Today's Insight from Chuck Swindoll

Psalm 139 links us with God. This song, like few other passages of Scripture, connects us with our Creator. It answers four of the most frequently asked questions that come to our minds about God:

  1. How well does God know me? (139:1–6)
  2. How close is God to me? (139:7–12)
  3. How carefully has God made me? (139:13–18)
  4. How much will God protect/help me? (139:19–24)

You might not have phrased the questions quite this way, but at some level you have undoubtedly asked them. They are the most basic questions of life. Built into each of us is a curiosity that longs to be satisfied, especially regarding the One who created this world.

Look at the first twelve verses of this great song. From the first six verses we discover that God knows us thoroughly and completely. God is omniscient. Furthermore, we learn that God is in full control. Nothing occurs outside the realm of His sovereign will. God is omnipotent. Then, in the next six verses, we find that He who knows us is always near us. God is omnipresent.

Now we consider the Lord's skill as a creator.

How Carefully Has God Made Me?

The song makes beautiful poetry and declares great theology, but how can we be sure it is all true? A subtle uncertainty grinds away in most of us. One of the best proofs that God exists and that He does all these things is the human body. Consider how carefully He has made you. Verses 13–16 address this. In my opinion this section of biblical truth is one of the most remarkable revelations in all of Scripture. Remember, it was written by David in a day when anatomy and embryology were relatively unknown subjects—at best, primitive. Yet here in this ancient song the prenatal stages of development are set forth with phenomenal simplicity and insight. The point David declares is this: only a God who knows us and is near us could be so intimately involved in making us.

Verse 12 tells us of darkness and the inability of humanity to hide from God. Previous verses speak of hidden or remote places as being well-known and under the perpetual surveillance of God. Verse 13 goes even further. It transports us into the womb, a place of intimacy and darkness. It is here that the songwriter builds his case.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.

The "You" in each declaration is very emphatic. The idea is "You, Yourself, and no other." It is neither "nature" nor "Mother Nature" who performs the miracle in the womb; it is God alone, and no other. Linger over the term "form." When this verb appears in the original Hebrew, it often carries the idea of "originate." God originates our inward parts. It may surprise you to know that those two words—inward parts—literally mean "kidneys." In ancient times the kidneys were symbolic of all our vital organs—kidney, heart, lung, liver, etc. In fact, the verse goes on to say that God did "weave me together" in the womb. The verb sanak suggests the idea of knitting together like an interwoven mass or thicket. God is involved in placing all the organs and various parts of our body together in such a well-ordered fashion, it forms a veritable "thicket" of muscle, tendons, bone, blood, veins, and arteries.

Let me paraphrase verse 13 in order to bring out some of the color in the original text: "For God alone—none other—originated my vital organs; You knitted my inner being together in the womb of my mother."

From Living the Psalms  by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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