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

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

Psa 139:13 (CWR)  You shaped me before I was born; you put my 
bones together while I was still in my mother's womb. 
Psa 139:14 (CWR)  I praise you, for this body is incredibly and 
wonderfully made. Your whole creation is amazing. 
Psa 139:15 (CWR)  When I was developing in my mother's womb, you 
knew everything that took place. To you nothing is hidden or 
Psa 139:16 (CWR)  You saw my unformed body inside the womb. You 
knew how long I would live before I was born. 
Psa 139:17 (CWR)  How precious are your tender thoughts toward 
me, O Lord. There are so many of them, they never end! 
Psa 139:18 (CWR)  If I could count them, they would be more in 
number than the sand.  Every morning, you are still there for me. 


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 

God's power is without limit. His capabilities are infinite. 
This should not be taken in an abstract, speculative sense. In some 
ages people speculated on such absurd questions as, "Can God make a 
rock so big He cannot pick it up?" Jesus was not ascribing such 
speculative absurdities to God. He was saying God has all the power needed 
to do whatever is necessary, whatever His will requires. God is not 
lacking in power to accomplish His purposes. Desirable aims that a human 
cannot accomplish in his finite power, God can easily accomplish in His 
infinite power. As Jesus illustrated in Mat.19:21, a person can no more 
save himself than a camel can go through the eye of a needle. God has 
the power to renew and regenerate a sinful heart in salvation. 
[Disciple SB re Mat.19:21] 

"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}