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overshadowed in the mother’s womb

14-01-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

Psalm 139 has the reputation to speak about the miraculous way in which humans, in general, are formed in the mother’s womb. Without in any way wanting to detract from this outright miracle of God, I believe that David in this psalm is not referring to man in general, but is speaking about the Son of David. Also, this Psalm is messianic prophecy (cp Acts 2:30). Without attempting to be complete, I will use this blog to provide a number of pointers concerning this aspect of this psalm.

If I should climb to the heavens, You are there, And should I make my berth in the unseen, behold, You are there. verse 8 (CLV)

Has David ever ascended into heaven? No, Peter clarified this in another context (Acts 2:34); this applies only to David’s Son. He ascended into heaven after he had lain for three days in hades (the realm of death). See also Rom.10:6.7.

If I said, Surely darkness, it snuffed me up, And night is belted about me, verse 11 (CLV)

Who does not think here about the three hours of darkness on Calvary, when God left His Son into the destructive hands of His enemies? But Jesus knew even then: “… yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me” (John 16: 32).

For You Yourself achieved the making of my innermost being; You overshadowed me in my mother’s belly. verse 13 (CLV)

“Overshadowed in my mother’s belly”. The echo of this we hear in the words of the messenger speaking to Mary: “the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35).

I shall acclaim You, for You are fearfully distinguished; Marvelous are Your works. You have known my soul very thoroughly; verse 14 (CLV)

The translation “wonderfully prepared” does not do justice to the Hebrew words used here. The word for “wonderful” (Str. 3372) is literally ‘formidable’, ‘awesome’; while the word “prepared” (Str. 6395) literally means separate or distinct. Here is someone speaking who “knows very well” that God has fearfully distinguished him. Overshadowed in the womb by the power of the Highest and, therefore, the Son of God!

My skeleton was not suppressed from You, When I was made in concealment; I was woven together as in the nether parts of the earth. verse 15 (CLV)

While the first part of this verse is about Mary’s womb, the second part deals with Jesus’ subsequent formation, as He grew up in the vicinity of the lake of Gennesaret, over two hundred meters below sea level; except for the Dead Sea, the lowest part of the earth. Besides, in the desert near the Dead Sea, Jesus was, for forty days, put to the test. How true, therefore, is: ‘embroidered in the lower parts of the earth’ (see Ephesians 4:10).

Your eyes saw my embryo, And my days, all of them were written upon Your scroll; The days were formed when there was not one of them. verse 16

Speaking about pre-existence, when the Messiah was still an embryo, all the days that were, as yet, to be formed, were already written up in God’s book. The whole script, from day to day, was already laid out! The Messiah existed before his birth … as “the word”! Psalm 139 describes how in a “formless beginning” the word became flesh”.

How precious are Your thoughts to me, O El, How plentiful are their sums: If I number them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with You. verse 17 en 18

The Messiah is overwhelmed by God’s thoughts. He has recognized Himself in God’s book and knows what is expected of Him. Elsewhere He says: “Behold I come: in the scroll it is written about me” (Ps.40:8; Heb.10:5-7). He knows: I will lie down in the grave, but … “when I awake, I am still with you!” And “do I ascend into heaven, thou art there”! ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema