Psalm 139:5 (ESV)

5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Man is completely—from behind and from the front—surrounded by God. God’s hand encloses me everywhere. Is this hand threatening or comforting? For the author this hand is clearly protective and the same holds for those who live with God. But those who rebel against him, will feel the hand as a threat. The prophet Jonah experienced this in a painful way. God’s hand found him as he was fleeing (on a ship) to Tarshish. So, the Lord arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah (Jonah 1:17). But those who seek their refuge with this mighty God may know that God’s hand will protect them on all their ways.