Wednesday, December 7, 2022

God’s Wonderful Works (Psalm 139)

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps. 139:14a).

Today we continue our study of Psalm 139 and its praise of God’s all-knowing character. In the first part of the Psalm, David gives examples of how God executes his omniscience in the life of His creation. In this second part, David expounds on why we should not be surprised that God knows everything about us—He created us, fashioning our very being in our mother’s womb and knowing everything about us before we breathed our first breath. Calvin wrote, “It ought to be no ground of wonder that all the windings and recesses of our hearts are known to Him who, when we were enclosed in our mother’s womb, saw us as clearly and perfectly as if we had stood before Him in the light of mid-day.… We need not then wonder if God, who formed man so perfectly in the womb, should have an exact knowledge of him after he is ushered into the world.”

This part of Psalm 139 is designed not to give praise to man for his wonderful construction, but instead to honor the Creator. Whenever we contemplate the glorious work of God in creation, our thoughts should not remain on creation, but should extend to the glory and majesty of God. David describes the glorious process of man’s creation for the purpose of extolling God, of seeing His creation for the glory that it is in order to give God even greater praise.

David says that man was fearfully and wonderfully made. On this thought Calvin footnotes Warner’s comments on this passage, which capture the glorious meaning of these words: “Never was so terse and expressive a description of the physical conformation of man given by any human being. So fearfully are we made, that there is not an action or gesture of our bodies, which does not, apparently, endanger some muscle, vein, or sinew, the rupture of which would destroy either life or health. We are so wonderfully made, that our organization infinitely surpasses, in skill, contrivance, design, and adaptation of means to ends, the most curious and complicated piece of mechanism, not only ever executed ‘by art and man’s device,’ but ever conceived by the human imagination.”

Praise God for the awesome gift of life He has given you, for fashioning you according to His wisdom, and for knowing you intimately before you were even born.

How should Psalm 139 affect your understanding of human life? Do you give others the respect they deserve because they are fashioned by God? How does Psalm 139 undermine the pro-abortion argument? As God gives you opportunities use Psalm 139 to defend the dignity of human life at all stages of development.