While today ultrasound technology is often associated with viewing a child while still in the womb, bats and porpoises have always used ultrasound to locate their food and predators. In addition to its use in prenatal care, scientists, inventors, and doctors also use sonar and ultrasound to detect icebergs below the surface of the ocean, to determine the height of the ionosphere, and to diagnose brain tumors.
In today’s psalm, David again talks about God’s intimate knowledge of us, but this time, he says that God sees us within the womb. The passage implies that conception is not merely a biological function but the creative working of God Himself (v. 13). David credits God with creating not just our physical features but our “inmost being.” Our identity, our looks, and even our personality have been designed by God.
Here David introduces the concept of God’s omniscience. God has the ability to see further than an ultrasound. He not only saw our physical frame in the womb but was also able to look at the details of our life. Each moment of our lives are “written” in God’s book (v. 16). Some may question whether this means we have no individual choice. But really it suggests that God has foreknowledge of the choices we will make, and He has a special purpose for each of us.
God knows our successes and failures. He knows when we will rejoice and when we will weep. Because of that, this psalm conveys an intimacy with God that surpasses all other relationships. David exclaims over his feelings toward God in verses 17 and 18. God’s thoughts are “precious” to him—yet they also escape his ability to comprehend them. God is both far beyond our scope and intimately acquainted with us, His creation.