O LORD, you have searched me and known me. 139:2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 139:3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. 139:5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. 139:13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. 139:15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 139:16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 139:17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 139:18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.
Summary – Psalm 139 is a memorable Psalm of God’s care and control over our lives. God has searched us and He has known us. He is behind us and before us. Believers can never leave God’s caring presence. All the days of our lives were prerecorded in God’s book. God’s thoughts toward us are like the number of the grains of sand. So much is God’s intentional love for us. God’s care for His covenant people started in the womb for each of us, “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Insight – In light of passages such as Psalm 139, we have no right as Christians to hate ourselves, even in the darkness of sin. God surely calls us to confess our sins, but we owe God love since He first loved us. He first loved us, as the Psalm teaches, in our very creation as persons, as little babies in the womb. We are to live and think as those who are fearfully and wonderfully made. Not only are we special in our creation, but we who believe in Jesus are elected in our redemption. God has made us and saved us from our own sin through Christ. From this we should be fully moved to live graciously, faithfully and “wonderfully.” We should be fully of wonder at God’s love in creation, especially His people.
Child’s Catechism – How were you made? I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Discussion – What are some reasons that people commit suicide? How does this Psalm inform us of the right views of ourselves?
Prayer – O Lord our Maker, You have graciously loved us in knitting us together in our mothers’ wombs and we confess that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now grant to us the faith to live in light of your care and control in our lives, ever trusting and obeying Your holy will. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Sing this Psalm (to a Common Meter tune, such as Dundee)
O Lord you’ve searched and known me well, you know my going still.
You understand my thought before, I think or do or will.
You scrutinize my path, my way, my rest in night and day;
You know me more than I can know, in all my hidden ways.
Be-fore a word is on my tongue, or words are in my mouth;
Be-hold you know them well before, I speak or lisp them them out.
You have enclosed my life around, before, behind, beside;
And laid your right hand on my head, to hold, and bless and chide.
Such knowledge of your wisdom is, too wonderful for me;
I cannot fathom such a Mind, in all your sovereignty.
Where can I flee from You and hide, where from your Spirit’s eye?
Or flee from Omnipresence’s place, it is futility.
If I ascend to heaven’s heights, or lie in Sheol’s grave;
Be-hold you fill all space and time, e’er omnipresently.
If I could fly on eagle’s wings, across the sea and sky;
Or dive beneath the ocean’s waves, to depths beyond supply.
In such remotest places, lying past what man can know;
There too your right hand leadeth me and never leaves me go. (GS)