Fearfully and wonderfully made…


Psalm 139: 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 

This is such an intimate portrait of God creating people. It’s done with care, one piece at a time. I am particularly drawn to the words in v.14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.

The Hebrew word translated here as “fearfully” means to anticipate evil. I’m not sure if I have this right, but it may refer to the likelihood that people will rebel against God in their lifetimes. But then there is the Hebrew word translated as “wonderfully” which means to be set apart. It’s a similar idea to the word “consecrate” which means to be set apart for a holy purpose. We consecrate bread and wine for the purpose of holy communion. The idea in this psalm is that people are created to fulfill God’s purposes.

It’s an interesting tension isn’t it? People are created with the potential to both fulfill the purposes of God on earth – and to rebel against God. In the same lifetime. Sounds pretty on-target to me. What do you think?

Lord we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I pray this morning that we would reflect much more of the latter than the former. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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