Psalm 139


Psalm 139
Family Communion

Use the ‘Amazing body’ quiz from Phil Green’s X=life. How amazing our bodies are! Yet how many of us think we’re rubbish and don’t realise the wonderful potential in ourselves.

Show Ugly duckling clip with Gorecki’s ‘Sorrowful Songs’

Read Psalm 139

David knew that God knew him inside out because of the way he was chosen (God looks at the heart). David writes this psalm because he knows that God knows him inside and out. That God made him. That God had amazing plans for him.

What about you? Even as I say those things are thinking yes, but not me?

That’s how I spent over half of my life thinking until I met with God in a real way. Who’d have thought that I actually turned out to be loved to pieces by God? By Him, up there, who made the world! But it’s true. And it’s not just true for me, its true for you too. And, if, you still don’t believe me, if it seems too far-fetched, too impossible then think on. Those amazing body facts, how can they be true? How did they happen? How does a human being come about? A night of fleeting passion, two people coming together and another amazing person is created?

We can’t understand it. We can’t know how it happens. That’s part of life’s mystery. Part of the amazing mystery of God. I’m jolly glad that I can’t understand it at times. Too much weight and responsibility for me to handle. But God can. God knows everything. God knows you. God planned you and your life, every little detail from start to finish.

Too hard? Uncomfortable? Yes, sometimes it can feel like that. But it does mean that we are not robots, planned and primed to act in certain ways. If that were the case we wouldn’t have so many horrible things happening in God’s world would we. No God allows us our freedom to go off and make mistakes – as all loving parents do – painful as that is!

But however uncomfortable you may feel about the fact that God knows every little thing about you, every thought, everything, do you know what? It’s comforting too. It is wonderful and amazing when we meet a special person who understands us through and through. It’s wonderful not having to keep explaining yourself: why you’re ratty, why you’re happy, why you made that silly mistake, why you hurt.

When we meet someone who truly and fully understands us it is wonderful.

You may say that you’ve not experienced this yet. But it is there for all of us because in God we all have a very special Father who already does know us like that, in fact He knows what we will be doing next week. But then, He knew us before we were born.

What we think about God and our relationship to Him determines what we think about everything else that makes up our world. Wrong ideas about God ultimately lead to wrong ideas about who we are and what we should do. It puts us on the wrong path toward the wrong destiny.

It’s only when we begin to seek and open ourselves up to knowing God who made us and loves us that we begin living a fulfilled life. David thought about this God and wrote this psalm giving us a message that can encourage us to be in a right relationship with Him.

The psalm uses the word “search” and in this instance it means “to examine with pain and care.” The Jewish people used this word to describe digging deep into a mine, exploring a land, or investigating a legal case. Our friends and family see the outside of us but God sees the heart, and we cannot deceive Him. Adam and Eve tried to, Cain tried to, and even David himself tried it but all of them discovered that God knew all about them.

The original Hebrew means He understands, not just knows about us. He knows us intimately through and through. He knows our actions, our thoughts, words, ways, and motives.

This means He knows what’s best for us. He does all He can to guide us v5 means He puts His hand on us to steady us and direct us as if guarding a valuable object. God’s knowledge and guidance are always for our protection.

What should our response be? We should be overwhelmed by the depth of God’s knowledge and be thankful that He knows us perfectly. Sadly, we are often not. At the least ignoring Him and at the most running away from Him. But wherever we go, God is there and His plan for us is for the very best.

Why should we want to run away and hide from Him? Adam and Eve tried it and failed, so did the prophet Jonah, who only went from bad to worse. We need God’s presence with us if we want to enjoy His love and fulfill His purposes.

We’re made in the image of God and God has a special purpose for each person who is born. We live in and with our bodies all our lives, and we know how amazing they are. God formed us as He wants us to be, and we must accept His will no matter how we feel about our genetic structure, our looks, or our abilities.

The psalm says that we are intricately made, woven together in a special and beautiful way. But God did more than design and form our bodies; He’s planned and determined our days. Not in the way of fatalism or heartless predestination because what we are and what He plans for us come from God’s loving heart and are the very best He has for us. If we choose to live foolishly, we might die before the time God has ordained, but God’s faithful children are immortal until their work is done.

How can we ignore God when He’s given us so much and planned a wonderful life for us? Life is not a prison but an exciting journey if we give ourselves up to Him! He has the knowledge we don’t have – He knows what’s best! He loves us and wants only the very best for us.

This week God will have been tapping you on the shoulder attempting to tell you how special you are. Maybe even that He wants to use you in some way or other.

God often chooses the unexpected. To change the heart of Jonah He used a whale, to feed over 5000 people He used a fish-paste sandwich. To give us salvation, He used an unwed teenage girl. If He can use those things, if He can use you and  me! Here’s a challenge! Next time Jesus speaks to you, don’t ignore Him. Don’t think He wouldn’t want to know you. Take the risk of responding in a personal way. Don't pretend it isn't Him speaking. Don't choose to turn away.

An American tourist in Paris picked up an amber necklace in a trinket shop. Going through the customs at New York he was shocked at the high duty he had to pay. He had the necklace valued, and the jeweller offered him $25,000 for the necklace. Stunned he took the necklace to an expert who appraised it at an astronomical amount. He asked what made the necklace so valuable, and was shown with a magnifying glass the inscription: “From Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine.” It was the name on the necklace that gave it an extraordinary worth.

Inscribed on your life is the name of your Owner, your Father. He has made you with His own hands and written His name across your life. Your value is found in that inscription. You belong to Him and He wants to use your life. He has made you and you are His. You are unique.

You are special because you are special to God. No one else can take your place in God’s heart. He has called you by name, you are His.

Show ‘Father’s love letter’ (Adrian Plass version)