“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14
I have always understood this passage to mean one specific thing:
God has created me beautifully, wonderfully, exactly as He intended to.
And thus, I applied this passage to my life in one specific way:
Don’t be insecure, you are physically beautiful. Don’t worry about those supermodels. You don’t need to look like them; God made you to look the way that you are.
This is true. But honestly, this is not the primary meaning of this piece of Scripture, as appealing and true as it is. In fact, it’s so much more than that. It’s more comforting, more assuring, more encouraging, more beautiful, more incredible, more unfathomable than I ever thought it was.
Notice something: David says inward parts, not outer. So why I assumed that this was talking about my outer being, I’m not sure. Maybe because we often times read Scripture primarily for ourselves, looking for it to tell us what we want to hear and to tend to our concerns of the day instead of reading it to learn more about who God is and therefore who we are. Whoops. (Actually, that’s a really bad, even selfish, thing that we do, and we need to stop.)
God created our inward parts. Yes, we are His workmanship externally as well (Isaiah 64:8), but in this prayer, David is acknowledging Him as the potter of even that which is within us; every aspect of our inner being He created, too. (Obviously not our sin. That’s on us.)
Not only did He craft our very soul, our very person, and our physique, but He did so in our mothers’ wombs.
Think about how dark and secretive a womb is. Have you ever thought about that? We cannot see the inside of one – not directly at least. Even what we get from ultrasounds are dark and fuzzy. This expression is meant to show us the magnitude of God’s unhindered access to us as well as His unhindered ability to carry out His will. There is literally no place too dark or too secret for the Lord to reach us, no place where He can no longer see what’s going on or guide us. This is made clear again in verse 15, as David praises God because He has intricately weaved us in the depths of the earth.
In fact, we see in verse 16 that even before we were conceived in the womb, He’d decided on us, on everything about us. But what’s fascinating about this to me is that David says “intricately woven.” Think about this phrase. Weaving, just like knitting, is in itself an intricate thing; it’s a tedious task, taking much time, focus, and decisiveness. And He did this in the dark.
God could see clearly in the depths of utter darkness, and He did this with complete focus, missing nothing and making no mistakes.
But this is the best:
Not only did our Father create us, our being in every sense of the word, in the utmost darkness and secrecy, but He also created our very life plans before He brought us into existence.
“In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16
The Lord God has carefully crafted every single thing about you, David, and I. He has carefully crafted our outer being, our inner being, and the route of our lives. There isn’t one day that’s gone unplanned, unexpected by God in our life, for David says every one of them God created. And this He did before we were even born.
I cried tonight when I realized this. Why? Because God, by His Holy Spirit and enabling power, is continually making it clear that He is our God, our Father, and that because of who He is and because we’re His creation and possession, we have no reason to fear.
The Lord carefully crafted you and I before the foundations of the world, He set us apart to know Him and be saved by Him from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), He carefully decided the paths our lives would take before the foundation of the world, and nothing Has ever gotten in His way and nothing ever could get in His way.
Brothers and sisters, praise God! Rejoice in the Lord! We can have peace about everything concerning the future and what our Maker has in store for us, because He has carefully crafted every single fiber of us and our lives.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul know is very well.” Psalm 139:13
I’ve never seen that interpretation. Makes a lot of sense. God formed our personalities, skills, innate abilities, etc, all to His glory.
Thanks for sharing!
Oh, praise God that I make any sense! Haha! I’m glad you understood what I was saying and pray God used it for His glory and your encouragement. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Joey!
Great stuff indeed, Arliss! Thank you for writing — and @EspinosaJoey:disqus, thank you for joining us on this ride!