What does it mean when God knows everything about you and me? Most people have a natural terror of someone knowing too much about them. It’s that “Big brother” complex that someone is watching your every move. We want our privacy and we don’t want to be watched. Especially our inner thought life, we keep a closely where we hide a lot of junk from others, maybe ourselves at times. So when we think that God knows everything about us, should make us pause for moment. That’s why it’s important to think biblically about what it means for God to all knowing and present everywhere.
David doesn’t start by making remarks about that God and His factual knowledge. For example! “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Luke 12:7 No David starts with God’s knowledge of His intimate, personal, relational information. “You have known me.” God knows everything there is to know about you and me. (v2-v4) David starts out by using a variety of verbs to express God’s knowing. Words such as “know”, “understand”, “observe”, and “are aware”. God knew David’s daily rhythms, thinking, activities, speech and thoughts before he made one step or utter out words to speak. (v5) says “You have encircled me” this literally means “from back to front, You have enclosed me.” Everything in David’s life was under God’s all-seeing eye. This is one of those awe and wonder moments for the Christian life about all-knowing God. Ben Patterson wrote “God’s knowledge of us is not of a scientist peering through a microscope but of a lover gazing at His beloved.” Charles Spurgeon wrote “From the crown of your head to the sole of your foot, God is examining you now; His scalpel is in your heart,….He is searching your heart and trying your reins, He knows you behind and before.” This is the same God who is omniscient and is involved personally over your life.
“Omniscience” is defined as “the state of having total knowledge, the quality of knowing everything.” For God to be sovereign over His creation of all things, whether visible or invisible, He has to be all-knowing. His omniscience is not restricted to any one person in the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all by nature omniscient. For us finite creatures that should bring about rest and comfort and peace that this world no nothing of. Why? Because God is all-knowing this means He has always known everything, and if He knows everything then He has never had to second guess Himself or His motives. Isaiah penned these words “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'” Isa 46:8-10 “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20. God’s plans are always based on His perfect knowledge. It doesn’t just stop here! God is all-knowing but He is also omnipresent. (v7-v10) After reading this portion of David’s Psalm, you would ask the question!
Where can one hide from God? Answer! NO WHERE.
“Omnipresence” means that God is everywhere; He is not limited to time and space. This means God is unlimited in respect to space, just as He is unlimited in respect to time. Because God is Spirit that doesn’t mean He is some giant cloud of gas. If that were true then part of God would be in one place and p[art of Him would be in another place. But to be omnipresent means that God is completely everywhere at all times. Paul said “In him we live and move and have our being'” Acts 17:28. Jeremiah spoke these words “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.” Jer 23:23-24. All this implies is that God cannot be contained to any space, no matter how vast. We cannot and never be able to escape His transcendent presence, even in death. We cannot run away from Him in order to hide from Him. This is what David is expressing in this Psalm. When we worship corporately and personally He is there with us, just as He is here this morning. We don’t have to call Him down or to awake Him from some sleep. He is already here! His majesty and unveiled glory is here, just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean that He isn’t here.
Remember what God said to Moses? "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." Exo 33:20 . But there is coming a day when all that will be changed for forever. “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
We get to experience His manifested presence because He is already here. Not only is He omniscient and omnipresent, He is also personal in dealing with His created children. “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made” In Psalm 139, David describes God as fashioning his tiny body together in the darkness of his mother’s womb. This Psalm expresses that God loved David before he ever existed. This Psalm says the same thing to me and you. Though David is expressing a deep theological truth about God who looks over Him. The same thing is happening over you and me before we were born and He continues to look over us today and forever. What else does this statement David makes mean for you and me? We must be pro-life in the purest sense of the word. We are to respect and cherish all human life: The born and those still in the womb; children and weary seniors; the wealthy executive and the financially destitute. All persons are unique productions of our Creator’s genius. But our culture doesn’t see it that way because they do not value life as God sees it. Recently going through my twitter feed Julie sent me this article on Down syndrome children in Iceland. This is part of the article! “With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.” Using an ultrasound, blood test and the mother's age, the test, called the Combination Test, determines whether the fetus will have a chromosome abnormality, the most common of which results in Down syndrome. Children born with this genetic disorder have distinctive facial issues and a range of developmental issues. Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.
Other countries aren't lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it's 77 percent (2015); and Denmark, 98 percent (2015). The law in Iceland permits abortion after 16 weeks if the fetus has a deformity -- and Down syndrome is included in this category. The article went on to say “Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.” The University Hospital in Iceland who counsels women who have a pregnancy with a chromosomal abnormality. They speak to them when deciding whether to continue or end their pregnancies. They tell women who are wrestling with the decision or feelings of guilt: "This is your life — you have the right to choose how your life will look like." They told a reporter that "We don't look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication... preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder -- that's so black and white. Life isn't black and white. Life is grey." This breaks my heart especially a father of six children. Statistics Canada tables show a recorded total of 2,838,328 abortions between 1974 and 2006. CIHI tables show a recorded total of 353,034 abortions between 2007 and 2010, which means that the total number of “reported” abortions that took place between 1974 and 2010 in Canada is 3,191,362. This fallen and broken world system doesn’t believe this truth that we find in Psalm 139. They chose to suppress and deny God and power He instill that He has over life and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
What is David trying to say to us the reader of this psalm? God is over life and created us with great care, love and concern. God has fearfully and wonderfully made us, setting us apart as the brightest, clearest mirror of God’s creativity. While evolutionary biology considers us nothing more than glorified apes, scientific research confirms that humans are vastly unique on many levels. Humans are set apart from all other creatures by the ability to make moral judgments. We can discern between what is right and wrong. The human heart is fearfully and wonderfully made, enabling us to love and experience God intimately. The heart reveals our personality thoughts, memories, emotions, desires, will. Humans are unique in that we recognize wrongdoing and seek redemption. David is revealing to us that God isn’t some distant God who shows no interest or cares about who He created for His glory. Each and every one of us is unique and that’s how God created you before you were born. The construction of man is not of himself, nor of his parents, but of God, and is very wonderful in all its parts. The human body is the most complex and unique organism in the world, and that complexity and uniqueness speaks volumes about the mind of its Creator. Every aspect of the body, down to the tiniest microscopic cell, reveals that it is fearfully and wonderfully made. The complexity of the human body is so amazing it’s puzzling to think that people who study natural science can fail to a believer in the infinite glorious God we serve. Knowing this truth of this Psalm should make our hearts melt to worship and praise as David does here “I praise You”.
Why was David able to praise and see the value in life as we do and should?
Answer is found in (v15-v16) “My frame was not hidden from You.” What does that statement mean? The substantial part of my being was before God, Himself. The bones which make my frame were put together by God’s hand. "my bones" this word is usually rendered "embryo" which means beginning. The essential materials of my being before they were arranged were all within the orchestrated by God’s perfect plan. When we were being made in secret (v15) God was the one putting all these parts together we call the human body.
What does that mean? David didn’t have the ability to see a 3D sonogram and see how the body is formed by God’s good grace. Yet David is giving us detail and insight into God’s personal involvement into our birth that was being made in secret. Today we have the ability to see this truth come to life, what David explained express so many years ago. Doctors use several different methods to listen to the fetal heartbeat. About 3 weeks, one day after fertilization, when the heart first begins to beat, the sound of the little heart is too soft to hear. Very soon thereafter, they can see the motion using ultrasound technology. At 7 weeks the fetus (Greek word for “Little person”) has its sex determined. XX chromosomes for girl and XY for a boy! And the sex is determined by the father. At 8 weeks the sonogram displays those hidden things that God made in secret.
The baby will suck their thumb
they respond to sounds
they respond to sounds
The recoil from pain
All major organs are functioning
Nervous system is fully functioning
The brain receives signals
The heart is pumping
The liver is making blood cells
The kidneys are clearing fluids
And to top it off there is a finger print.
At 21 weeks the baby can live outside the womb with a little help if it had to because of complications. All this is going on by the all-knowing and ever where present God before a baby is full term. This is what David is revealing to us this morning. This is the great God who is with us right now. The same God who was with us before we had a name.
The same God who knew….
Where you would live
Who you would marry or would never become married.
How many children you would and would not have.
You sin and rebellious state of mind in your fallen body.
Your heart and your reception to the gospel or reject to the gospel.
To unpack all this is as David said “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (v6) This wonderful knowledge is more than I can comprehend. It is beyond my reach; it surpasses all my powers to comprehend it. BUT! Though I can’t figure everything out, it doesn’t stop me from loving and praising your name amoung the earth. Why? “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Which leads me to say as David “O Lord you have searched me and known me!” This is good news that comforts the soul in any circumstance of life. Because He has ordained it and allowed it into our lives. Let me close with this! “The guillemot is a small Arctic seabird that lives on the rocky cliffs of northern coastal regions. These birds flock together by the thousands in comparatively small areas. Because of the crowded conditions, hundreds of females lay their pear-shaped eggs side by side in a long row on a narrow ledge. Since the eggs all look alike, it’s incredible that a mother bird can identify those that belong to her. Yet studies show that she knows her own eggs so well even when one is moved, she finds it and returns it to its original location. She is never confused.” This Psalm reminds us that our heavenly Father intimately understands each of His children. He knows our every thought and emotion, and is “acquainted with all our ways” From morning till night He gives personal attention to all their circumstances. Not only does God’s knowledge of us evoke our praise and worship, but it also brings great comfort to our hearts.
Isn’t it wonderful to be so well-loved and well-known by our Lord?