Psalm 139:13-18 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; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
Just a heads up. Today’s message might challenge some of our thinking and some things we have come to accept as right or true. I just want to say at the onset, I sure hope that happens, to some degree, for someone, every time we gather to hear and study the Word of God. We are bombarded by so much evil and perversion that it is very easy to adopt some ways of thinking, sometimes because of great intentions, sometimes in the name of love and peace, that we fail to really search out or to receive God’s point of view on some subjects. It is easy to let our feelings get in the way of being able to embrace the truth. To the best of my ability, with the Lord’s help, I never want to stand before you and not be confident that I am delivering the truth. That is always my heart. The truth isn’t always comfortable, but the truth is the only thing that will help us and that will free us from Satan’s schemes and the world’s ways.
I want you to hold on to two of the statements in the verses I read because they provide the framework, the anchor for this message. Your works are wonderful. How precious to me are your thoughts.
If someone asks you what God is like, point them to Psalm 139. It is a pretty comprehensive passage that details God’s capabilities and intentions. We have talked about God’s omniscience. He knows everything about each of us. God is all-knowing. That theological truth is detailed in Psalm 139:1-6. Last week we talked about the fact that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all at once. Verses 7-12 highlight that truth. Today we are going to tackle the concept that God is omnipotent. That means He is all-powerful. There is nothing God cannot do. God has unlimited power which means He has unlimited authority. If you agree with that, say “amen.” God has unlimited power which means He has unlimited authority. He is the Boss, the Sovereign, the One who has the final say. There is no one anywhere more powerful than He is, and there is no one that stands over God’s Sovereign will or plan. No one can do what God can do. Not even Satan. They are not equals. God has no rival. God has no equal. Now and forever, He reigns supreme.
Recognizing these truths and living accordingly are critical if a person is going to live in tune with God’s purposes for their life. The opposite of living in tune is living out of tune. When something is out of tune, musically speaking, it can be painful to experience, at least it is for me! Sometimes a composer builds in a dissonant sound, to stir the listener up, to create tension, but then there is a resolve to the music that leaves a person with a completed, peaceful feeling. To consistently live out of tune, to live in perpetual dissonance rather than in harmony with God’s design will keep that resolution from being experienced. Sometimes, I feel as if the world has just gotten comfortable with the dissonance. They are comfortable with feeling stirred up and anxious. They are OK with the drama and brokenness. I believe many are alright with the music of their life not being harmonic, not leading them to a place of peace and rest. It’s almost as if the strain and struggle are now the desired experience rather than the harmony and wholeness that comes from recognizing God’s authority and power.
David highlights God’s omnipotence as he talked about His mighty power as the Creator of all people. No one else can create a person. No one else has that kind of power. God uses us in the process of creating life, but God, alone, creates life. The creating of men and women is just one way God’s omnipotence is seen. David spoke of how God creates a child in its mother’s womb as one expression of the wonderful works of the all-powerful God.
Listen, God is not random when it comes to expressing His power. When God does something, He does it on purpose. When God does something, He means to. He doesn’t create something as an experiment.
Read that again.
When God creates, He has a purpose for that creation. Our attempt to deny or change what God creates doesn’t undo what God intends. It’s just a rejection of what God intends.
Read that again.
Further, our effort to alter what God creates is simply an expression of our willful decision to turn our back on what He has made, to reject God as the omnipotent, Almighty God that He is. In other words, the person who seeks to do so, rejects God’s wonderful works and doesn’t consider or care about what God thinks of those works.
Read that again.
When David recounted the way he had been made by God, the way God moved in power to form and fashion his body, the way God was hands-on and intimately involved in putting his DNA together, in forming his organs, how God accounted for his bone structure, how He add in his veins and arteries, how He inserted the materials necessary for the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, how each organ was painstakingly created, how He installed his brain capacity and filled David’s body with all the potential for life, for personality, for talents and abilities, and the assignment of his gender, whether male or female, when he considered all of that, David said two fundamental things. He said two things that became the bedrock for the way he lived his life, the way he ruled as King, the way he made decisions. He said, “Your works are wonderful. How precious to me are your thoughts.”
David had settled who God was. He had established that God was Sovereign, that God was the Designer, the Architect of his life, the omnipotent One who expresses His will through the works of His hands. David believed God was a powerful AND purposeful God. He believed that as He created life, He did so with a distinct plan for that life. He believed that life was an intentional expression of not only the power, but also the will of God and that no conception would be an “accident.” If a child was conceived, it was because God was at work to work on, to work in and to work through that child’s life.
I recently had someone from high school reach out to me to ask my opinion on the recent overturning of the Roe V. Wade decision. I appreciated the invitation to share my thoughts. In my response to her, I said I could never support an argument that children are better off dead than having the chance to live, even if they are born into poverty or other difficult circumstances or with a birth defect or major health condition. I also shared that I know of at least four women who were recently encouraged to abort their babies due to scans that said the child would be extremely deformed. They all chose life. Three of the four women went on to give birth to completely healthy babies. One had a baby with severe health complications. That woman, Megan DeRuiter, is a member of our congregation. She considers her sweet Anna a miracle, a masterpiece, and a blessing. Anna’s life matters and is valued and sacred. Her mom has never regretted her decision to choose life.
When we disregard that God is the Creator of life, and that He has a plan for each life, then life, in general, is devalued. I just want to add that no person can project someone’s future based on a contemporary set of circumstances or perceived circumstances. No person can determine what someone’s future will look like if they are given the opportunity to pursue it. God alone, knows the intentions and thoughts He has for each person. With God’s help, people overcome physical and mental challenges all the time. People deal with and overcome adverse circumstances, like being born to young parents or being born into poverty, all the time. For us to decide that someone is better off dead is for us to dismiss that the omnipotent power of God is an expression of His intended will and is an attempt to play God ourselves. God has thoughts and plans for every life.
As David thought about the unlimited, creative power of God, he concluded, “Your works are wonderful. How precious to me are your thoughts.”
This isn’t intended to be a “Right to Life” message, per say, but this is a message about the power of God on and in creation as an expression of His will for all that He creates. I want us to take that in. I think God wants us to understand a concept that we haven’t maybe considered or considered to the degree we need to. When God moves in power to create something, because He can, because He is omnipotent, that creation, that action contains an expression of His will at the same time, for whatever He creates.
And while we are here, I just want to touch on transgenderism. I know that there are some cases where, because of a birth defect, it is difficult to know what sex a baby is when it is born. I think we can all agree that those cases are heartbreaking and complicated and parents have to consult doctors and pray and wrestle with very difficult decisions. What I want to mention doesn’t involve the nuances surrounding those situations. What I want to address is the notion that anyone would attempt to reverse what God, by His sovereign and omnipotent power, has established. When God is at work in a mother’s womb, to create life, He assigns a gender to that life. That precious miracle is a boy or a girl. A boy OR a girl. Building on what I the groundwork I have laid, I believe Scripture teaches that being made male or female, expresses the desire of God for the way a person is to live out their life.
We see in the very first book of the Bible that God created Adam and Eve, man and woman, intentionally, on purpose. Talk about God’s omnipotent power. He created Adam from the dust of the earth, and He created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Do you know anyone else who could do that? Adam and Eve were created to be equal but different. Both were created to reflect God’s image on the earth. The two sexes were intentionally created on purpose for multiple purposes. When God creates a man or a woman, it’s because He means to. To decide one day, whether at five or six or twenty-five or twenty-six or even later, that you were born the wrong sex, and to try to alter what God has, through His power and plan established, is a rejection of that power and intended will.
David said, “Your works are wonderful. How precious to me are your thoughts.” In other words, David said, “I am going to trust that the Almighty God knew what He was doing when He created me, and I will seek to honor those intentions because God has the perfect plan for me.”
This isn’t an isolated thought for David. He said in Psalm 111:2, “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.” We know that not everyone delights in the works of God. Not everyone recognizes God’s omnipotence and the expression of His Divine will. Do you delight in the works of the Lord? Do you spend time thinking about what God has in mind for your life? Does what God thinks about all He has made matter to you? Is it important to you to know the “why” behind His intentions? For me, it is critical and absolutely foundational for the fulfillment of every facet of my life.
I want to try to draw this short series on Psalm 139 to a close. Let me recap.
God is omniscient. He knows everything about you and still loves you, so you don’t have to pretend to be something you aren’t. He knows what you struggle with. He knows what you wish was different about you, about your circumstances. He knows where you are spiritually, right now. You can agree with God about your failures. You can come clean about your sin. You don’t have to try to hide anything from Him. It’s impossible, anyway. He knows it all, and He is here to help.
God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all at once. You can’t run away from Him. You can’t escape Him. Instead of trying, why not invite Him in? He wants to help you. He really does. God’s go-to isn’t condemnation, guilt and shame. He sent Jesus to free us from all of that. Ask Him to be present in every situation of your life in ways that give you hope, strength, comfort, freedom and peace.
God is omnipotent. When He speaks or acts it is for a Sovereign purpose. Seek to know what that purpose is and to celebrate that purpose and live according to it. Don’t try to twist the purposes of God to suit your feelings. Cooperate with His plan, so that His power continues to be at work in your life.
Your rejection of these three theological truths won’t change the reality that God possesses all three attributes. Your rejection of them will simply limit your ability to receive God in these ways in your personal life.
I’m glad God knows everything. I need Him to. I need Him to know what I can’t know, especially where my future is concerned. I’m glad God is everywhere. I need Him to be. I need to be able to turn to Him no matter where I find myself. I’m glad God is omnipotent. I sure want His power to be available when I am sick or am in a difficult situation, but what I can’t do is divorce His power from His purpose. We must not divorce God’s power from His purposes. God has a reason for releasing His power every time He does. We need to be able to receive and cooperate with His purposes when that happens.
David ended Psalm 139 with a prayer. Here it is: 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
In light of God’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, what if we apply David’s prayer this way?
“God, if I have offended You by believing and acting as if You don’t know it all, can’t see it all, aren’t everywhere or don’t have a Sovereign plan when Your power is released, change me. If I don’t line up with who You have revealed Yourself to be in Scripture and through all You have created, I repent. I want to adjust my life to Your plan. I don’t want to be led by my feelings, but by the truth and the Holy Spirit who can enable me to make the necessary adjustments. I am sorry for minimizing You in my mind, God, and for elevating myself and my will over Your intentions. I don’t want to live my life out of tune with You. Please bring a resolution to the dissonance in my life, and lead my heart and mind to enable me to experience You in Your fullness as I get out of the way.”
God knows all. God is everywhere. God’s power reveals His will. Let’s worship and live as if we believe it.