Monday, April 16, 2007


vam Sov ghaH beyond jIH. It's lofty. jIH ta'laHbe' attain 'oH.
This knowledge is beyond me. It's lofty. I can't attain it. Psalm 139:6

(click for podcast version)

The writer of Psalm 139 concludes the introduction to his ode to God's complete knowledge of our lives with this verse - one that can be summed up with one word-


Wow.... what is there that makes you say that one-word explosion of wonder and amazement?

After describing how thoroughly God surrounds and knows him, rather than express fear or alarm, this verse exclaims in wonder:

vam Sov ghaH beyond jIH. / This knowledge is beyond me.

using a rare Hebrew word (only twice in the Bible) meaning secret, wonderful. It is actually a repeated Hebrew word: palee-palee, derived from a more common palaw, which means to be separated, removed, apart. This knowledge of God's overwatching care is - as the WEB puts it "beyond me" - we just can't grasp it. It's one of those things that might make us say "wow!"

Again, I'll ask, what makes you say "wow?" Or, however you might express amazement - if you were a Klingon you might say majQa'! A Mandalorian (like Boba Fett) would say kandosii'lar. Whatever word you use - what draws it out of you?

It may be the beauty of nature with stars wheeling overhead, the butterfly's wings, or it could be the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Then again, you might be struck by the marvels of human accomplishment, in works from the great Pyramids to the Space Shuttle.

Certainly all those marvels are "wow"-inspiring. They're a start, at least.

Often, I turn as well to the Scriptures, and delight and exclaim over God's mysteries: His truth as the Bible brings it to us.

What can compare to the detail in God's Word - the incredible coming together of prophecy and the description of creation? See Peter Stoner's classic book, Science Speaks for details of how intricately the Bible witnesses to these things (see Furthermore, modern cosmology as it considers concepts like the anthropic principle, point to our Universe being a place just MADE to be inhabited (see Wow.

vam Sov ghaH beyond jIH. It's lofty. jIH ta'laHbe' attain 'oH.
This knowledge is beyond me. It's lofty. I can't attain it. Psalm 139:6

Of course - it isn't enough to say "wow."

It is a start, of course. It is a way God arrests our attention, that is makes us ATTEND to him - to give heed to his plans, his hopes, his deep and abiding love for us.

Paul says it well in his letter to the Ephesians:

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. (Eph 3:14,15 NLT)

I pray that we all are struck by those "wow" moments - and go beyond them in prayer to the living, loving God who will never cease to amaze us.

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