Ordained Days

birthday card encouragement NIV Psalm 139 scripture card

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

In Psalm 139, David makes some lofty claims about the knowledge, presence, and sovereignty of God.   David asserts that God is all knowing (omniscient) and all present (omnipresent).  His knowing and his presence transcend time and space.  He is both beyond us in every way and intimately familiar with each of our individual ways! (139:2) 

As David considers these concepts, he makes the statement that such knowledge about God is too wonderful for him to understand. (6)   Even so, David continues to explore in verses 7-18 how the truth about God’s sovereign presence and knowledge impacts his life.  He lets the truth about God sink in deeply.  In doing so, David sets a great example of how to let the Bible inform our life. 

What does David learn from this deep meditation on who God is?  David cannot go anywhere God is not… even the most extreme places he can dream of going, God is there!  Next, his imagination soars to when he was in the womb.  This God saw David’s unformed body and ordained all of David’s days and recorded them in His book before one of them came to be.  This truth is precious to David who is evidently facing bloodthirsty enemies threatening his life.  Recalling the truth about God’s sovereign knowing and presence sets David’s circumstances aright in his heart and mind.  Ending in a cry of confession of his feelings toward these enemies and an awareness that he needs this God, who knows him fully and never leaves him, to search him.  Seeing God rightly causes David to depend on him fully.

I wonder how the truth that God is omniscient and omnipresent sinks into your life today?  When you were still unformed, God had purposeful days on history’s calendar for you!  God’s knowing of you from conception into eternity was complete before your heart began to beat.  He has not only numbered your days, but ordained them:  prepared them, appointed them, ordered them…all in love!  This knowledge of God gives your life and the life of every human being tremendous weight and value. 

I chose to put this verse on a birthday card because recognizing the worth of every life is the perfect way to celebrate our cherished friends and family on their birthday.  Sending this verse reminds the recipient of the care and attention God had in forming them and the purpose He has for their days and relationships.  When taken in down deep, we, like David, can be steadied in our circumstances.  If God has ordained our days, we are held, “hemmed in behind and before”.    We can have a “happy birthday,” resting in His sovereign knowledge and presence! 

Who today needs to remember the wonder of their creation? Who needs to be reminded of their purpose and their potential?  Who needs to let the good news about God’s sovereign knowledge and presence steady their heart and mind in a world of chaos and conflict?   Would you share God’s ancient words from Psalm 139 for their life today?


Scripture taken from the Holy Bible,  New International Version®,  NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com  The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Offices by Biblica, Inc.™


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