Tag Archives: Psalm 139

You are Wonderfully Made!

Meditation Journey Day 42                         

Hi Friend,

Did you know you were intricately woven in the depths of the earth? I did not either until I read verse 15 of Psalm 139. David is writing beautiful Hebrew poetry about our prenatal development: My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” In these words of wisdom the Holy Spirit is revealing another facet of our unique purpose.

Shine 3The “depths of the earth” is our mother’s womb. The term “frame” does not just describe our skeletal structure. It is metaphor for the frame in which a beautiful tapestry is woven together. Medical science tells us that each person has between twenty to thirty thousand genes that determine everything about their physical make up. Our genes are like the strands of fabric that, in the secret place of the womb, God wove our being together as an artist would weave a masterpiece. Each strand of fabric He chose is of a different color and strength. We are uniquely made and created by God for our moment on the stage of life. He intricately” wove into our makeup just the right strengths, weakness, talents and abilities to give us an exclusive way to glorify Him and serve others.

The application of this truth to our lives is immensely important. All too often we disregard our uniqueness and compare ourselves to others. The Bible says comparison thinking is unwise “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise 2 Corinthians 10.

When we compare ourselves to others it is easy to come to the conclusion we are deficient in some way.  Or just the reverse happens. We compare ourselves to others, and we assume we are in some way superior. Both are traps of Satan and lead to rejecting ourselves or rejecting others. God says, in Isaiah 45, that when we reject ourselves we reject Him. When we reject other people on this criterion we are assuming a position of arrogance that is unwise.  We must stop comparing ourselves to other people, because God has really made us all different. There is no one like us and there never will be anyone just like us!

By design, He created us to reveal His workmanship. This is exactly what Paul wrote: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2. How could we compare ourselves to anyone when we are all designed differently to glorify God in distinctive ways?

It is also unwise to compare yourself to any one because God is the only one that knows all the twists and turns your life will take. He designed us to shine for Him in the mist of darkness, trials and tribulation that we cannot imagine. We may envy someone’s strength or beauty thinking they are so healthy looking not knowing they are filled with cancer! Only He knows the health issues we will experience. Only He knows the people we will meet and places we will go. There are no circumstances we will encounter that God does not know. He prepared us in advance to face all of life with His grace.

This is the key to appreciating our individual differences. Every strength, weakness, talent Shine 2and ability God has “intricately woven” into our being was given to glorify Him through His grace and strength.  We fulfill His purpose for our lives when He is living and loving through us. We are like light bulbs of different shapes, sizes and colors that only glow when the electricity of His Spirit radiates through us. If you think you have limitations, flaws or special “birth marks”, commit all your weakness to Him and allow them to become reminders of His design. Do not be distracted from His grace by comparing yourself to others. Allow the strong points and the weak points of your humanness to turn your heart to Him in humble gratefulness. We need to remember He works all things together for our good and His glory Romans 8. Then we will sing with David the song of the redeemed, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Walk in peace today knowing your Father prepared you in advance to glorify Him in the mist of your joys, trials, and struggles. Pray for others too and share this post; we all need this encouragement.

Observation: David wrote a beautiful poetic description of our prenatal development in verse 15. We are uniquely created. We show how unwise (ignorant) we are when we compare ourselves to others.

Interpretation: This verse reveals how God wove into our lives all the special strengths and weakness that makes us unique. We are designed to glorify Him at all times and in all places. We need to allow our strong and weak points to remind us He especially created us.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for making me. I do appreciate and thank you for designing my strengths and weaknesses. Help me to turn my focus to you every time I am tempted to compare myself to others. Help me to allow the electricity of Your Spirit to flow though me so that I can shine Your light into the darkness of this world. I am grateful for the way you wove me together. I accept myself as a gift from you. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

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You are a Special Creation!

Meditation Journey Day 41                             

Hi Friend,

Special UDo you ever think about why you are here? Why were you born in this time and place; to your parents and your family? Some children live with the message that they were an accident or a mistake that should never have happened. Other children were born into families that were desperate to have children; their parents planned and prayed for them daily. Regardless of our parents intention each of us are a miracle planned by God.

The Holy Spirit penned, through David’s Psalm 139:13-16, the amazing wonder of our prenatal development. It is a physical development and a spiritual one. In verses 13-16, God reveals not only the purpose for our unique physical appearance, but also the spiritual reason He created us!

For eternal change, give these verses a quick read several times today.

13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 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.

Special u 2The Expanded Bible says it this way:  “You made [created] my whole being [inward parts]; you formed [knitted] me in my mother’s body [womb].” Any way it is read the message is the same; God designed, created, and made you. He is the Author of our lives. He personally over sees the creation of every baby. Seven times the pronoun “You or Your”, referring to God, is written to underline the fact that God was personally involved in our development.

The message today is that we are not mistakes! No baby ever is an accident or an error. Our parents may or may not have planned or expected us to be, but God in His wisdom chose the moment of our conception.

Allow the thought of you being a special creation personally shaped and formed by the hands of God roll over in your mind. Stop rejecting yourself in any way. You should reject sin and negative thinking, and there maybe things you can do to improve your appearance or health, but stop beating up on yourself! God made you, all of you, for a reason. The rejection of our form is a rejection of Him and His design. Listen to what He says about rejecting ourselves.

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’

“This is what the LORD says– the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?  It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” Isaiah 45

In the Bible, “Woe” means stop quickly; it is severe warning to avoid wrong behavior or thinking. When we reject our physical shape and do not thank God for His creation; we build a wall between us and God. We judge His work and dictate to Him what He should have done and what He should be doing now. Each of us was created just as God designed because purpose and design are interconnected. We take away from our own purpose when we do not accept His design. We must humble ourselves to His wisdom and recognize ourselves as gifts from Him.

You are not a mistake. Nor is your body, mind or spirit unable to achieve God’s designed purpose for you. Do what you can to improve yourself, but stop rejecting who God made.  Give thanks for His creation and begin to say with David, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Observation: God formed, created, and made us each unique. We are strongly warned against rejecting His design and creation.

Interpretation: Our loving Father planned our moment of conception and all that is designed into us. We need to give thanks and praise for His purpose and enjoy the particular shape, gender and genes He knitted into our being. When we reject His design of us, we reject Him and the work of His hands. This sets up our prideful judgment of His plans and purposes for our live.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for making me. I know I have limits and restrictions because of the body you designed for me. I think my genetic makeup maybe better than some and worse than others, but Father I trust you to use me to glorify you with all my strengths and weaknesses. Please give me grace to yield to your design and plans   … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Who are You???

Meditation Journey Day 40                            

Hi Friend, ready to break camp and move on? This meditative journey into Psalm 139 has been exciting to me even though I have been walking through it for many years. This is true of all God’s Word. It never becomes boring when He walks us through His beautiful Kingdom of grace.

Ahead on our journey, in verses 13-16, are the  majestic mountains

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Majestic Mountains of Purpose

of Purpose. From their heights we will see the amazing and wonderful way God made us. David, the author of this psalm, will break into spontaneous praise and thanksgiving as he marvels at God’s creative work. I pray that we too will have eyes to see God’s beautiful purpose in us. God, help us to have ears to hear the whispers of Your joy in us in the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit.

Today, please pause and read through these four verses of Psalm 139:13-16 several times. Allow the Holy Spirit to begin to engraft them into your soul.

 “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.”

The world says we are simply biological accidents that emerged from the slime; just smart Hex coil 1germs. God says we are His beloved children made for a holy and high purpose. We have been formed to be His instruments of grace and love.

Remember, God’s word is “living and active.” (Hebrews 4) As you humbly receive His word you allow it to work in your heart. Receiving the truth that God has a divine and unique purpose for some people is very hard to believe. Please pray with me that each of us reading this today will began to see the distinctive and very special person God created us to be.

Observation: David gives us the revelation of how and why God created us in verses 13-16. He is overwhelmed by the purpose and plans of God for his life.

Interpretation: Knowing we are created by God with purpose is a powerful understanding. The world says people are just naked apes that come and go like any other animal. God’s word shatters that lie as we receive and believe the truth through Psalm 139.

Application Prayer: Father God, Thank you for making me. I am in awe that you take such interest in me. I am sure I will never fully understand why you saved me, but please help me to glorify you each day. Please help me to fulfill the purpose you created me for in this world. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

The Wicked Weapon of Rejection

Meditation Journey Day 39    

Hi Friend, Though you might like to read a comment about last weeks Meditative Journey:

Hey Pastor Neil,

I’ve wanted to thank you for all the messages that you send, they are great to read. I appreciate the time you take to help those of us who don’t understand the word of God as easy as you do. Thank you for all you do to help me get closer to the Almighty!!!

JM

Now back to Psalm 139……..

Rejection is a wicked weapon in the hands of our Enemy. The need to know we are unconditionally accepted by God is vital to our spiritual growth. Satan will use people and circumstances to slam our hearts with the feeling we do not belong and are unloved. Knowing what God says and thinks about us becomes our shield of faith. It gives us strength to face the rejection that we experience in our world. Psalm 139 verses 7-12 express very strongly God’s truth about our place of belonging in His heart.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (hell), you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

The eleventh verse of this section again focuses on David’s rebellious choice of trying to run and hide from God; this time it is in darkness. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night.” Hiding in darkness is the natural bent of mankind. In John 3, Jesus had a piercing commentary on why people like the darkness, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”  

When we sin, our human nature wants to hide.Adam

We become afraid. We got this bent from our first parents Adam and Eve. “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3

They tried to conceal their nakedness with fig leaves and then when God approached them they ran into the darkness. We still act the same way.

What David finds in hiding is the consistent presence of God, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

Rejection 2We know God is everywhere because He is omnipresent, but what these verses reveal is the attitude He has toward us everyplace we go. In all places, but hell, we will find the loving kindness of God. In our last meditative entry (38) we learned when we take the wings of the morning and rebelliously run away He is there dancing with us. At our deepest despair and most wicked moment, God’s attitude towards us is never condemnation and further rejection. For His children, it is unconditional love, mercy and grace. His love for us is not determined by our behavior, but by His patient enduring mercy given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I trust this truth about God’s grip of grace on you will help you to turn to Him continually. Satan wants us to hide in fear; God calls us to walk with Him in the light of His confident love. Christ is with you in the great times, the good times, and even the really bad times! This even includes your worse choices and decisions.

I pray that you continually allow your soul to soak in the truth of these verses. The message of God’s gracious love can be easily pushed aside when we are hit by the fiery arrows of our Enemy. Please humbly tend the garden of your heart with the confidence of God’s loving presence in your life.

Observation: David, like Adam and Eve, ran and hid from God. In verse 11 he tried darkness, but even there God was with him. As His children, there is no place in our existence where we are ever away from our loving God.

Interpretation: God’s gracious love extended in unconditional terms is astounding for all who trust in Jesus Christ. That He takes our worse choices and works them together for our good and His glory is comforting. We will always face the consequences of our choices, but never will we face them without His gracious presence. This is all because of the love poured out on us through Jesus Christ!

Application Prayer: Father God, I am so grateful you sent Jesus to die for me. I may feel alone, but I know those feelings are never true. You are always with me, always holding me. I humbly surrender to you and trust your love to guide me.  … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

Does God Dance with you?

Meditation Journey Day 38

Hi Friend,

Psalm 139 is a very condensed communication of God’s mercy and loving kindness to each of us. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith.

Consider verses 9 & 10 in our journey: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” They tell us of the tender and reassuring love of God even when we are very sinful and rebellious. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith. In Psalm 139 this is exactly what David, the writer f this Psalm, is reporting.

First, I need to tell you why I can say God’s love is so consistent even when we are willfully disobeying Him. The very simple answer is Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus Christ died for all our sin; all our past rebellion, present willfulness, and even our future wickedness. Trusting His sacrifice pays for all the moral debt we owe. When we put our faith in His righteousness we also receive His merit of goodness. From the moment we exchange our rags of self-righteousness for His moral purity, God looks at us differently. Paul said it this way,

What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did…  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5

Now read the verses again, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” David is remembering times when he willfully and rebelliously ran from God. He wanted to fly away and find a place where he could live his own way. No matter where David went he found God there! What is remarkable to David and should be to us, is God’s attitude and actions towards David. Notice God’s one hand is leading David and the other, God’s right hand is holding David. Allow me to suggest this is a dancing position. God is facing David looking at him directly in the eyes and God’s left hand is holding David’s right hand. God’s right hand is around David’s waist and holding him.

Knowing more about the hands is very important in our meditation. The right hand is a term in scripture that refers to the power and might of a person.  The right hand of God is a metaphor for all the power of God! Consider with me the placement of the hands in these verses.  David’s right hand, all his human strength, is being held and directed by God’s left hand. It is when David’s strength is finally rendered powerless that he realizes he is in the hands of God. He is at the end of his rope and yet God is leading him. God’s right hand, His power and might, is holding David. Just like David, at our most wretched moments when we are in rebellion to God, he is still holding and leading us. This is hard to Dance 3imagine but the placement of Father God’s hands resemble the placement of someone dancing! Is it possible that when we are at our worst God posture is to dance with us!!!  Grace says this is true, but our minds resist this kind of grace.

That my friend is the kind of love I need and have found in Jesus Christ. I find this overwhelmingly kind and precious of God to be so patient with my failure and sin. This Psalm made it real to me at my worse moments, and God will reveal the depth of His great love for you as you fill your mind and heart with His Word.  Remember Proverbs 2, “My, Child if you will receive my word…”

Have you taken the wings of the morning? Do you wish to run away from life and are you struggling against the grip of God? Know that at your worse He is still dancing with you. Please turn to Him now and trust Him so the dance can be enjoyed by both of you!

My your day be filled with grace and peace…. from the Lover of your soul…Jesus!

 

Observation: David finds even when he willfully runs from God, The Lord never leaves him. He also realizes that when he is in rebellion God is still holding him.

Interpretation: God’s attitude and actions at David’s greatest failures is pure grace and love. The way God is holding David appears to be a loving and kind posture. This is a picture of great grace and mercy at our lowest moments.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending Jesus and covering my sin. I was so afraid that when I chose my own way you would leave me in my brokenness. Knowing that you are always there holding me helps me trust you and relax in your faithful love. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Is God in Hell?

Meditation Journey Day 37                         

Hi Friend,

The short answer is Yes! By the way, hell is not the abode of Satan.

But that may surprise some people so lets see what the Bible says…

Today we focus on verse 8 of Psalm 139, “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in hell, you are there!”

Other translations of this verse add the accent word “Behold” to the second part of the verse. It reads “If I make my bed in hell, Behold, you are there!”  Adding the word “Behold” underlines the fact that David is startled by God being in hell too! Does the idea of people meeting God in hell surprise you? It did me when I first began my study of Psalm 139 in 1974. I once believed hell was the place absent of God, but that can’t be true because God is omnipresent. He is everywhere!

What would God be like in hell? You might want to sit down for this because the idea of hell does not seem too nice. Here on earth we know God through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the face of God and all the fullness of God dwells in Him. He is the Good Shepherd Jesus 1Shepherd and loving Friend to all who believe in Him. When we get to heaven Jesus will be the Lamb that was sacrificed to become our Redeemer and the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ is the Bright and Morning Star, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will welcome all who trust Him into a kingdom of peace, joy and love. It is a Kingdom filled with sweet sounds of worship and beautiful colors of the rainbow.

In hell, and to all who reject Him, He will be very different. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of The One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” In hell God is the Judge of perfect Justice. God’s complete judgment and wrath will be poured out on all who have rejected His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:36). I know this is not popular teaching in our present world, but it is what the scriptures teach. Actually it may surprise you to know, Jesus taught more about the reality of an eternal hell than anyone else in the Bible. He taught this because He wanted everyone to understand God’s holy love is full of Justice. (See, Luke 16; Matthew 13, 25; Mark 9; and Rev. 20, for some of what He taught.)

Knowing that God is everywhere, including hell, means God is in control of everything.

David learned that there is no place in the universe where the LORD does not administer justice.  Not one particle of the smallest atom is out of His Sovereign Authority. He is the Almighty and Everlasting God that will bless the faithful that trust His Son and the Perfect Judge that will punish the evil doers. He is worthy of our complete trust because He is the faithful God of Justice. He is worthy of all our worship because He alone cares for us with absolute authority. We can rest secure in Him because the LORD of heaven and earth is a good, loving and just God!

If God does not have full control and authority over everything what value is it to me to belong to Him?

Observation: David is surprised to learn God is everywhere. That God is in Heaven is expected, but to find God in hell shocked David….. and most of us!

Interpretation: God being in hell reveals God is in total control and He is a God of Justice. He now reveals Himself as our Good Shepherd and invites us to enter His Kingdom. He desires all people to be saved from God’s wrath. We who believe will one day receive the full reward of our faith by being with Him in Heaven forever. He is worthy of worship because He is the Sovereign God of Justice. We can fully trust Him to defend the weak and ultimately bring peace to the whole universe.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for being so powerful and the Sovereign God over all good and all evil. My trust grows in You as I see your control of everything. I rest in your loving kindness and powerful justice… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Does God know too much?

Meditation Journey Day 36                   

Hi Friend,

Have you notice in verses 7-12 of Psalm 139 David covers everyplace we can go? Read the passage and reflect on the dimensions he is considering.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (hell), you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

In these six verses David takes us to heaven and then to hell. We already know He is with God knowsus when we are near to Him, yet David has learned God stays close even when we think we are far away. If we try to hide in the dark He is there. The darkness and light, the visible and the invisible, nothing prevents God from seeing us and being with us. The Holy Spirit wants us to understand there is no place we can hide or run away where He is not already waiting. We belong to Him and He will never allow us to be alone. If we feel alone it is not because God left us!

Several years ago I was teaching on Psalm 139 and one lady was really getting into the passage. She memorized it and the truth of God’s omnipresence began to sink into her heart.  After several sessions she came to me with tears in her eyes. She said with anger mixed with shame, “I do not like God knowing so much about me! I do not like God always hanging around me!” I am happy to report she did work through this anxiety and accepted the joy of God knowing her so well. Yet this true experience vividly underlines the fact that our Adamic nature wants to be independent of God. Our natural bent is to keep God in a Box 1religious box. Most people are comfortable with opening the box once a week to a moralistic religious message, but to have a living God that is always there with them, can get very uncomfortable!

The Great I AM is ever present with us and we can grieve His Spirit when we ignore Him. He loves us and desires us to love Him too. I trust you appreciate the tender care Father God gives to you. If you have had the privilege of being a parent then you know the joy of being with your new baby. Your Father in Heaven loves to be with His children too; only to Him we are always His darlings. We will come to know the love of Christ more as we consider His constant commitment of being with us. Paul makes a similar point in Ephesians 3 as he prays for the early believers:  

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…Amen.”

David experienced that depth of love in his day and we can too. We just need to keep walking in an attitude of humble repentance and thankfulness. If we allow God to wash us with His word through meditating on His truth, the sense of the Presence of God will become more real to us each day!

There is much more to glean from these verses, so please read them daily to receive the grace and peace the Holy Spirit wants to give to you. You are Loved!

Observation: In verses 7-12, David considers the full spectrum of God’s presence with us. There is no place where God leaves us alone.

Interpretation: God’s hovering presence is a demonstration of His loving kindness. I will grow in my assurance of His presence as I meditate on His word and walk in humility with His Spirit.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for never leaving me. When I feel alone or afraid remind me of your Word. Help me to grow in the awareness of Your presence and loving kindness… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?