Psalm 139:1–10, 13–16, 23–24 comment (0)
January 16, 2014
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Psalm 139:1–10, 13–16, 23–24
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
Value Every Life!
Psalm 139:1–10, 13–16, 23–24
In American culture, there is a persistent devaluing of life in the womb as well as threats to the elderly and other vulnerable human beings. Murder and crimes of violence speak of the cheapness of human life. Some believers may not have worked through the issue that every human life — from womb to tomb and at every point in between — is valuable because every person is made in God’s image. Other Christians believe this is true, but their actions rarely support their belief. Still others have weighed in heavily, perhaps by helping fund pro-life centers, assisting victims of abuse and violence, or by caring for dying or elderly family members.
Many churches set aside this Lord’s Day in a special effort to be advocates for the unborn and to permeate our culture with the biblical teachings regarding the sanctity of human life. This Bible passage focuses on reasons that we, like our Creator, are to show we value every human life from conception to the end of natural life.
Every Life Worth Knowing (1–6)
The psalmist David marveled that God knew everything about him — where he was, what he was doing and thinking — and that God valued him enough to keep His hand on David. No individual can know about — much less personally be acquainted with — every other human alive on the planet at any one particular given time. However, when we take the initiative to get to know more people on some level, the more likely we will appreciate those persons and will show that we value them. For example, people who affirm the unborn as persons — not things — are more likely to show they value them even while in the womb. Because God values every human being as worth knowing and keeping up with, we too are to value every human life and can take the initiative to see each person as God sees him or her.
Every Life Worth Relating To (7–10)
To acknowledge the presence of God everywhere at all times can be both frightening and comforting. David expressed his sense of wonder and praise when he considered that every person from conception to the end of physical life is never beyond God’s care and guidance. In these verses, David declared his confidence that he would never be outside God’s presence or without God’s providential guidance. Because God is willing to be present with and to give guidance to every person, we also are to value every human life as worth relating to in positive, helpful ways.
Every Life Purposeful from Beginning to End (13–16)
David praised God for creating him in his mother’s womb and for having a purpose for him from the beginning to the end of his days. The phrase “in secret” (v. 15) refers to the mystery associated with human conception. The psalmist, in spite of his limited understanding, praised God for creating him with a purpose in mind. How much more should we, with the prenatal knowledge we have through modern advances in science and medicine, praise God and demonstrate our respect and value for every human life, including persons yet in the womb. Because God creates every human life in His image and has a meaningful purpose for every person, we are to value every human life.
Every Life Accountable To God (23–24)
Notice the opening and closing of Psalm 139. In verse 1, David acknowledged God had searched his thoughts and ways; in verse 23, the psalmist invited God to do so again. This encourages us to open our hearts to God’s guidance, including the area of showing that we value every human life. David prayed for God to search and to test his heart for any offensive way and to lead him in the everlasting way. So we, being accountable to God who values every human life, can ask for His help in removing offensive attitudes and actions about life’s value that we may be harboring.