Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – The Right Image
Do you ever wake up, take a good look in the mirror, and tell yourself, “No doubt about it—I’m fearfully and wonderfully made!” Maybe when you think about the kind of person you are, words like “average” or “not bad” come to mind. Sometimes you might see yourself as above average, but there are days when a closer look reveals insecurities and flaws that you can’t ignore. If you ever consider yourself unremarkable or even ordinary, you’re not seeing yourself as a result of God’s divine creation. When we discover the truth that we are God’s unique design, it is overwhelming.
In Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image...male and female he created them.” We often mistakenly equate this with just physical appearance. God transcends all that is physical and spatial. Only Jesus Christ is the express image of God’s person, having the same nature (Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:3). God honored us by fearfully and wonderfully making the Word flesh (John 1:1, 14), clothing the Son of God with a body like ours; then clothing our fleshly body with a glory like His. But it is the soul of human beings that especially bears God’s image: mind, will, and emotion. God’s image on us consists of knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Set Apart and Unique
On a more practical level, God has fearfully and wonderfully made us, setting us apart as the brightest, clearest mirror of God’s creativity. While evolutionary biology considers us nothing more than glorified apes, scientific research confirms that humans are vastly unique on many levels. Only humans possess the ability to create and understand art and drawing.1 Man’s capacity for abstract thinking sets us apart from animals. By referring to unobservable events and changes, we are able to formulate explanations of why certain things are happening. Chimpanzees, for example, operate in a world of concrete, tangible things merely reacting to conditioning from directly observable events.2
Humans are set apart from all other creatures by the ability to make moral judgments. We can discern between what is right and wrong. No animal models exist for human pride, shame, or guilt. A dominant male chimpanzee does not punish or prevent another chimpanzee from stealing food from another.3 Humans are unique in that we recognize wrongdoing and seek redemption.
American author and biochemist, Isaac Asimov (1919–1992), stated that the human brain is “...the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe.” As you read this, your brain signals your eyes to automatically adjust the focus and aperture. Humans are not the product of chance or haphazard construction. German-American rocket scientist and aerospace engineer, Wernher van Braun (1912–1977) stated, “Certainly there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?”
In the time it took you to read any of the previous paragraphs, 1.5 gallons (6 liters) of blood passed through your heart. Did you know that the human heart’s blood vessels are not just straight-through tubes? They are helical, having a slight twist to them. This gentle corkscrewing makes your blood flow more evenly, minimizing damage from turbulent flow, especially at T-junctions. This smooth flow also encourages the productions of healthy-promoting protective substances.4 God’s attention to the human heart is extraordinary!
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – The Heart of the Matter
In many cultures, the heart is seen as the center of the emotions. The human heart is fearfully and wonderfully made, enabling us to love and experience God intimately. The heart reveals our personality—thoughts, memories, emotions, desires, will (Luke 6:45). Our hearts not only think, feel, and remember, but also choose every course of action. Our decisions should reflect integrity of heart, with a heart that is discerning. When we live an upright and honorable life, God fills our hearts with joy (Psalm 97:11).
God places a high value on our bodies as well as our hearts. We are an intricate and fleshly fine-tuning of divine wisdom, a creation “a little lower than heavenly beings” but capable of being the crown of honor and glory (Psalm 8:5). God created us to be in relationship with Him, not as slaves to our sin, but with redeemed bodies. Others have experienced, and we must expect the failing of our physical bodies. Life after death is dependent on the gracious will and act of God through Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His life for us (Romans 6:23). Christ gave His own “body,” His total person, for us, so that we can be eternally reconciled to God. So the next time you look in the mirror, see yourself as God does, “fearfully and wonderfully made”—designed to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).
1 Klein, R.G. 1992. Evolutionary Anthropology 1: 5-14. and Balter, M. 1999. “Restorers reveal 28,000-year-old artworks.” Science 283: 1835.
2 Povinelli, D.J. 1998. “Animal Self-Awareness: A Debate Can Animals Empathize?” Scientific American.
3 Shweder, R.A. 1999. “Humans Really Are Different.” Science 283: 798.
4 New Scientist 158(2134):19, May 16, 1998.
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