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.
This is a word of unbelievable encouragement and fierce condemnation. We read Psalm 139 as the joy-filled theology-drenched song of thanksgiving and love that it is – calling out to our Savior, Creator, and King and praising Him for each of His attributes. But in this, probably my favorite, psalm we find little nuggets of mind-blowing complexity if we pause for a moment and ponder what is inside. Take this simple line – simply verse 16 out of 24, but really consider what it entails for you, dear Christian.
Jesus, our Creator and King, not only saw us when we were yet uncreated, but in His book were written every act, every idle word, every thought for all the days of our lives. Maybe I’m not making myself clear – God, who is so offended by sin of any kind that even what we determine to be a minor offense (white lies, sneaking off to watch pornography on our phones, texting blasphemies (“OM_”) at the latest gossip, etc) he demands not only the death penalty for them, but ETERNAL torment – KNEW that you would live a life drenched in that which He abhors and WILLINGLY sacrificed Himself for you so that the law would be fulfilled and that you may spend eternity not in torment, but in worship of the Savior who purchased you with His life.
Think about that for a moment. Let’s say that you were an omnipotent and omniscient being – who had the ability to create a universe from nothing. Right? Still with me? Okay – now let’s say that you have all of these communicable attributes that have to be experienced to be appreciated. Love, kindness, generosity, grace, humility, mercy, etc. But, before you began, because you were omniscient, you KNEW that the beings you would create to display these communicable attributes – your image bearers – would revolt against you. Not only would they revolt, but they would openly mock you, and instead turn to the things you created (stars, moon, sun, trees, earth, etc.) and worship them as their creator. Then, when you sent people to remind them of who you are, and to reveal your love to them as if they had merely forgotten, they kill them. When you display your power and glory through miracles they attribute it to roving weather patterns or “acts of nature”. How long would you do this? How long would you work to sustain their lives? You know that at any moment you could merely “uncreate” them. Their lives are wholly dependent on your grace and mercy as you provide for them light, heat, food, and shelter. You give them the air to breathe, the ability to see, hear, speak, and interact with others. You allow them to live, love, marry, bear children, and die – all in abject hatred of you and what you do for them. For four thousand years you sustain them and, despite a few bright spots, a majority of them don’t even care that you exist. How long would you sustain this system? Where would you draw the line?
Then realize that you’ve not even started yet. Not even the first molecule or the first atom have been created for this universe that you’re considering. Would you go ahead with it? God did. Not only did He do it, but when His creation was at one of its worst times in history against Him, He sent His Son to speak with us, live as we live, to endure what we endure, to feel what we feel, and to do all of it without sinning. He lived the life that we could never live, and then we killed Him for it. Yet in that act of willing obedience, Jesus took our place on the cross of God’s wrath and He sustained the full brunt of God’s hatred of sin and He died. On the third day, He was resurrected and revealed Himself to His followers so that they would see and understand that God, despite all of our failings, and His knowledge of our inability to fulfill His commands, has reached out to us to save us from His wrath. That is the “good news” of the gospel! That you cannot reach His standard of perfection, and that He knew that, but that He sought you anyway.
How do you obtain this? How do you grasp the ring of salvation that He has laid out for you? Repent and trust. That’s it! No prayers to the saints or confessions to a man in a box. You reject your life apart from God, release full control of your life into His hands, and trust that the salvation that He purchased on your behalf is sufficient for your sins. Then God will transform your life – you will receive a new heart with new desires and begin a lifelong process of pursuing Christ, daily rejecting your sin and desires, and trusting more in Him to save you. All of this, God knew, long before you were ever even created. Repent and trust in Him today.