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  • Writer's pictureCandice Watters

In His Book (Psalm 139:15-16)

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. ¹⁶Your 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 were none of them. —Psalm 139:15-16

It's hard to imagine a place darker than the womb. Yet even there we are not hidden from God as we’re being made. God sees in the dark; it is as light to Him (v. 12). But even more, He is the one doing the making, with perfect vision. He sees what He is doing as He skilfully, marvelously knits each new life together in His image. Only recently, with the invention of ultrasound technology, did we get a view into some of what God has been doing “in the depths of the earth” since the conception of Cain in Genesis 4.

David poetically captures the sovereignty of God in these two verses. He says God saw David’s frame–as with eyes. He saw not only his creation and development in the womb, but also his unformed substance–the raw materials of his being, the days of his life. All of this was before any of it came to be. 

David describes being acted upon: he was being made, his days were formed for him. 

Is his unformed substance the physical stuff of his body or the metaphysical stuff of his life–his days? His substance is unformed, his days are formed. Even before he emerged from the womb fully formed, God knew what would comprise David's days, and how many there would be. In omniscience and omnipresence, God already is where we will be. Not only does He know what will happen, He determines it. 

God is the One doing the forming and weaving of our bodies together in utero. The language of intricate weaving would likely have reminded David’s readers of the language Moses used to describe the curtains for the tabernacle and the garments for the priests (Exodus 36, 39). Contrast this exquisite craftsmanship with the cheap made-in-China plastic that clutters the dollar aisle at discount stores. Each baby in the womb is of infinite value.

The master Craftsman not only sees, He is working where no one is watching. And all that He is doing is good, even when what He knits together doesn’t fit the typical form. God knits every newborn together, in faithfulness. 

We can trust God for our physical design and limitations. And we can trust Him for what fills our days. As troubles arise, we can rest in knowing that our days, and the days of our children, are already known and numbered by God. He appointed the number of our days before one of them came to be. He knows how long we’ll live once we’re born. And He knows if we’ll be born again. He is the Sovereign Lord. 


For Reflection

  1. How might David’s confidence that his days were already ordained have affected how he lived as a shepherd, a soldier, and a king?

  2. Are you tempted to be anxious by the thought of death? 

  3. Give thanks to God that He already has each of your days planned and numbered. Ask Him to help you rest in His sovereign wisdom and care.


Candice Watters is a wife, mother of four, and author. She edits the Fighter Verses blog in between loads of laundry and planning the upcoming VBS for Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. She and her husband Steve blog at


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