Psalm 139:3

ESV You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
NIV You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
NASB You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
CSB You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways.
NLT You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
KJV Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

What does Psalm 139:3 mean?

God knows our ways, our condition, and our conduct. The Hebrew verb zarah, translated as "search out," or "scrutinize," is used of a farmer winnowing his crops to separate the wheat from the chaff. In other words, God examines our ways so thoroughly that he doesn't miss a thing. Every tiny speck and detail is known, sorted, and separated.

When we suffer, we are tempted to think God is unaware of what we are going through. However, as the psalmist David points out in this verse, he is "acquainted with all [our] ways." Job experienced numerous hard trials, but he understood that God was aware of what was happening to him. He testified, "He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold" (Job 23:10). We can take comfort in the fact that our heavenly Father knows perfectly where we go, what we do, and what we are experiencing. He will not allow us to be tempted or tried beyond our ability, "but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape" that we "may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
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