Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 139:14

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I will praise thee - I will not merely admire what is so great and marvelous, but I will acknowledge thee in a public manner as wise, and holy, and good: as entitled to honor, love, and gratitude.

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made - The word rendered “fearfully” means properly “fearful things;” things suited to produce fear or reverence. The word rendered “wonderfully made” means properly to distinguish; to separate. The literal translation of this - as near as can be given - would be, “I am distinguished by fearful things;” that is, by things in my creation which are suited to inspire awe. I am distinguished among thy works by things which tend to exalt my ideas of God, and to fill my soul with reverent and devout feelings. The idea is, that he was “distinguished” among the works of creation, or so “separated” from other things in his endowments as to work in the mind a sense of awe. He was made different from inanimate objects, and from the brute creation; he was “so” made, in the entire structure of his frame, as to fill the mind with wonder. The more anyone contemplates his own bodily formation, and becomes acquainted with the anatomy of the human frame, and the more he understands of his mental organization, the more he will see the force and propriety of the language used by the psalmist.

Marvellous are thy works - Fitted are they to excite wonder and admiration. The particular reference here is to his own formation; but the same remark may be made of the works of God in general.

And that my soul knoweth right well - Margin, as in Hebrew, “greatly.” I am fully convinced of it. I am deeply impressed by it. We can see clearly that the works of God are “wonderful,” even if we can understand nothing else about them.

Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 17

7. God is as truly the author of physical laws as He is author of the moral law. His law is written with His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every faculty, which has been entrusted to man.—Christ's Object Lessons, 347, 348, 1900 CD 17.1

8. The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord's wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God's law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful.—Manuscript 3, 1897 CD 17.2

[Sin of taking a course which needlessly expends vitality or beclouds the brain—194] CD 17.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 20

14. Health is a treasure. Of all temporal possessions it is the most precious. Wealth, learning, and honor are dearly purchased at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these can secure happiness, if health is lacking. It is a terrible sin to abuse the health that God has given us; such abuses enfeeble us for life, and make us losers, even if we gain by such means any amount of education.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 150, 1890 CD 20.1

[Examples of Suffering Due to Disregarding Light—119, 204] CD 20.2

15. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; if His laws were never violated, if all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be the result.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 151, 1890 CD 20.3

16. A careful conformity to the laws God has implanted in our being, will ensure health, and there will not be a breaking down of the constitution.—Health Reformer, August, 1866. CD 20.4

[Health Reform the Lord's Means of Lessening Suffering—788] CD 20.5

17. In the ancient Jewish service it was required that every sacrifice should be without blemish. In the text we are told to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We are God's workmanship. The psalmist, meditating upon the marvelous work of God in the human frame, exclaimed, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” There are many who are educated in the sciences and are familiar with the theory of the truth, who do not understand the laws that govern their own being. God has given us faculties and talents; and it is our duty, as His sons and daughters, to make the best use of them. If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits or indulgence of perverted appetite, it will be impossible for us to honor God as we should.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 15, 1890 CD 20.6

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 38

So closely is health related to our happiness, that we cannot have the latter without the former. A practical knowledge of the science of human life is necessary in order to glorify God in our bodies. It is therefore of the highest importance that among the studies selected for childhood, physiology should occupy the first place. How few know anything about the structure and functions of their own bodies and of nature's laws! Many are drifting about without knowledge, like a ship at sea without compass or anchor; and what is more, they are not interested to learn how to keep their bodies in a healthy condition and prevent disease. CH 38.1

The indulgence of animal appetites has degraded and enslaved many. Self-denial and a restraint upon the animal appetites are necessary to elevate and establish an improved condition of health and morals, and purify corrupted society. Every violation of principle in eating and drinking blunts the perceptive faculties, making it impossible for them to appreciate or place the right value upon eternal things. It is of the greatest importance that mankind should not be ignorant in regard to the consequences of excess. Temperance in all things is necessary to health and the development and growth of a good Christian character. CH 38.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Education, 201

Let pupils be impressed with the thought that the body is a temple in which God desires to dwell, that it must be kept pure, the abiding place of high and noble thoughts. As in the study of physiology they see that they are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), they will be inspired with reverence. Instead of marring God's handiwork, they will have an ambition to make all that is possible of themselves, in order to fulfill the Creator's glorious plan. Thus they will come to regard obedience to the laws of health, not as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, but as it really is, an inestimable privilege and blessing. Ed 201.1

“Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.”

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 192

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14. HP 192.1

Said the psalmist, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God has given us faculties and powers of mind and body, which it is the duty of all to preserve in the best condition. If any weaken their powers through the indulgence of appetite, they decrease their power of influence, making themselves imperfect. Only by the expensive offering made upon the cross of Calvary can we understand the value of the human soul. We are placed on vantage ground by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, to obtain freedom from the bondage of sin which was wrought by the fall of Adam. HP 192.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 61.2

Scientific research will open to the minds of the really wise vast fields of thought and information. They will see God in His works, and will praise Him. He will be to them first and best, and the mind will be centered upon Him. Skeptics, who read the Bible for the sake of caviling, through ignorance claim to find decided contradictions between science and revelation. But man's measurement of God will never be correct. The mind unenlightened by God's Spirit will ever be in darkness in regard to His power. LHU 61.2

Read in context »
More Comments