I came upon Psalm 139:13-18 a few weeks ago when I was looking for a Bible verse I could share with my dad on his birthday. Perhaps the most frequently quoted verse from that passage is verse 14, where the psalmist David writes, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (NIV)
In this entire passage, David is speaking to God, praising Him for His masterful work in creating him, and acknowledging that his entire life is in His hands. We read this, and the meaning we take from it is that the same is true for us. Have you ever taken the time, though, to think that for David to write, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made," he must have heard from God, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made"? I don’t think I ever have, until I was considering these verses for my dad. But since the Bible is the inspired word of God and is absolute truth, then that is the only way David could have written those words. With that in mind, look at the message we find if we look at what David must have known — what he had heard from God — in order to write Psalm 139:13-18:
I made all the delicate, inner parts of your body
and knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Aren’t you thankful I made you so wonderfully complex?
My workmanship is marvelous—you can see it.
I watched you as you were being formed in utter seclusion,
as you were woven together in the dark of the womb.
I saw you before you were born.
Every day of your life was recorded in my book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are my thoughts about you, my child.
They cannot be numbered!
You can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when you wake up,
I am still with you!
(adapted from New Living Translation)
Those are beautiful words, aren’t they? You could easily add, "Love, Daddy (God)" as the closing line. The meaning is just the same as when we read the words off the page in our Bible, but there’s extra power there — to me, anyway — when we look at the message as if it were written from God, Our Father, to us. Personally. It’s the perfect ointment, I think, for all those times when we look at our lives and feel unworthy, unimportant, etc., etc. That’s so far from what God sees when He looks at us. He looks at us and says, "I made every part of you… I watched you being formed… I think about you… I am still with you! You are a masterpiece!"
So beginning this Thursday, January 31, I’m launching a six-week series titled "What David Knew," looking at one verse from this passage each week. I don’t think I’ve felt this strongly about a series since I first began Peace in the Storm. It just seems to me that there are masses of people who need to hear the voice of God in these verses. I know I did, maybe you do, and maybe someone you know does.
And by the way, if the first person adaptation of Psalm 139:13-18 strikes you as it did me, maybe you would be interested in some of the gift items I set up at the PITS Gift Shop on CafePress.com, including a framed tile, a journal, and a framed print — all with the message of Psalm 139:13-18 in a script font on a parchment-like background. Or if you’re interested in just a simple print that you can frame yourself, or if you would like more custom framing options, I’ve arranged for that at Imagekind.com. All profits from the sale of these items will be donated to the building fund of our local church.