God is omniscient—He knows all things. He is omnipresent—He is everywhere present. And He is omnipotent—all-powerful. These great truths are cause, not only for careful self-examination, but also for great comfort and encouragement for every follower of the Lord.
Uniquely Crafted by and Cared for by Our Creator God
I read some time ago about a man who wasn’t what he pretended to be. Several years ago, at the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball, a veteran appeared in dress uniform, wearing a chest full of medals. He was impressive looking, for sure.
But when another Marine noticed that one of the man’s medals was upside down, he became suspicious. He snapped a photograph and sent it to the FBI. It turned out this man was an imposter who had been dishonorably discharged from the Navy many years earlier.
Isn’t it terrible to pretend to be something you are not? The truth is, at heart we are all potential imposters. We can be quite good at acting like someone we really aren’t. Indeed, we can represent a spiritual life we are not really interested in living after all.
David wrote Psalm 139 to inform us that we are not going to get away with pretending. God knows who we really are, no matter how many medals we pin to our chest. This attribute of God—that He knows everything—is called omniscience.
David writes about that in verse 1: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” This word, “searched,” refers to a diligent investigation. David is not suggesting God had to dig around to figure out who David really was. Rather, he’s saying here that God’s knowledge of him is comprehensive—past, present, and future.
Verse 2 expands on this: “You know when I sit down and when I rise up.” In other words, God does not miss one movement—from the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go back to bed.
David then adds in verse 2, “You discern my thoughts from afar.” So, God not only sees our movements; He knows our motives.
Then the psalmist writes in verse 3: “You search out my path and my lying down.” All day long, the Lord knows every detail of your path—whether you walked or drove to work and when you arrived. God knows when you took your coffee break. In fact, from the first step you took as a toddler to the last step you will take in life, you don’t take one step without God knowing about it.
David writes in verse 5: “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” The word translated “hem” is a Hebrew term used to describe a city that is under siege. All the escape routes have been cut off; the inhabitants are hemmed in. David is saying that His powerful God has surrounded him with care and concern.
This truth brings him delight. He writes in verse 6, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain it.”
Instead of creating dread that God is watching him, David is joyfully saying here, “God knows everything there is to know about me, and this is wonderful news!” He knows the best about us, and—listen beloved—He also knows the worst about us.
One author wrote this:
There is tremendous relief in knowing that [God’s] love for me is [totally and utterly] realistic, based on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me.
David now shifts his attention from the omniscience of God to the omnipresence of God—that He is present everywhere at the same time. Note verses 7-8:
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 [the grave], you are there!
David is saying that if he goes all the way to the end of the universe, God is there.
Then he adds this:
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. (verses 9-10)
To “take the wings of the morning” refers to going infinitely east, toward the dawning of the sun. And to “dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea” probably means to go infinitely west, toward the Mediterranean Sea. David is declaring that whether he goes east or west, God is there waiting for him to arrive.
But what if the lights of the universe go out? Can God see in the dark?
I am reminded of one summer evening when New York City had a power blackout due to a severe thunderstorm. All the lights went out. Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets to break into stores and steal whatever they could. When it was over, more than 2,000 stores had been plundered, and the loss and damages were estimated to be more than a billion dollars.
Does God lose control if the lights go out? Well, David answers that God can see in the dark. He is an eyewitness to every crime and every scene. David writes in verse 12, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Now David moves on to describe God’s omnipotence, or infinite power. He begins in verse 13: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
God’s sovereign design reaches into every mother’s womb at the moment of conception when life begins and a human being begins to develop. David says that God weaves together every fiber of your being; He crafts an original—with unique fingerprints and voice print and retinal shape. You are one of a kind. Every advantage and every ability, every disadvantage and every disability, is sovereignly designed by your Creator.
Whatever your condition might be today, surrender it to the Lord, and ask for His grace and His strength to take one day at a time in dependence upon Him. Such surrender to Him can make the most disabled among us powerful testimonies that God’s grace is sufficient and cause us all to anticipate with even greater joy our future, perfected body and our home in heaven.
Some time ago I read about a young man named Nick. Due to a rare genetic disorder, he was born without arms or legs. Growing up, he struggled emotionally and physically with his condition. But today as a follower of Christ, he writes this:
When people read about my life or witness me living it, they are prone to congratulate me for being victorious over my disabilities. I tell them that my victory [is] in surrender . . . when I acknowledge that I can’t do this on my own . . . Once I yielded [to Christ as my Lord and Savior], the Lord . . . gave my life meaning when no one and nothing else could provide it. [And] if God can take someone like me, someone without arms and legs, and use me as his hands and feet, He can use anybody. It’s not about ability. The only thing God wants from us is a willing [surrendered] life.
That sounds like David, who writes here in verse 14: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” That Hebrew word for “wonderfully” can be translated “uniquely.” David is declaring that he, like all of us, has been uniquely made by God. Let me tell you, this is an amazing statement of faith!
To accept God’s design for you is also a great statement of your faith and trust in Him. Surrender to your Creator and His design and His purposes for your life today, as you trust Him and point people to who He is—your omnipotent, omniscient Creator.
And here’s the good news for all of us who place our faith in Jesus Christ: God’s Word says one day we are going to get new, perfect brains and bodies—no more disability, only glorified ability to serve God and praise Him forever. What a glorious future God has planned for us.
 Gregg Zoroya, “Frauds Put Up a Decorated Front,” USA Today, June 21, 2006.
 John Phillips, Exploring the Psalms: Volume Two (Loizeaux Brothers, 1988), 593.
 J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity, 1973), 37.
 Phillips, 596.
 “Man Born Without Limbs Declares God’s Goodness,” Sermon Illustrations, preachingtoday.com.