of us is far beyond what we are able to know of ourselves this is a source of wonder to David.
16 ►Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; That is clearly the embryo And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. The language here attempts to convey the fact that there is no conceivable state of the human being that does not involve identity before God. This is strong evidence that, in God’s view (and He ought to know), the fetus is a form of human life even in its undeveloped state. Here David wrote of God’s relationship with Him while he was growing and developing before birth. This passage is not talking about mere protoplasm but about a baby who God had a relationship with. God was caring for David in the womb. NAU Job 31:13 "►If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves when they filed a complaint against me, 14 what then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? 15 "►Did not He who made me in the womb make him, and the same one fashion us in the womb? Verse 15 gives the reason why Job would be without excuse if he treated his servant as less than a human equal. The issue isn’t really that one may have been born free and the other born in slavery. The issue goes back before birth. When Job and his servants were being fashioned in the womb the key person at work was God -- the same God, shaping both the fetus-Job and the fetus of his servants. It is irrelevant that Job’s mother was probably a freedwoman and the mother of the servant was probably a bondwoman. Why? Because mothers are not the main nurturers and fashioners during the time of gestation -- God is, the same God for both slave and free. That’s the premise of Job’s argument.
Psalm 139:7 ►Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? Here he’s facing the implications of this knowledge that there is no conceivable state of being in which a human can exist (before he is encompassed in the body, after he is in the body, before birth or after death, or within the whole of life) in which God does not know him, and that there is no escape from the being and presence of God.
►8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 ►If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 ►If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Then he comes to an actual description of his embryonic state: NAU Psalm 139:13 ►For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. From the very beginning God forms and begins to weave the fetus. The least we can draw out of this text is that the formation of the life of a person in the womb is the work of God, and it is not merely a mechanical process but a work on the analogy of weaving or knitting: The life of the unborn is the knitting of God, and what he is knitting is a human being in his own image, unlike any other creature in the universe.
Knitting and weaving is found often in the Bible. I recently saw a talk by Dr. David Menton who served at Mayo and then as a professor of anatomy at Washington School of Medicine. He’s now at Brown University. He was explaining Histology (study of the microscopic structure of animal and plant tissues) Hystos—fabric, tissue, knitting. When started to look at the body in a microscope, they were amazed to learn that it’s woven—that everywhere they look, they see weaving. Our skin is made up of calogen fibers that are very tough. They are so strong, they are stronger than steel for the same cross-sectional diameter but less elastic than steel—but yet look—it’s stretchy—how is that possible?
It’s possible because of the knitting—the way they are woven together. You weave one way, it’s not stretchy. That’s the kind of architecture we have in the eyeball so it doesn’t change shape. You weave another way—like a double-knit suit, it can be stretchy. The Lord knows that!
The psalmist is impressed by the wonder of this:14 ►I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 ►My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth
This doesn’t mean that fetal growth takes place underground. It’s really a poetic phrase that expresses something of the mystery of life. It pictures something that is hidden and therefore difficult to discover. While his life was at this stage, where it is difficult to understand or even investigate, God’s understanding of the psalmist’s being and identity was clear. Notice that there is no change in the personal pronoun: it is still "I" and "me" describing the fetal state, just as it is when he is speaking about himself as a grown person A person is someone known by God—who has a soul. God is looking on as the baby is developing in the womb. Our personhood was known to God before the world was formed.