To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm was probably penned by David, while he was loaded with some vile reproaches; and contains, (1.) His celebration of, 1. The omniscience, ver. 1-6; 2. The omnipresence, ver. 7-12; and 3. The creating-kindness of God, ver. 13-16. (2.) His improvement of these in, 1. Devout meditation on God, ver. 17-18; 2. In detestation of wicked men, ver. 19-22; 3. In solemn profession of his uprightness before God, ver. 23-24.

Let me sing, let me pray, let me live, always under the deepest impressions of God’s eye upon me; his presence with me; his formation of me; his new-covenant relation to me; and his everlasting redemption of my soul. Let my nights and my days be filled up with precious, with fixed, with pleasant thoughts concerning these, and holy improvements of them. Let me never make the Lord’s enemies my intimates. Let a thorough purgation from sin and progress in holiness, be the delight, the earnest desire of my soul.

1 O Lord, thou hast me searched and known.
2 Thou know’st my sitting down,
And rising up; yea, all my thoughts
afar to thee are known.

3 My footsteps, and my lying down,
thou compassest always;
Thou also most entirely art
acquaint with all my ways.

4 For in my tongue, before I speak,
not any word can be,
But altogether, lo, O Lord,
it is well known to thee.

5 Behind, before, thou hast beset,
and laid on me thine hand.
6 Such knowledge is too strange for me,
too high to understand.

7 From thy Sp’rit whither shall I go?
or from thy presence fly?
8 Ascend I heav’n, lo, thou art there;
there, if in hell I lie.

9 Take I the morning wings, and dwell
in utmost parts of sea;
10 Ev’n there, Lord, shall thy hand me lead,
thy right hand hold shall me.

11 If I do say that darkness shall
me cover from thy sight,
Then surely shall the very night
about me be as light.

12 Yea, darkness hideth not from thee,
but night doth shine as day:
To thee the darkness and the light
are both alike alway.

13 For thou possessed hast my reins,
and thou hast covered me,
When I within my mother’s womb
enclosed was by thee.

14 Thee will I praise; for fearfully
and strangely made I am;
Thy works are marv’llous, and right well
my soul doth know the same.

15 My substance was not hid from thee,
when as in secret I
Was made; and in earth’s lowest parts
was wrought most curiously.

16 Thine eyes my substance did behold,
yet being unperfect;
And in the volume of thy book
my members all were writ;

Which after in continuance
were fashioned ev’ry one,
When as they yet all shapeless were,
and of them there was none.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts,
O gracious God, to me!
And in their sum how passing great
and numberless they be!

18 If I should count them, than the sand
they more in number be:
What time soever I awake,
I ever am with thee.

19 Thou, Lord, wilt sure the wicked slay:
hence from me bloody men.
20 Thy foes against thee loudly speak,
and take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate all those, O Lord,
that hatred bear to thee?
With those that up against thee rise
can I but grieved be?

22 With perfect hatred them I hate,
my foes I them do hold.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart,
try me, my thoughts unfold:

24 And see if any wicked way
there be at all in me;
And in thine everlasting way
to me a leader be.