2

I have a Psalm I knew for years, yet I never understood it.

It’s Psalms 33:15. This Psalm makes it sound like God fashions/crafts/designs human personality, yet the word used is “heart”.

Is there any indication linguistically that this verse justifies God’s creation of peoples personalities over just their mere human organ called “heart”?

The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.

From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. Psalm 33:13-15

3
  • "creation of peoples personalities" Well, to fashion does not merely mean to create. It's more closely related to molding or forming. The idea is that God forms the human heart into what He wants it to be; not that He creates our personalities, just like that.
    – Rajesh
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 18:24
  • @Rajesh I wouldn’t mind you presenting an answer Rajesh if you find it best. My question is also along the lines of not understanding why God would fashion peoples hearts individually IF all people are born with hearts (except those with heart defects), so I am confused why Psalms 33:15 makes it sound like God is doing something different for each persons heart. Why doesn’t it say: “He fashions hearts for everybody”? Psalms 33:15 sounds more distinct given that everybody is different, yet everybody has a physical heart in their chest.
    – Cork88
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 18:29
  • 1
    I also looked at the NET translation, it says: “He is the one who forms every human heart, and takes note of all their actions.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:15‬ ‭NET‬‬ Yet, in the NET translators note it mentions: “…”Heart” here refers to human nature, composed of intellect, emotions, and will.”
    – Cork88
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 18:34

2 Answers 2

1

It is difficult to distinguish the sense of the forming of the heart as the potter forms the clay (Isa. 29:16; 45:9) from the idea that God controls what we do. God is the creator of all, the breather of our souls (Gen. 2:7). The forming of the heart provides the best condition for the operation of each person's actions.

"15 Who is forming their hearts together, Who is attending unto all their works." (Psa. 33:15, YLT)

The second half of the verse gives the clue. God is watching what we do with what He gave us. He made us the way we should be, the way He hopes for us to be, but we choose right or wrong, and bear the consequences of our actions.

Barnes' Notes on Psa.33:15 :

"He fashioneth their hearts alike - That is, one as well as another; or, one as really as another. No one is exempt from his control, or from all that is implied in the word "fashioneth." The meaning is not that their hearts are made to "resemble" each other, or to be "like" each other, whether in goodness or in wickedness - but that all alike "are" made by him. The idea in the word "fashioneth" here is not that of "creating," in the sense that He "makes" the heart by his own power what it is, whether good or bad; but that, as he has "formed" the hearts of all people, he must see what is in the heart, or must behold all the purposes and thoughts of people. The Maker of the human heart must understand what is in it; and, therefore, He must have a clear understanding of the purposes and designs of human beings. This idea is carried out in the latter member of the sentence, "he considereth all their works," and is substantially the same as in the expression Psalm 94:9, "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?"

He considereth all their works - He understands all that they do; he marks, or attends to, all that is done by them. The purpose here is to state the universal sovereignty of God. He made all things; He presides over all things; He sees all things; He is the source of safety and protection to all." (1)

So, in a sense our personality is derived from the heart God made for each of us, but we have control over how we behave, and how we act towards others.

"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Gal. 5:22-23, KJV)

"5 And this same also -- all diligence having brought in besides, superadd in your faith the worthiness, and in the worthiness the knowledge, 6 and in the knowledge the temperance, and in the temperance the endurance, and in the endurance the piety, 7 and in the piety the brotherly kindness, and in the brotherly kindness the love;" (2 Pet. 1:5-7, YLT)

Temperance means self-restraint or self-control.

"Better [is] the slow to anger than the mighty, And the ruler over his spirit than he who is taking a city." (Prov. 16:32, YLT)

"7 for it behoveth the overseer to be blameless, as God's steward, not self-pleased, nor irascible, not given to wine, not a striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 but a lover of strangers, a lover of good men, sober-minded, righteous, kind, self-controlled," (Titus 1:7-8, YLT)

God gave each of us the tools. It is up to us how we control ourselves as to how our individual personality evolves. Do we give in to selfish lusts and sin against Him? Or do we walk after Christ, denying our selfish interests (Matt. 16:24-26)?

"25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[b] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." (1 Cor. 9:25-27, ESV)

Notes:

  1. Barnes' - Biblehub
0

Is there any indication linguistically that this verse justifies God’s creation of peoples personalities over just their mere human organ called “heart”?

In the comments you mention :

I am confused why Psalms 33:15 makes it sound like God is doing something different for each persons heart. Why doesn’t it say: “He fashions hearts for everybody”? Psalms 33:15 sounds more distinct given that everybody is different, yet everybody has a physical heart in their chest.

Of course, these verses don't mean about the physical heart; these are symbols to convey our inner being and God's intimate knowledge & sovereignty. Language is by definition or nature poetic or symbolic. Words like everybody and individually and all, mean the same thing. God creates every one uniquely indeed; no two men are the same. Everyone, even the mirror twins have minor variation in their DNA and personality. None of us are like clones, mass production items from the same mould. The bible repeatedly teaches that God creates us personally, and he knows us personally, intimately with figures like he knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), he knits each of us together in the womb with his own hands. This means even though we know our formation is a natural (not supernatural) process, he is responsible as an active conscious creator, who created man through evolution; & none of our secrets are hidden from him, these only show his love for the individuals, and his sovereignty.

Ultimately, you can trace all acts to God for his sovereignty, however, he is not responsible for the evil and suffering caused by free creatures or any disasters. He permits it with a broken heart, he doesn't intend it. Do not blame God for your psychological disorders, emotional and physical abnormalities and failings, but seek his help for peace.

Psalm 139:13 (HCSB)
For it was You who created my inward parts;[a] You knit me together in my mother's womb.

footnotes: [a] 139:13 Lit my kidneys

NASB Ecclesiastes 7:29 "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

Malachi 2:10 "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?

1
  • Nowhere in Scripture is there justification for evolution being the means by Which God created all things, including Mankind. Furthermore God is responsible for disaster and calamity: "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’" Isaiah 45:7 - "Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” Nehemiah 13:18. God created all things through Jesus Christ, not evolution, See: Ephesians 3:9.
    – Cork88
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 17:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.