For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
The creation of a child is amazing. It is of God, therefore, it is miraculous. We would never think of this. God uses specific parts of a man and specific parts of a woman that must come together at exactly the right moment under exactly the right circumstances and when it does, it creates a human being – not just a human body, but a human body with a soul. This cannot be of us. This has to be of God. Who among us can create a soul?! Therefore, we stand in awe of the beauty of child creation.
Psalm 139 speaks of this miracle and much more. Psalm 139 is David’s declaration of the knowledge of God. The Lord knows David. He knows David in a way no one else does. And David invites this knowledge of the Lord into his heart, not so that the Lord can find something hidden in the crevices of his soul – the Lord knows all of that - but so that the Lord can reveal himself to every part of David’s interiority and change him with his love for him. The gospel does that. The love of God, when let into our heart, spreads out in mission converting every part of us. Deep forgiveness, salvation, and redemption lies in the knowledge of the Lord.
Now, for those who have a child within know this is an amazing thing. The parents of the child, though they love them very much, have never seen their child’s face. They don’t know what color eyes they will have. They can’t see their hair. Can’t hear their coos .Can’t imagine their grip on their finger. Can’t rejoice in the smile on their face. They haven’t experienced their cry in the night. They haven’t smelled the sweetness of the newborn skin. They know, really, so little of their child. But the Lord is not that way. He knows all of that and more. He knows not only the eye color, hair, cooing voice, smile, etc., he knows the most inward parts of the child – the things the parents may never see.
This should bring comfort to all parents. Our children are often a mystery to us. When they are babies there are times we wish we could crawl into their brains and see what’s going on. There is so much they don’t know and at times it seems there is so much we don’t know. Having a child, in some way,s is to invite a complete stranger to live with you for 18 years that you hope to get to know but in the end will never truly get more than what the child is willing to share. But the Lord knows all. The Lord knows every inward part, for he formed them.
Let’s look again at the words of the Psalm. “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Some of us have tried our hand at knitting. It is tedious. It takes time. It takes effort. When you want a knitted scarf you can’t just say, “Scarf, appear!” It doesn’t work that way. So you plan. You buy the right kind of material. You make sure your knitting sticks – or whatever they’re called – are just right. You get a book to make sure you’re not going in the wrong direction. You seek advice to make sure the outcome will be what you expect. You sit up at night in your spare time. You work at it. And in the end, you have a handmade scarf that you knitted. It is your handiwork. You know the snags in it. You know the imperfections. You know the intricacies of it. God is like that with us – and with our children. The only difference is that he can speak us into existence but that does not limit his knowledge. He knows not only the starting materials from a distance. He also made them. He knows all. The Lord knows all. He makes all. Every human, then, is a being brought forth by the divine hand. He loves us into being. He puts within us breath. When your baby is born, you can see the work of God. It is an incredible experience.
This should lead us into worship of God. This is what happens to David. As he meditates on the expansive knowledge of God, the creation of his being in the hands of the almighty, he is brought into worship of God. He says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” This, then, is where we should end. Whenever we ponder on the work of the all-holy God above we should end in worship. If we don’t, we’re not seeing him correctly. If worship isn’t the ending point of the study of any aspect of God then we have misunderstood him. But in this case, in Psalm 139, the words of the Spirit speak directly to us and to our children. There is nothing more personal. Our creation is out of our hands. We can’t make ourselves. We can barely even change ourselves! Because of this fact, we look to God above and with David we say, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” And we bow in worship to the one who gives life.