"Know Thyself" is a popular philosophy; but it is foolish. When we look at ourselves what do we see? The Psalmist saw innumerable evils surrounding him. Our shortcomings and failures are more than the hairs of our head. Looking at yourself will cause your heart to fail because you are compassed about with sin. The Psalmist was so depressed by looking at his own iniquities that he was unable to "look up" and focus on God.
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
Looking at the prosperity of the wicked is equally depressing. Those who surround us in the world who deny God and yet are wealthy and prosperous may appear to have no troubles. Pride surrounds them and they have more than heart could wish. When the Psalmist looked at the wicked prospering around him it was painful to him.
When I thought to know this it was too painful for me;
UNTIL I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
The only point of view that counts is God's point of view. If we look inside at our own shortcomings or at the prosperity of the wicked that surround us we will be depressed. If we focus on God's point of view and the knowledge that comes from His Word we will see things differently.
For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
God has made us righteous in Christ Jesus. We are not full of sin and iniquity. God blesses us and surrounds us with His grace (divine favor) as with a shield. We do not have to rely on the world. God cares for us and provides us with all we need. He protects us with His grace just as a shield surrounds and protects a soldier from the weapons of the enemy.
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
When the troubles of this world abound, God surrounds us with songs of deliverance. He is our hiding place. He will preserve us from trouble. Our point of view needs to be God's point of view. We are not surrounded by trouble. We are surrounded by God's deliverance!
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
Our point of view needs to be on God. When we trust in God, His mercy and compassion surround us and we see that many sorrows shall be to the wicked. God is there to care for us with His everlasting mercy. We can trust Him.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
God knows everything about us. He is acquainted with all our ways. He surrounds our path and guides us as we look to Him. Our point of view needs to be God's point of view and not that which we see around us. Look at the difference between a five senses point of view and a spiritual one in this record in 2 Kings:
II Kings 6:14-15
Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: [to capture the man of God]: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas my master! how shall we do?
The servant of the man of God looked at the senses situation around him and was devastated. How can we ever survive? This king has sent a great army and completely surrounded the city just to get us. We are dead. But Elisha had a different point of view.
II Kings 6:16-17
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
God and you make a majority in every situation. Our point of view needs to be God's point of view. We are not defeated; we have the victory. God surrounds us with His mercy and grace and songs of deliverance!
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.