us and our welfare are deep, such as cannot be known. We cannot think how many mercies we have received from him. It would help to keep us in the fear of the Lord all the day long, if, when we wake in the morning, our first thoughts were of him: and how shall we admire and bless our God for his precious salvation, when we awake in the world of glory! Surely we ought not to use our members and senses, which are so curiously fashioned, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. But our immortal and rational souls are a still more noble work and gift of God. Yet if it were not for his precious thoughts of love to us, our reason and our living for ever would, through our sins, prove the occasion of our eternal misery. How should we then delight to meditate on God's love to sinners in Jesus Christ, the sum of which exceeds all reckoning! Sin is hated, and sinners lamented, by all who fear the Lord. Yet while we shun them we should pray for them; with God their conversion and salvation are possible. As the Lord knows us thoroughly, and we are strangers to ourselves, we should earnestly desire and pray to be searched and proved by his word and Spirit. if there be any wicked way in me, let me see it; and do thou root it out of me. The way of godliness is pleasing to God, and profitable to us; and will end in everlasting life. It is the good old way. All the saints desire to be kept and led in this way, that they may not miss it, turn out of it, or tire in it.How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!.... The word (r) signifies that which is scarce and rare, and not to be attained and enjoyed; see 1 Samuel 3:1; the thoughts and counsels of God are impenetrable and unsearchable; he knows our thoughts, as Aben Ezra observes, but we do not know his, Psalm 139:2; as well as it likewise signifies the worth and value of them; God's thoughts are infinitely beyond ours, and infinitely more valuable and more important, and are concerning our welfare and happiness: it is marvellous that God should think of us at all; it is more so that his thoughts should not be thoughts of evil, to bring that evil upon its we deserve, but thoughts of peace and reconciliation in and by his Son, in whom he was reconciling the world to himself; thoughts of salvation and eternal life, and of the way and means of bringing it about; thoughts to provide for our present supply in this world, and to lay up for us for the world to come; see Jeremiah 29:11. It may be interpreted of the thoughts which David had of God in his meditations of him, which were sweet, precious, and comfortable to him; of his lovingkindness to him, covenant grace, precious promises, and gracious dealings with him; but the former sense seems best. The Targum is,

"to me how precious they that love thee, the righteous, O God!''

and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it, "thy friends";

how great is the sum of them! or "the heads of them"; that is, not the chief of thy friends, but the sum of thy thoughts, these in the bulk, in the general, are not to be counted; and much less the particulars of them, these are not to be entered into or described.

(r) "difficiles", Cocceius; "quam rarae"; so some in Vatablus.

Courtesy of Open Bible