Psalm 139

When I’m in a really bad state and one or sometimes even all of my chronic conditions flare-up at once, it’s overwhelming, which is the best word I can come up with, but doesn’t begin to describe it. During these times I often go to Psalm 139:13-16. God knew when he created me that I would have these problems. God has my days planned out. God knows how he will glorify himself. God knows how he will work it out for good, not only for me, but for many involved. God isn’t a clean-up man, he has a plan.

I love this recent quote from a woman who has a partial limb on her right side:

I believe with every fiber of my being that I was no accident. God did not look away, drop a thread, and fail to go back and fix a flaw as he was forming me. “Wonderful are [His] works and my soul knows it very well.” God labored over my creation. He had a plan before he started the process. My difference was deliberate. I rest in the knowledge that God created me exactly as I am for His purposes. We don’t always, or even usually, know why things are the way they are, but there is such hope and peace in knowing the care with which we were created.

Pondering Psalm 139 (A post from my wife Ashley)

Early in the article she writes, “I am not, in fact, a victim at all. I was formed this way.” I have come to believe this too. Suffering from pain, anxiety, depression, terrible sleep, doesn’t make me a victim. Nothing that I know of happened to cause any of this. Nor was it fate or bad luck or being unfortunate or any of those things either. It isn’t for lack of trying or lack of faith or prayer or not finding just the right cure (as if there was one for all of those things). I don’t like original sin and the fall, the way this suffering and refining (1 Peter 1:7) and conforming (Romans 8:29) thing works. I do love knowing God (John 17:3) and the hope of heaven (Phil 3:20), and of course the end result, when this will seem like nothing (Romans 8:18). That’s not much help now, but I submit to it by faith.

Exodus 4:11
The LORD asked him, “Who gave humans their mouths? Who makes humans unable to talk or hear? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? It is I, the LORD!

Lamentations 3:37-38
Who was it who spoke and it came into being? It was the Lord who gave the order. 38 Both good and bad come from the mouth of the Most High God.

Psalm 139:13-18 HCSB
For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know [this] very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all [my] days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.

17 God, how difficult Your thoughts are
for me [to comprehend];
how vast their sum is!

18 If I counted them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand;
when I wake up, I am still with You.

8 Responses to “Psalm 139”


  1. 1 Eric

    Jeff – I’m currently camping out on Ps. 139 and I have to agree with Him that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” whether I currently see it or not. I also take comfort in Is. 65:17, that one great day these things that are so troubling and (seemingly) impossible now won’t even come to mind (“the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind”). I pray He’ll give you increased strength to face your giants when they come around. Eric

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for the comment and same to you. I love that verse you quoted. I’ll have to read the Psalm.

    Funny, I was just thinking about how nobody commented on this post.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Eric

    If you keep writing, I’ll definitely keep reading. When you speak about suffering you speak out of such a genuine depth of experience, I know that you know whereof you speak and that makes me pay attention. It’s like when Joni Eareckson Tada speaks – I listen. I relate to your struggle with physical and mental pain. I also relate to your love of the Word, commentaries and Greek – and the desire to have the Word have the final say on our present sufferings, rather than the experiences themselves. If you’d just give up your Calvinism, you’d be perfect (just kidding! ;)

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Ha. Thank you for that.

    I just bought her latest book, but it will be a while before I read it. Have you?
    Jeff

  5. 5 Eric

    The last one of hers I read was A Place of Healing. It was excellent.

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    That’s the one. Good to hear.
    Jeff

  7. 7 Aimee Byrd

    Psalm 139 is one of my favorites. And I love the conclusion, since every part of our fabric is known by God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Remember, Jeff, the end result is of much help now–our future burns into the present, and it is by this sure hope that we can be comforted and confident now. Sending prayers your way…

  8. 8 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for the reminder and the prayers. I know this when I think about it but have a hard time really understanding and experiencing it.
    Jeff

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