Psalm 139:15-16 - The Verses Project

Bible Psalm 139:15-16

Posted June 09, 2014

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.

Welcome to our seventh week of memorizing Psalm 139!

In The Womb

These 2 verses pick up right where the psalmist left off: in the womb. The God who was knitting in the verses prior continues His artistry here as He sees the frame being formed in secret. The phrase “intricately woven”, or colorfully wrought, points us to “a weaver of colored cloth or embroiderer of colored thread, a craftsman who decorates cloth with colorful patterns using a needle, and so revives and intensifies the same connotations as those of ‘you knit me’ (Waltke)”. Pause in this moment and meditate on this truth! You were intricately woven by God Himself. Spurgeon couldn’t help but respond to God in worship:

I was hidden from all human knowledge, but not from thee: thou hast ever been intimately acquainted with me. When I was made in secret. Most chastely and beautifully is here described the formation of our being before the time of our birth. A great artist will often labour alone in his studio, and not suffer his work to be seen until it is finished; even so did the Lord fashion us where no eye beheld as, and the veil was not lifted till every member was complete.

In The Book

Not only does this Divine Creator see the unformed substance being formed within the womb, but also sees the formed days though there were none yet. This points us to the amazing (and often times uncomfortable) reality that God not only knows all things in the present, but also stands outside of time and knows all things in the future. Walke commented, “In addition to shaping human personality, God predestined the psalmist's destiny by writing the mortal's personal diary beforehand: upon your book they [all my days] were written.” The psalmist reminds us that God is not only Creator, but also Ruler. It’s not as if He knits us within the womb and then crosses His fingers, hoping for the best. He is the Sovereign who forms both our frames and our futures.

This truth, while held throughout Scripture, is never to be held to the exclusion of our accountability for our actions (“If God’s already determined what I’m doing, then what I do doesn’t matter.”). God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are always held together throughout the Bible. God is both King and Judge, ruling over all things but also judging the actions of all mankind. We cannot outrun or outsmart God. At the end of the day, we are the created and He is the Creator. May this give way both to humility deep within us as well as praise directed toward the frame and future forming God.


Song by Rivers & Robots.
Artwork by Lauren Miller.