For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand –
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!(Ps. 139:13-24 NIV)
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Reading the first twelve verses of the Psalm, we might ask how does God know us so well? The answer is found here. The Lord created our inmost being, He knit us together and formed us within the womb. The Lord did not have to wait until we were born to get to know us. From conception God was creating life, yet another image of God. Witnessing the birth of a child is a wonderful experience and I am glad that I am of that generation of fathers that were permitted to be able to attend the birth of our children. The birth of a child is a wonderful work of God. We were not hidden from the Lord when we were forming in the womb.
The birth of a child is the bringing of a life into being that will last for the rest of eternity. It is this sense of the eternal that causes the Psalmist to say that he was fearfully and wonderfully made. The Lord has a purpose for us in life. All our days were ordained for us even from before one of those days took place. From before we were born, our days were numbered. The Lord knew the day of our birth and the day of our death before we were born. The day of our death is a sombre thought, but it is comforting to know that our days are in God’s hands.
The Psalmist had earlier exclaimed in wonder at the knowledge of the Lord. He exclaims again about the precious nature of the Lord’s thoughts about him. It is impossible for us as creatures to fully comprehend the ways of the Lord. However, the Lord has condescended to reveal some of His ways with people. The Lord’s thoughts are so extensive that they outnumber the grains of sand on the seashore.
The wonderful ways of the Lord are like a dream, but they are real, and when the Psalmist awakes from his sleep, he knows that the Lord is still present with him. The Psalmist doesn’t know everything, but he knows that the Lord is with him.
V19-22 takes us a bit by surprise. It seems to interrupt or disturb the pleasant and majestic meditation of the first 18 verses. As the Lord knows His own people, He also knows the wicked. Because the Psalmist loves the Lord, he loves what God loves and detests what God detests. The wicked do not embrace the revelation of God or worship Him. They speak of God with evil intentions and they misuse the Lord’s name. The Psalmist hates them and their deeds, and because they are the Lord’s enemies they are the enemies of the Psalmist.
While the Psalmist condemns the wicked, he is not a proud person. He recognises that there are failings with in his life and he asks the Lord to search him and it is implied that he wants the Lord to draw to his attention the sins in his life so that he might confess them and be led in the way everlasting.
Search me O God and know my heart today:
Lord we thank You that You made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in You. Lord you know my thoughts and my heart, reveal this to me that I may confess my sin and know again the joy of forgiveness and lead me in the way everlasting for Christ the Saviour’s sake. Amen.