Psalms 139 Part 2 Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Rebekyah Brewer
This entry is part 1 of 21 in the series Psalms
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In our previous lesson, we talked about the first part of Psalms 139. In verses 1-12, we saw how fully the Lord knows us. In this last portion of Psalms 139 we will see the depth of God’s knowledge of us goes even further then knowing our ways and the thoughts of our hearts; God knew us before we had any substance. He knew us and knit each of us together in our mother’s womb. He designed our personalities, our strengths and weaknesses and even declared each one of our days before one of them came to be. God knows our beginning and our end. He knows our purpose and our hearts desires.

David is just kind of marveling at the knowledge and works of God. Romans 1:19-20 talks about how God’s invisible attributes have been clearly displayed since the beginning of creation for all to see. You can look at creation, you can look at the stars in heaven, you can look at the sky, you can look at the trees, the sea, the planets and in all of these you can see the beauty of God, the work of God, the wisdom of God, the love of God, the mercy of God, the abundance of God, his omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience fully demonstrated around us. God’s invisible attributes are clearly displayed so that men are without excuse.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

– Psalms 19:1-4

You can also look at man, at the way God has formed man and see how intricately woven together we are and see there is a God. His invisible attributes are also displayed through us.

The human body is just amazing. I ran across some amazing facts about the human body that really are astounding to consider. Here are some facts from Distractify.com:

With the 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside the average human body, you could circumnavigate Earth two and a half times.

The human brain can read up to 1,000 words per minute.

An adult is made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms. For perspective, there’s a ‘measly’ 300,000,000,000 (300 billion) stars in our galaxy.

Inside your belly button are thousands of bacteria that form an ecosystem the size of an entire rainforest.

Your body produces 25 million new cells each second. Every 13 seconds, you produce more cells than there are people in the United States.

Humans are bioluminescent and glow in the dark. The light that we emit is 1,000 times weaker than our human eyes are able to pick up.

Humans shed 40 pounds of skin in their lifetime, completely replacing their outer skin every month.

In one day, your blood travels 12,000 miles around your body. That’s four times the distance across the US from coast-to-coast.

Those are just a few fun facts about the human body that illustrate how amazingly we are out together. We consider the stars, the sea, the trees, planets, flowers, and it’s easy to be amazed at the work of God. However, the human body is an amazing work of God in itself.

The heavens declare the works of God’s hands, but so does our body. That is what David is looking at here. He’s looking at himself. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And so he says, “You formed my inward parts and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Isaac Watts wrote:
      

          Heav’n, earth, and sea, and fire, and wind,

Show me thy wondrous skill

But I review myself, and find

Diviner wonders still.

Thy aweful glories round me shine,

My flesh proclaims thy praise;

Lord, to thy works of nature join

Thy miracles of grace.

– Isaac Watts

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

Here we see God’s omnipotence, his powerful works as he knits together the body of man in the mother’s womb. God created our inward parts. David has often marveled at God’s creation, the stars, the earth, the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands but so do our bodies.

God had his eye on us before anyone could see us. He graciously provided for us and protected us in our mother’s womb.

The KJV translates this verse as:

For thou hast possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

The word possess here means erect, set upright. It means to create or found as the heavens and earth were founded and set upright. The word “reins” literally means “kidneys”. It’s a symbol of the inward parts, the heart, the soul, the seat of the desires and affections which are our “reins”. God formed them and he holds them.

This same Hebrew word is also used in Jeremiah 11:20

            But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that tries the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

You have covered me in my mother’s womb. From our mother’s womb God encircled us when we were in the state of a helpless embryo with a protective sac to provide us with the environment and nutrients we would need to grow in. We were unaware of his work. He worked in the darkness.

God clothed our soul with a body. He clothed our bones with skin and flesh.

You clothed me with skin and flesh
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
Job 10:11

The idea is one of God knitting us together as one would knit a sweater together. Or weaving us as one would weave a basket. Each part was specifically put into place, just as God would have it.

 

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

David look at himself and declares how fearfully and wonderfully his body is made. He is awed and impressed. He was designed by God to inspire awe and reverence to God for his wonderful works. The literal translation of this verse would be, “I am distinguished by fearful things.” Man is distinguished among the creation of God. Man alone is created in God’s image and in this is fearfully and wonderfully made. Man is a very special work of God unlike anything else in God’s creation, including the angels. God did not make the angels in his own image.

We are each a wonderful, awe inspiring work of God. God knits us together so tenderly and with such magnificent care and patience those nine months. Now imagine someone coming along and just slicing God’s work before it is even finished. That is abortion.

I don’t have to convince any of you in this room tonight that life starts with conception. I do know you all well enough to know what you are all thinking. We share the same spirit and I know your spirit and your thoughts are just as burdened and nauseated by the word abortion and the horror of abortion as my own is. I know that you are just as righteously angry at those who would harm a child, especially an unborn one. I know that you are just as astounded that anyone could be apathetic in taking a life. I know you are just as disgusted at the recent news of Planned Parenthood selling these aborted children’s body parts.

How must God feel? To have these tiny children, created in his own image, and knitted together by his own hands and specially placed and wrapped in a protective sac ripped from the very womb by the hands that were to encircle them and protect them when they were born?

How sad is it that a single cell if found on another planet, such as Mars would be rejoiced over as a sign of life on another planet, but people deny the heartbeat, the hands, the multiple cells joined and knitted together and growing daily inside a mother’s womb as life? What hypocrite’s sin turns us into! How absolutely ignorant and blind it makes us that we could justify and rationalize such activity as abortion as good and promote and encourage it and even make it legal. What has become of us? We look at the Germans and all those who obeyed and followed Hitler and wonder how they could ever have been so deceived, so gullible, so hateful to do the horrendous things they did to the Jews that are unbelievable to imagine and yet it happens in our own country every day as thousands of tiny babies are aborted. From 1973 to 2011, 53 million legal abortions have taken place. Hitler in his evil heart with the help of his country, killed 11 million Jews. The number pales in comparison to the number of babies we have legally killed in the United States. These statistical numbers do not even include the past 5 years. What God has joined together, man has ripped apart.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

In the depths of the earth is a symbolism of this work being done beyond the eyes of human observation. The wonder of the womb has been a long time hidden from the eyes of man. Recently due to MRI’s and Ultrasounds and 3D technology, man has been graciously able to peek inside the womb and see the tiny work of God’s hand and it simply increases our wonderment but also our guilt. Despite our being able to see these tiny lives, to hear their heartbeats, to possess more information about birth then man has ever had opportunity to see or gather, here in the United States we still endorse and allow legalized abortion. Our knowledge increases our guilt.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. – Ecc. 11:5

 Intricately woven is rendered as curiously wrought in the KJV. It literally means embroidered. God embroidered us in the womb. I love this term because it speaks of the beauty, the craft, the attention to detail that God goes to knit together a life. He embellishes us. He adds those little flares to our personality. That little extra attention that denotes his love. It’s not a factory setting but we are each hand made with love and attention by God.

This is what the LORD, your protector, says,
the one who formed you in the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made everything,
who alone stretched out the sky,
who fashioned the earth all by mysel
f – Isa. 44:24

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’Acts 17:24-28

Have you ever compared life after delivery with life after death?

 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

While we were yet an unformed mass, before any of our small arms and legs began to take shape inside the depths of our mother’s womb, God had a vision of us. He foreknew us. He knew what we would look like. He knew what our personality would be like. He knew us beforehand and saw our undeveloped substance. It is like an artist with a lump of clay before him. He is inspired and has a vision of the work He is about to create and he sets to work bringing to life his thoughts and vision. We existed in God, before he formed us outwardly and carefully knit us together.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jer. 1:5

God has a book that He records all things in.

You keep track of my misery.
Put my tears in your leather container!
Are they not recorded in your scroll?
– Psa. 56:8

I like to carry as sketchbook with me. I’m always getting ideas and whenever I have an idea or a thought I like to quickly write it down before I forget or I sometimes sketch it out. Perhaps God sketched you and I out, our entire lives, our entire days before one of them came to be. If he didn’t sketch them out, he certainly wrote them down.

Since man’s days are determined,
the number of his months is under your control;
you have set his limit and he cannot pass it.
Job 14:5

Recorded. Described. Prescribed.

All the periods of our life are laid out in His book, all the milestones, all the gravestones, all the highpoints, all the low points, they are written out like chapters. They are fixed or established by God’s order and command. When our parents and aunts and uncles wondered about our future what it would consist of, God already knew. He had already written it. How long I would live, my health challenges, my personality quirks, my talents, where I would live. There are no coincidences.

He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:26:27

All the events of our life were laid out in God’s book like a great blue print of our life. He is the God who declares the end from the beginning. He always has so it should not surprise us any at all that He has declared our own end from the very beginning of our life.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ – Isa. 46:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:10

LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. – Jer. 10:23

“For whomever the Lord has adopted and deemed worthy of his fellowship ought to prepare themselves for a hard, toilsome and unquiet life crammed with very many and various kinds of evil.” – John Calvin, Institutes

 Everyone at some point or another seeks to know their life purpose. If you research it, you will find a thousand quotes on what your life purpose is but here is where they ALL go wrong. It’s not about you. God’s work. God’s purpose. God’s thoughts.

 1 Pet. 4:11. “That God in all things may be glorified.”

l Cor. 10:31. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 Success is found in how close we live to the blueprint of God’s life for us. It is in seeking to live our life according to how God designed us to live it, fulfilling his will, the desires and talents he placed in our heart that we find the blessed life and are able to enjoy the work of our hands and our relationships around us.

           For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jer. 29:11

 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

 We will always find the most peace and joy knowing we are just where God wants us to be. It may not be where we want to be, but it’s where God wants us to be for a time. We do live in a sinful world that is extremely painful and grievous. The horrors of abortion are barely skimming the surface to some of the horror that man conceives in his thoughts and does when he thinks no one is looking.

 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. –Proverbs 16:3

 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psa 37:4-5

 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

 

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

The thoughts of great men ore of high value to us. The works and diaries that contain the thoughts of men such as John Owen, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis are valued to us. When such great men die, all the scraps of their life that contain their thoughts are gathered up and preserved in books so they are not lost.

If the thoughts of great men on earth are valuable, how much more precious are the thoughts of God by whom they gain all their wisdom? By whom all men gain understanding.

How vast are the thoughts of God! In the bible they are in concentrated form. If you add just a little bit of meditation to a verse or a word, it expands immensely. Think of all the books, articles, poetry, hymns and dissertations that have been written and sparked by the Word of God as commentaries to elaborate on God’s thoughts. No man can read them all. They are numerous.

Recently finishing Psalms 119, we have a better sense of how precious the Word of God is. David certainly considered it precious. These great men, church fathers considered God’s word precious. They considered God’s thoughts precious and spent most of their lives meditating on them and seeking them out. Searching to know the thoughts of God as one would seek hidden treasure.

What we meditate on and think about most, shows what we find to be precious to our hearts. How much do the thoughts of God consume your own thoughts? What does consume your thoughts? Worries? Work? Worldly Television shows?

I awake, and I am still with you.

Does God’s word fill your thoughts day and night as they filled David’s? David would meditate on God’s word

as he fell asleep at night. When he woke up, the first thing he would fill his mind with was God. Meditating on the precious thoughts of God, on the Word of God is what places us near to God. We are always near to God for God is always near to us but we do not get to enjoy the reality of the presence of his spirit in our lives because our thoughts are often not near to Him. They are elsewhere. It is our duty to reign them back in, to call them back home, especially in the morning and after a hard days work to find their rest and refuge in God.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

When we share the thoughts of God, the spirit of God, the mind of God, we share the heart of God. We ate anything that is wicked, or against God. It causes our own spirit anguish and distress to hear our Beloved spoken against in blasphemy, his name taken in vain. We are ready to come to His defense, not that He needs one. We are stirred up in anger when his ways are maliciously ridiculed and abandoned. We experience a deep rooted anguish of heart when injustice and lawlessness prevails, such as abortion and gay marriage.

Such ways are deeply wicked and absolutely nauseating no matter how the world tries to paint such activities as “righteous” and change our view of them. There is nothing righteous in these activities. They are white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones. We have not judged these activities of our own opinions and values, God has judged them already. However, the wicked refuse to acknowledge the one true Judge and each man does what is right in his own eyes as in the time of the Judges.

They speak as if they rule in heaven,
and lay claim to the earth.
(Psalms 73:9 NET)

They would never consider themselves as wicked for all their ways are “good” in their own eyes but it is only because they shut God out, they shut God’s light and anyone who would carry His torch so that light would not expose the vileness of their heart and nature.

“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” – John 3:20

An enemy of God is our own enemy. However, note that David asks God to slay the wicked. Although he loathes them and hates them passionately. He does not take their life for it belongs to God to take in his own time, according to his own purpose. There days have been set as ours has and God has a purpose even for allowing the wicked to continue in their wickedness. God will display his own glory through them and accomplish his plans and purposes despite their rebellion and attempts to thwart him. Look at the cross. God in his great sovereignty makes sin his slave to accomplish his purposes. It does not make sin any less sinful, or the person who it comes through any less responsible.

Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Luke 17:1

But God’s plans and purposes will be accomplished despite man’s best efforts to rebel against them.

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? – Isa. 14:27

We can take comfort in that God’s plan for our lives will not even be thwarted by us and our own sinfulness and failings. However, it is not our desire that God would be forced to move us like a stubborn mule but that we would be soft and ready to do his will.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Once again, after thinking of how much he hates wickedness, David looks at himself and prays to God to search his own heart for wickedness so that it might be exposed and removed far from him.

It is David’s desire to have God know his heart and to hide nothing from him but to lay it bear before his tender gaze.

It is David’s desire for God to test him, to try him because it is the tests and trials that reveal our weak areas and the sin in us.

David doesn’t just seek an outward appearance of a life pleasing to God but David seeks for an inward life that is pure and pleasing to God. It is our thoughts, the meditations of our heart that reveal sin in our hearts even if we never act on them. It is our thoughts, we should bring before God, he knows them anyway, and ask God to help us deal with them.

Sin starts in the heart. Lust starts in the heart. The idea to have an abortion starts in the heart. The fantasy to have an affair starts in the heart. Coveting an item starts in the heart. That is why we must guard our heart and the thoughts of our heart. When such thoughts come into our heart, we should not spend any time entertaining them and asking them to come and spend time with us and fatten them up and develop these ideas and fantasies.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. – James 1:14-16

Remember how grievous the way of sin is. It leads only to death. Remember Psalms 116 and how Satan tries to deceive our restless heart into believing that our God who has dealt so bountifully with us is yet holding back something good from us. Remember Adam and Eve and how they were deceived into believing something was good and beneficial that God had not granted them.

Take to heart William Lord Russels advice to his son:

“Fail not what employments so wherever you have every night as in the presence of God and His holy angels to pass an inquisition upon your soul; what ill it hath done, what good it hath left undone, what slips, what falls it has had that day. What temptations have prevailed upon it and by what means or after what manner. Ransack every corner of thy dark heart and let not the least peccadillo or kindness to a sin lurk there. But bring it forth, bewale it, protest against it, detest it, scourge it by a severe sorrow. Thus each days breach between you and God and your soul being made up with more quiet and sweet hope thou mayest dispose thyself to rest. Certainly at last this inquisition if steadily pursued will vanquish all customary sins whatever they may be. I speak it upon this reason because I presume thou wilt not have the face to appear before God every night confessing the same offenses and thou wilt forbear it, less thou seemest to mock God or despise Him; which is dreadful but to imagine. – Alexander White, The Duty of Prayer

Lead me in the way everlasting!

Lead me on the reliable ancient path (NET)

Everlasting. The way of old. The good ole way. Everyone is looking for an easier way, a new way, a better way to live but God has a way that He has opened for us, prepared for us from the foundation of the world. It is the sure way. The only way. It is through Jesus for Jesus Himself is the way and came to show us the way.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Apart from Jesus, there is no other way to please God, to know God, to see God, to enter into heaven, to find forgiveness for our sins. We all stand at the crossroads and are called to consider our path. We all are given opportunity to choose. How will you choose?

The LORD said to his people:

       “You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path.
Ask where the old, reliable paths are.
Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it.
If you do, you will find rest for your souls.”
But they said, “We will not follow it!”
Jeremiah 6:16 NET

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