Fearfully And Wonderfully Made. It Means More Than You Think.

We humans consider ourselves unique. This is true. We are. The origin of our uniqueness is in our DNA. We have no part in how that deoxyribonucleic acid was assembled. However, if we are willing to listen, we can know how. Scripture tells us. David wrote,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13–14).1

Some scholars of Hebrew translate “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” for “I am fearfully set apart.”

Fearfully made or set apart. Let’s think about that for a moment.

The Hebrew word for “fearfully” has at its root the word fear or reverence. I think of my relationship with the Lord God Almighty as a combination of the two. I do not fear Him in a way that resembles walking at 2:00 a.m. down a dark alley alone or in a deserted multi-level parking lot. No, I fear Him as one who will one day judge me.

 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Accompanying that is profound reverence. He is the Most High God, Creator, sovereign ruler of the universe, and our Savior who drank the cup of God’s wrath in our place. The mixture of these two kinds of fear causes me to bow the knee. David experienced that combination of fears.

Here is what he wrote:

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

It is the fear of David’s Creator that is at work in this verse. Since he is fearfully made or set apart, He is not only unique in his human giftedness, his DNA, he is set apart for what the Lord will call him to do, events which will cause David to fear His Creator and Lord.

David was minding his own business, shepherding his father’s flock, when he was summoned to leave the flock and come before the prophet Samuel. He was told he was going to become the future king of Israel. Quite a difference in position and calling was that. A difference in status. A difference in responsibility. That change brought him into conflict with a seemingly unconquerable foe, Goliath. David, in reverence to His God, did not fear this giant. Instead, he was offended by him.

“What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26).

David slew this enemy of God.

 His difference in calling resulted in his father-in-law, King Saul, hunting him like an animal and desiring his death. David, however, in reverential fear of the Lord, did not dare to lay a hand on God’s anointed.

David fell from his fear of God when his position gave him the power to commit adultery with Bathsheba and arrange the murder of her husband.

David. Fearfully and wonderfully made.

The Lord God formed you in your mother’s womb and laid plans for you long before you were born. You are not likely to be called to be a king, but you will discover His plans eventually because He will, in one way or another, make them known to you. A change in status? Responsibility? Calling? Perhaps. Will God’s creation of your individuality bring you into conflict? A certainty. Confrontation with enemies? You can be sure that your enemies and the enemies of God will make themselves known. Times when He will allow you to be tempted to not trust Him? Without doubt. In His love, these were the Lord’s intentions when he created you in your mother’s womb.

Lord, bless Your name. You are our Creator and Lord and have good, eternal plans for us. We bow the knee.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy giphy.


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