“Fearfully and wonderfully made”

I remember searchlights as a boy. Beams of light would sweep across the sky from near where I lived. They were searching for enemy planes, if they found one they would lock on to it and the gunners would try to shoot it down. My wife Fran had gunners right near her house.

We were reminded of this by our reading of Psalm 139 today. “Oh LORD you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up … you search out my path” (Psalm 139:1-3). But David realizes that God’s power to “see” extends far beyond what we do physically. We read, “you discern my thoughts from afar … even before a word is on my tongue …” (Psalm 139:4).

In the language young people use today, they would describe as ‘awesome’ the thought that God knows our thoughts before we even put them into words. That really is a searchlight on the mind. We cannot limit the meaning to David personally. But there is even more than this in what he writes, a wonderful inspiration by God! We read, “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 … your eyes saw my unformed substance” (Psalm 139:13,14,16).

Today, clever people have unravelled some of the secrets of DNA and the human genome. David was inspired to write 3,000 years ago of his “unformed substance” i.e., DNA.

Finally, the word ‘search’ occurs again at the climax of the Psalm, “Search me O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts … and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). Would I, would you, want to sense God’s searchlight on your thoughts? If the answer is “No” then should it not also be ‘No’ to the question as to whether we want to be led by God in the way everlasting?