(13) For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. (14) I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful (are) your works! My soul knows that very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from you when I was fashioned in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my embryo. In your book were written all the days ordained for me when as yet (there were) none of them. (17) How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (18) Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, (I am) still with you.
Two repetitions mark these verses. “Wonderful(ly)” is used twice (vs. 14), and “how” is also found twice (vs. 17). Several synonyms are strung together: “created…knit together…made…fashioned…woven” (vss. 13-15). If verses 1-6 emphasize Yahweh’s omniscience and verses 7-12 his omnipresence, this third six-verse segment celebrates his third great “O” attribute, omnipotence (vss. 13-18). God’s magnificent power is most vividly and personally displayed in his creating and sustaining each of us from the time of conception through the rest of our lives here on earth and on into eternity.
I. Yahweh forming me in the womb demonstrates his great power. (13-16)
II. Yahweh’s precious thoughts, speaking of his great love, sustain me throughout my life. (17 & 18)
Yahweh’s power seen in forming us in the womb and then sustaining us throughout our lives should produce in us great wonder and worship.
At the heart of Psalm 139 lies this strikingly beautiful meditation on the value of our lives, each of us personally created and sustained by an all powerful God. These statements should undergird the believer’s commitment to the sanctity of human life. Sadly, too few of our fellow humans share such thoughts, regarding homo sapiens as simply the most advanced member of the animal kingdom and existing without the possibility of a meaningful relationship with a personal God.
These verses also mark a turning point in the psalm. In the first two stanzas, David’s awareness of Yahweh’s omniscience and omnipresence produced in him a sense of awe bordering on fear, causing him to ask, “How can I possibly cope with such knowledge?” In this third segment we sense a distinct change in David’s attitude as he considers how precious his life is to the one who formed him in his mother’s womb and sustains him day by day.
While meditating on these verses, we should be reminded of several wonderful truths. First, God formed us just the way we are with all our capacities, our frailties, and our potential. More than that, he knows everything about us, every detail of our lives, every strength and weakness, every quirk and nuance, and loves us all the same with a steadfast love we can scarcely comprehend because each of us has immense value in his sight. Finally, because God has promised never to leave us nor to forsake us, we can count on him to preserve us throughout our lives here on earth and on into eternity.