Updated: Nov 18
According to the internet, a theme song is “a musical composition that is often written specifically for radio programs, TV shows, video games or films, and is usually played during the title sequence, opening credits, closing credits, and in some instances, at some point during a program.”
Psalms are songs. While we don’t get to hear the melody to this song, we do get to read the lyrics. Of all the 150 Psalms, Psalm 139 has been described as, “the most glorious and excellent Psalm in all the Bible.”
One individual said, “This Psalm is one of the sublime compositions in the world. How came a shepherd boy to conceive so sublime a theme, and to write in so sublime a strain?”
He answers his own question, “Holy men of God speak as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Would you consider making this divinely inspired text, Psalm 139, your Life’s Theme Song? Consider opening and closing your day with thoughts of this Psalm, and in some instances, reflect on its content throughout your day.
Many pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations site portions of Psalm 139 for divine direction in their mission, but the content of Psalm 139 has individual worldview implications as well. These are two reasons why I believe Psalm 139 is worthy of being called “Life’s Theme Song.” Not only does it advocate for the life of the pre-born, but this Psalm teaches us how to look at everything in life.
The lyrics of this song include aspects of our amazing God, a humbled creation, a perfect hatred, and a constant prayer.
1. An Amazing God (vs. 1-12)
David is the human penman of Psalm 139 and he is marveling at his amazing God.
Omniscient God (See verses 1-6)
Omnipresent God (See verses 7-12)
Creator God (Notice in verse 14 the word “made”)
Another Psalm of David is Psalm 8. Consider his emphasis on God as the Creator in verses 3-6. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”
Not only that but I suggest that David believed and appreciated the truth of Genesis 1:26-27.
In verse 27 three times we see the word “created.” It’s interesting when the Bible emphasizes something, it often uses repetition. Remember in Isaiah 6 when one of the seraphim cried out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts”?
One commentator points out that “Just as God is the super superlatively holy One, so man is the super-superlative creature. That is to say that mankind is the highest of quality and degree of all of God‘s creation. The creature par-excellence.”
Genesis 2:7 uses the word “formed.” He formed or fashioned man. The word “formed” speaks to God’s love, care, attention, imagination, and dedication to His creation.
Genesis 2:7 further explains that God breathed into man’s being, “the breath of life.”
David understood and believed that. Read again Psalm 139:14 and notice the word “made.”
Do you see why this Psalm has worldview implications? Psalm 139 makes it clear that man is not the mutation of some gene from an animal. Man is not the result of random organisms forming over millions of years. Mankind is not a random collection of molecules thrown together as a result of a chance process and then cast into the great scheme of time without any meaning whatsoever. No! That’s nonsense. The Big-Bang theory is just a theory, and should not be presented as fact and is complete nonsense.
The Bible clearly reveals that God made man. That he created him. That he formed him. That he “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
This theme song for life reveals to us that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and our creator.
But, being His creation, “par-excellence,” does that puff us up in pride? No. It does the opposite for the Psalmist. Notice the humbled creation.
2. A Humbled Creation (vs 13-18)
Read verse 13 and then see the humility of verse 14, “I will praise thee.” The Psalmist is humbly praising God for “possessing his reins and covering him in his mother’s womb.” (vs 13)
He’s humbly praising God for making him “fearfully and wonderfully.”
And, even when his “substance“ (used 2 times) was still being formed in his mother’s womb, he praises God for thinking about him. (vs 15-18)
God, “I will praise thee!… marvelous are thy works.” At the beginning I asked if you would let this Psalm impact your worldview.
Do you believe that God’s work in creation is marvelous?
What about when that person has Down syndrome? What if a person is born blind? Is God’s work in creation still marvelous?
I love Jesus’ explanation in John 9. A man was born blind not because he sinned or his parents sinned, but “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3) God received glory through that blind man’s life, and God chose to heal him. The point that Jesus made is we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made,” no matter our disabilities. So, you do not abort a life that God creates!
What about a baby who is conceived in rape?
Some people take a situational ethics approach to babies conceived by rape and believe in that situation it is not sinful to abort a baby. If you believe that, let me ask you, “Is that which is conceived through rape a child or not?”
Would you murder a child outside of a womb because they were conceived by rape? Of course not! Then why murder a child inside the womb because they were conceived by rape?
How should we treat a child who reminds us of a terrible experience? With murder or mercy? What if the rapist was caught? Does our justice system allow the woman to murder the rapist in order to have emotional relief? No! Then why allow her to murder her child instead?
By the way, the majority of the 1.2 million babies aborted annually in America were not aborted because of an extreme situation, but because of the “inconvenience of parenthood.” In any situation, putting a baby up for adoption is always a better choice than abortion.
Let me tell you the John Stringfield story. I met John recently and he shared with me that his mom was raped and that he was the product of that rape. John’s mom choose to put him up for adoption instead of having him aborted. At 4 months old a couple from Pensacola adopted him and raised him. His birth mom did the right thing by choosing adoption over abortion and God has received a lot of glory through John’s life. John married a young lady named Judy and the Lord blessed the two of them and gave them a daughter named Chris, and from that, 2 grandsons and 1 great-grandson. John’s mom chose life, in spite of the tragedy of rape, and ultimately God used John’s mom’s decision for His glory.
God created John, and God formed John, and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and John is an image-bearer. John’s life is giving God glory in many ways including that he has served on the board of a local pro-life organization called Safe Harbor for 13 years and is personally involved in the Fatherhood program at Safe Harbor. (Below is a link to a video in which John shares the details of his story.)
Remember that abortion is an offense to that specific human life, but also it’s an offense to the image of God. Personhood and an eternal soul exist within humans. However, if you subscribe to a different worldview, then you believe that it’s reasonable to insert a tool or take a pill to end a pre-born baby’s life. Consider David’s attitude toward the “wicked.”
3. A Perfect Hatred (vs 19-22)
This set of verses is often skipped when a pastor preaches this text. It’s not palatable for most 21st century Christians. In spite of that, notice this idea of “perfect hatred“ in verse 22. David is not a friend to the enemies of God. He is not neutral toward them. As a matter of fact, he is indignant about them.
“Perfect hatred” is defined in Spurgeon’s notes as “a form of hate consistent with all other virtues.” In other words, it’s a virtuous hate or a holy hate.
Remember how David pointed out several attributes of God’s character including that He is omniscient? When it comes to the wickedness of David’s day and our day, God knows.
That attribute comes into play here. Verse 19 says, “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked O God.” In other words, “God you know what the wicked are doing. Certainly you will deal with them.”
David realizes that God knows and that God is holy and His judgments are right. David is certainly grieved (vs 21) over the actions of the wicked, but he knows God will address their wickedness. At no point in the text is David saying he’s going to raise up sword or violence against the wicked. Instead, he is trusting in God’s perfect justice, offer of forgiveness, and love for sinners. As Spurgeon said, perfect hatred is “consistent with all other virtues.”
And remember, these verses (19-22), showcase the Psalmist David as a sinner indignant at the wickedness of other sinners. The difference is David is a forgiven sinner. Read Psalm 51.
David wants the wicked to cease from their wickedness and enjoy God’s forgiveness as he has. He wants them to know the fellowship with God that he knows. David wants the wicked to adopt his worldview and look at life as precious. David wants the wicked of his day to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
4. A Constant Prayer (vs 23-24)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
David starts this prayer with a request for God to “search” him while having already admitted that God has “searched” him in verse 1. It’s as if he’s saying “God, you have searched me, and I need you to continue to search me.” This is why it’s a “constant prayer.”
Specifically David invites God to “know his heart,” and to “know his thoughts,” and to search him in this way. We see again the attribute of God’s omniscient nature in this Psalm. It’s as if he’s saying, “God you know everything. (vs 1-6) You know the wickedness of the world. (vs 19-22) And God, you know my heart. See if there be any wicked way in me. There had been before, and I don’t want there to be again. Instead, please God, ‘lead me in the way everlasting’”. I suggest that this was a constant prayer for David and it should be for every believer.
Everyone approaches life with various presuppositions. Everyone looks at life through a certain lens. Postmodernism, Pantheism, Naturalism, and Theism are among the most popular worldviews.
However, years ago I heard a college professor summarize all the worldview options into just two. He said that there is the "autonomous worldview" which says "leave God's revelation out of the discussion,” and there is the "servant worldview" which says "all reality is pre-interpreted through the Master's written revelation; the Bible."
The autonomous worldview is rooted in rebellion against God and shows itself in many different forms, while the servant worldview is rooted in humility toward God and is clearly the worldview to which David subscribed.
Explanations of life have incredible implications, therefore, worldview really matters. Worldview determines how we raise our children, how we treat our spouse, how we spend our money, etc.
We must assign biblical significance to all of life's experiences if we hope to be pleasing to Him and be in His will.
One worldview allows you to live any way you want, even abort a baby, and the other reminds you that God knows, God is present, and that God is your Creator.
Will you let Psalm 139 be the theme song for your life? As we’ve studied, it’s lyrics include an explanation of an amazing God, a humbled creation, a perfect hatred, and a constant prayer.
The above article was written by James C. Johnson and is a sermon he recently preached. James C. Johnson is the Pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email him at email@example.com.
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