Summary: God created us, and through his mercy and forgiveness, God will continually re-create us, always forming us more and more into his image. No matter how bad we mess up, there is nothing we can do that will remove us completely from the cover of God's grace
Bob Hope was one of the great comedians of the last century. As he was getting along in years, he once commented that he’d been reading and was astonished to discover that: “Today my heart beat over 103,000 times, my blood traveled 168 million miles, I breathed 23,400 times, I inhaled 438 cubic feet of air, ate 3 pounds of food, and drank 2.9 pounds of liquid, I perspired 1.43 pints, gave off 85.3 degrees of heat, generated 450 tons of energy. I spoke 4,800 words, I moved 750 major muscles, and I exercised 7 million brain cells. It’s no wonder I’m tired all the time!”
Saint Augustine once said, "People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars -- and they pass by themselves without wondering." All the amazing marvels of our minds and bodies that we just take for granted; and yet, God looks at us with wonder. God values each and every person above all else, above the beautiful mountain vistas, and the deep blue oceans. The writer of this 139th psalm knew the depth, and breadth, and strength of God's care for every person. "You created my inmost being, you knit me together...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Most of us don't realize how intricate and wonderful we are, but God knows.
There are over six billion people living on earth, and each of us has been carefully formed, knit together by our Creator God. God has counted every hair on every head and knows the intricate details of each and every fingerprint. The psalmist was so impressed with the wonder of God's gift of life that he spoke of it as being "knit" or "woven together." It is the imagery of a craftsman who skillfully weaves a beautiful and colorful tapestry. What the psalmist is basically saying is this, "I didn't just happen. I am not an accident. I have value. I have worth. God made me and God cares about me." And the psalmist was confident in saying this because he recognized that he was created by God. It was God that gave his life value. It was God who gave him worth.
That is what it means to be known by God. We are valuable in God's sight. God knows us even better than we know ourselves! Can you imagine?!? That is something wonderful; something to be celebrated. And that is just what the psalmist did! He says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful!"
Tradition holds that the writer of this particular psalm was King David. David, the innocent little shepherd boy who defeated Goliath with a sling. He went on to become the greatest King in Israelite history, celebrated and revered through the ages. The prophets said the Messiah would come from the line of David. Indeed, David was a bright and shining King, but he also had his weaknesses, didn't he? Do you remember the story of David and Bathsheba? David lusted after this beautiful woman, so he sent her husband into the front lines of the fighting so that he might be killed and David could have Bathsheba to himself. That's pretty bad. In fact, it's terrible on many levels. David knows that there is nowhere he can go that God will not know where he is and what he is doing. God knows every detail of David's life, good and bad, and still David celebrates God's handiwork, the depth of God's knowledge, and the inescapable reach of God's grace. Are any of us able to do that?
How many of us have noticed how many parents begin to squirm nervously when it's time for the Children's Moment? The worship leader calls for the children to come forward, and all around the sanctuary, parents and grandparents bow their heads and slump in their seats. We know why this happens, right? Because we know that eventually, one week, our child will be the one to blurt out that terribly embarrassing, deep, dark, family secret. And when everyone turns to look at the other members of that child's household, we don't want to be seen. Does that sound about right?
Children are wonderful. And among a whole host of amazing traits, one of the most wonderful things about children is their unabashed honesty. We all know it's true, and those of us who live with children, live our lives accordingly. If there's something that's not appropriate for a child to be watching on TV, we don't turn it on when the child is in the room. We try to restrain from expressing extreme anger or frustration in front of the child because we don't want to set a bad example for them. We don't talk about certain things when the kids are around. And, of course, we're always careful about what we do and how close those little ears are because we never know when the latest family mishap will be generously shared with all our closest friends and most distant acquaintances too!