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June 24 – God who hems us in an knits us together

“You hem me in, behind and before…You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:5a & 13 

Scripture reading: Psalm 139:1-24

Two striking images of God the Father stand out in this Psalm. These are two particularly intimate images of the LORD: He hems me in and He knitted me together. While teaching this passage in a Bible study in prison, one man noted the expression “to hem in” eluded him. I thought about it for a moment and asked, “Have you ever had pants that were too long for you?” He nodded. “To hem the pants is to fold the edge back over itself and sew it so the pants will be the appropriate length. That fold is the hem—and the picture is of God folding us close to Himself and keeping us there.” The LORD our God surrounds us with His goodness. It is like He sews us close to Himself so that we will not stray from Him.

It is silly to think of the Father with knitting needles and a string of DNA, clattering those needles together to form His people. Yet, the image of a knitter making a sweater or a pair of socks, is something that teaches the believers about the intimacy of God’s workmanship. He knows the purposes for which He makes us. He knows how He put us together. He knows what is good for us; what will unravel us, and He hems us so that we do not fray and become useless. This nearness of God is not based on our feelings, or our sense of His presence or absence. He is near. Trust the Word of God on this.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that your mind and heart would own the promise of God that He is near; thank Him for His nearness; pray by name for friends, co-workers and family members who do not yet know God as near and loving, so that they too will rejoice in God as Saviour and Lord.

Rev. Richard Vander Vaart served as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America for over twenty years, before joining the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is now serving as the Atlantic Region prison-visiting pastor working with Redemption Prison Ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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