Psalm 139:13-18 - Awesome Attributes of God! Part 3

Psa. 139:13-18: Awesome Attributes of God! Part Three

Psa 139:13 (CWB)  You shaped me before I was born; you put my
bones together while I was still in my mother's womb.
Psa 139:14 (CWB)  1 praise you, for this body is incredibly and
wonderfully made. Your whole creation is a marvel, and I know that it all
didn't just happen.
Psa 139:15 (CWB)  When I was developing in my mother's womb,
nothing took place that you didn't know. To you there is nothing secret
and mysterious.
Psa 139:16 (CWB)  You saw my unformed body inside the womb. You
knew how long I would live even before I was born.
Psa 139:17 (CWB)  How tender your thoughts have been toward me,
O Lord. How vast are their numbers!
Psa 139:18 (CWB)  If I wanted to count the times you have
thought of me, it would be like counting the sand on the seashore.


This psalm contains the clearest expression of the attributes
and character of God to be found in the Psalter. One could hardly
describe the omniscience and omnipresence of God more effectively.
[Believer's SB]

This poem describes the attributes of the Lord not as abstract
qualities, but as active qualities by which He relates Himself to His
people. [Nelson SB]

From the standpoint of OT theology, this is the climax of
thought in the Psalter on God's personal relationship to the individual.
The psalmist does not engage in abstract philosophy or speculative
meditation; he merely describes his humble walk with God and shares his
experiental knowledge of the Lord. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]

A. The omniscience of the Lord (139:1-6)
B. The omnipresence of the Lord (139:7-12)
C. The omnipotence of the Lord (139:13-18)
D. The loyalty of David (139:19-24). [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

God's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence are the
subjects of David's meditations in this beautiful psalm.... His first
meditation is on God's knowledge, that every aspect of his life was
searched out and controlled by what the Lord knew. He then realized it
was impossible to escape from such omniscient control, no matter how
far or fast he might go, for God is everywhere. David then stated
that God has such control over him because in His power He created
Him secretly and planned his life with great care. On the basis of
these meditations, David then affirmed his loyalty to God and prayed
for God to prove him by examining him. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

This psalm focuses on four great attributes of God: His
knowledge of all things (vv. 1-6), His presence everywhere (vv. 7-12), His
power in the formation of man (vv. 13-18), and His holiness, which
destroys evil men and searches the believer's heart (vv. 19-24). [Ryrie

David meditates on the omniscience (139:1-6), omnipresence (vv.
7-12), and omnipotence (vv. 13-18) of God. He then applies these truths
to the wicked, whom he calls on God to slay (vv. 19-22), and to
himself, whom he calls on God to examine and to lead (vv. 23-24). [Victor
Bible Reader's Companion]


15 The "depths of the earth" refer to the mother's womb. [New
Bible Companion]

15 Depths of the earth a metaphor for the womb,... a different
Hebrew word for depths than is used in v. 8. [Quest SB]

15 Secret place . . . depths of the earth: Reference is to the
womb [NIV SB]

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect: where
all the members of the body are as yet folded up, or undeveloped;
that is, before they have assumed their distinct form and
proportions. This is undoubtedly the idea here. Before the embryo had any
such form that its future size, shape, or proportions could be marked
by the eye of man, it was clearly and distinctly known by God.
(Barnes' Notes)

16 All my members were written: The reference may be, not to the
members of his body, but to his "days" - and then the sense would be,
all my "days," or all the periods of my life, (Barnes' Notes)

17 "O how great is the sum of them." They are infinite. (Adam
Clarke Commentary)


13 When I was made in secret: The reference here is to the
various and complicated tissues of the human frame-the tendons, nerves,
veins, arteries, muscles, "as if" they had been woven, or as they
appear to be curiously interweaved. No work of tapestry can be compared
with this; no art of man could "weave" together such a variety of
most tender and delicate fibres and tissues as those which go to make
up the human frame, even if they were made ready to his hand: and
who but God could "make" them? The comparison is a most beautiful
one; and it will be admired the more, the more man understands the
structure of his own frame. (Barnes' Notes)

Little Things Mean A Lot
Coming to grips with the fact of my smallness in relation to
God's enormity is destined to be depressing unless I also grasp, as
David did, that God does care for me-very much. I am small, yes. But I
am assured all through the Scripture that small things matter
tremendously to God.
Even the most minute details of my life are of enormous
importance to Him. He carefully chose and assembled every part of my being
in my mother's womb (Ps. 139:13), and He even knows the number of
hairs on my head (Matt. 10:30). He calls me to come to Him as a little
child, cautioning that any other spiritual condition will result in my
failure to gain the kingdom (Matt. 18:3). He invites me to cast every
single concern of my heart (even the small ones) upon Him, because He
cares for me so intimately (1 Pet. 5:7). He is a God who knows when
even a sparrow falls (Matt. 10:29) and who sees the essence of the
kingdom in a tiny mustard seed (Matt. 13:31). Understanding these things
about God helps me to realize that smallness cannot be equated with
unimportance in His sight, for small things matter greatly to Him. Claire
Cloninger [Passages Of Life SB]

"You created my inmost being" Ps. 139:13-16. David extended his
wonder at God's concern for the individual to the past and the future.
God has been with us, superintending our development from the womb.
Furthermore God's care reaches on into the future: to "all the days ordained
for me," which were written in God's book before even one of our
days came to be.
How clearly this psalm teaches the significance of individual
life: a significance underlined by God's careful attention to the
individual from conception, through his fetal stage, into his childhood and
beyond, encompassing every day of the individual's existence. God knows,
even if many today deny, that life begins in the womb and extends on
into eternity. How precious you are to God! And how precious the
unborn. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]

The Wonder Of Creation
A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this
medical Situation--and ethical problem--to his students: "Here's the
family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They have
already had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The
third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again.
The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an
abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?"
The students gave various individual opinions, and then the
professor asked them to break into small groups for consultation. All of
the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion.
"Congratulations," the professor said. "You just took the life
of Beethoven!" [God's Little Devotional Bible re Psa.139:18]

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!: The
remark is made here doubtless in view of the numberless "thoughts"
involved in planning and forming a frame so wondrous, and in the care
necessary to bring it to perfection; to develop it; to provide for it; to
guard and defend it. How many "thoughts" of a parent are employed in
behalf of his children, in providing for them; teaching them;
counseling them; anticipating their needs. How manymore thoughts are
needful on the part of God in reference to each one of us: for there are
numberless things necessary for us which cannot occupy the mind of a
parent, since he cannot accomplish these things for us; they do not lie
within his province, or in his power. (Barnes' Notes)


13-16 The Creator has plans and purposes for the people He
creates. [Disciple SB]

16  God plans what each individual will be, even before that
soul is born into the world. It is for the individual to decide
whether he will follow the divine blueprint or not. [SDA Commentary]

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God." -- Psalm
Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but
to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is always
thinking upon us, never turns aside his mind from us, has us always
before his eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it
would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our
heavenly Father. His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent,
far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: hence it is a choice
delight to remember them. The Lord always did think upon his people:
hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their
salvation is secured; he always will think upon them: hence their final
perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. In
all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is
evermore fixed upon us--we never roam beyond the Shepherd's eye. In our
sorrows he observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes him; in our
toils he marks all our weariness, and writes in his book all the
struggles of his faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in
all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not
a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is
uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the
great God.
Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never be
led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal
God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter. The Lord
liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to
be lightly robbed of it. The notice of a nobleman is valued so
highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be
thought of by the King of kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is
well, and we may rejoice evermore. Charles H. Spurgeon in Morning and

"In the beginning God created...." This first verse of Scripture
tells us, God is the Creator.  There is nothing known to man that God
has not made. He only is "The Great Uncreated!" There is nothing too
difficult or unknown to Him. He has no needs because He is absolutely
perfect!  And the really amazing thing is, He wants us to know Him
intimately, in His purity, holiness, wisdom and might. Commit today to spend
time with Him, in His Word and in communication with Him through
prayer. It honors Him, and benefits us.  [In His Time; Walk With


All believers who come to understand the attributes of God
discussed in this psalm find them a great source of comfort, and a great
prompting to obey Him. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

Study God's word prayerfully. That word presents before you, in
the law of God and the life of Christ, the great principles of
holiness, without which "no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14. It
convinces of sin; it plainly reveals the way of salvation. Give heed to it
as the voice of God speaking to your soul.  {SC 35.2}