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  • Writer's pictureNate Miller

More Than Paint and Canvas (Psalm 139:13-14)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. ¹⁴I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. –Psalm 139:13-14

On the third floor of the Minneapolis Institute of Art sits a small oil painting, roughly two feet by three feet in a gold-ish frame. As my wife explains impressionism to my three children, they stare at the multicolored flecks of oil paint on canvas. A similar painting by the same artist recently sold for over $80 Million. How can an $80 canvas and $50 worth of oil paint be worth so much? The frame is probably more expensive than the paint supplies themselves. Why are the paintings we have made at home with the same materials not selling for $80 million? Why is Claude Monet’s “Grainstack, Sun in the Mist” worth so much more than Nate Miller’s “Apple Tree”?

The reality is that the value of the painting–the creation–is directly connected to the value of the artist–the creator. The artist’s skill and reputation give a painting its worth. When God created the universe out of nothing, He declared it to be very good. So the whole of creation has value in the simplest sense because the creation is crafted by the master artist, the Creator God. 

But human beings are unique in God’s creation.

When God created Adam, He formed him from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). Dust isn’t very valuable, there is probably some on your shoe right now. But the materials used are not what give human beings their worth. Once again, it is the Creator who gives human beings their worth both as bearers of His Image (Genesis 1:27) and as beings created by God.

In this week’s Fighter Verse, David continues his reflection on being known by God with a look at the craftsmanship of God in forming every human being, even while in the womb.

David says,

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

Notice the use of the second person pronoun, the word you. David’s focus is on God’s handiwork: “You formed…you knit…your works.” The emphasis is on who God is as the creator of every human being. This amplifies the point David has been making about being totally known by the Creator God.

Before anyone else knew you, God knew you. Even in the womb, He knew the color of your eyes, the constellation of freckles on your face, and the cowlicks in your hair. He knew your likes and dislikes. He knew your gifts and abilities. He knew your struggles and joys. He knew everything that could ever be known about you. He knows you because He made you. He knows every human being–even the unborn–and has hand crafted each one. You are fully known by God.

David wonders in this Psalm: Could I hide from you God? Could I run from you? The comforting answer is found in the omniscience of the creator. You are known by God. Before you ever took a breath, He knew you. There is comfort for David’s soul–and for yours–in being known by the Creator in this way.

This answer moves David’s mind off of Himself and onto the Creator who deserves the praise, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” May you recognize the value of being known and made by the Creator God and may that move you to worship Him through our savior, Jesus Christ!


For Reflection

  1. Have you thanked God today for making you? How can you give glory to God for this today?

  2. Have you recognized the value that others have in God’s eyes? How can you give glory to God for this?

  3. Being fully known by God is a wonderful and terrifying reality as He sees our joys and our sin. Jesus Christ–knowing you fully–paid for the sin of all those who trust in Him. How does being fully known by God lead you to worship Jesus Christ all the more?


Nate Miller is the Associate Preaching Pastor at Revive Church in Brooklyn Park, MN. Nate and his wife, Angela, live in Brooklyn Park and have three children.


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