Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

January 20, 2008 / No. 3394

Dear radio friends,

     Our program today decries the evil of abortion.  We issue this denunciation of a horrible and gruesome evil called abortion based unashamedly upon the Word of God, the Scriptures of truth.

     The Bible teaches us very clearly that conception and birth are an act of God — the life of the unborn is the life of a person made by God.  God, then, as the author and giver of life, is the only One who can take that life.  To remove that life through abortion is, according to God’s Word, murder.  God has commanded, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13).   And that prohibition extends to conceived human life.  Whether that life is embryonic, fetal, or viable outside the womb, it is a person formed by God.

     We read in Job 31:15, “Did not he that made me in the womb make him?  And did not one fashion us in the womb?”  God made me in the womb.  The life within her that is with child is, from conception onward, the life of a human person.  Concerning that life, it is the right of God the Maker to give it and to take it.  It is not our individual right to make this choice.  We read again in Job 1:21, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.”  Birth and death are the prerogatives of the living God.  He is the giver and He is the taker in this awesome affair of life.  We have no right to make individual choices about this matter.  Our duty is to care for what He gives us and to use the life that He has given us to His glory.

     America as a nation is committed by law and practice to a form of mass murder.  That mass murder is called abortion.  In this, America stands denounced by God’s Word.  By God’s Word?  Yes.  By the living God, the God who tells us in His Word that all men and all women stand before Him and must face Him and must stand before Him in judgment.  The God who tells all men:  “Thou shalt not kill.”

     But our message today is not only a message of denunciation of the evil of abortion, it is also a message of the cross of Jesus Christ, and, therefore, a message of hope to every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

     No matter the situation that you may find yourself in as a family, no matter the situation you may find yourself in as a pregnant young girl, a pregnant woman, or teenager, or mother, the way of escape, if you believe that this birth is something bad, is not abortion.  Abortion will involve you in something far worse than what you are experiencing today.  The way of escape in all trials of life is Jesus Christ — believing in His Word, knowing Him by faith, honoring Him, trusting Him, looking to Him, and obeying Him as both God and Lord.

     There are many arguments that are offered for abortion in the secular world.  We will not enter into those arguments.  But there are also arguments today that take on a religious tone.  For instance, we are told that when we look into the conceivable tragic human life that could come, would it not be better if we first take that life and prevent the tragedy of an unwanted life or growing up in circumstances where failure is guaranteed?  Or what if we know that there are birth defects — would it not be better to take that life?

     This is the way abortionists like to argue.  But this argument also is utterly false.  For it contradicts the biblical teaching that God loves to show His gracious power exactly through the way of trial and difficulty.  The Word of God does not say that we are blessed only if we avoid suffering and difficulty.  The Word of God teaches us that we are blessed in the way of suffering and difficulty and trial.  God teaches us in His Word to view all things, also those difficult circumstances, as a way of growing deep with God and becoming strong in faith in this present life.  God teaches us that His grace is sufficient.  And, with His grace, though we may be facing something that we think we just cannot do (and perhaps the temptation of the evil one is before us today in abortion), yet with God’s Word and with His grace, those dark trials become something glorious in our life.  That is, God works them to form in us trust and faith in Jesus Christ.  They become the way whereby God works in us a deep and strong walk with Him in faith.

     When abortionists reason that taking the life of an unborn is less evil than the difficulties that will come if we allow that person to be born, they are making themselves wiser than God, who teaches us in His Word that His grace is capable of amazing feats of strength and love and that God works through the way of suffering, especially in the lives of His children.

     But there is another argument that many would use, that perhaps we can justify abortion by taking comfort in the fact that all these little children then will go to heaven and even be given a full adult life in the resurrection.  Now there is certainly a wonderful hope to the child of God that, through death, we have a perfect assurance that we shall go to heaven.  That is a hope that the child of God can possess as he lives his life in repentance and seeking forgiveness of sins.  But it is evil to justify killing by saying that there shall be a happy outcome for the person that we kill.  This same justification of the killing of the unborn could be used to justify the killing of a one-year old, or any heaven-bound believer for that matter.  The Bible asks the question:  “Shall we sin that grace may abound” (Rom. 6:1)?   And the answer is a resounding “No!”  It is presumption to step into God’s place and try to make the assignments to heaven or to hell or to determine when the time is for heaven (or hell!).  Our duty is to obey God, not to play God.

     We will take our stand unashamedly today upon the Word of God.  We decry abortion as an evil before God, the God of vengeance and justice.  At the same time we will proclaim the cross of Jesus Christ, and the power of that grace of Jesus Christ, for every situation of life, and the great hope that we have of that grace to sustain us and to be with us in every way of difficulty and sorrow.

     I said that the Bible teaches us very clearly that human life is created by God alone, and that the life within her that is with child, the life of the unborn, is the life of a human person.  We read of that, for instance, in Psalm 139:14:   “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

     The psalmist is David.  And David there is resolved to praise God for the wonder of his birth and his creation within his mother’s womb.  “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  But he is resolved in those verses to praise God for an even greater work than that of the creation of physical life.  He is praising God there for the wonder of a spiritual life, of faith in Jesus Christ.  He says, “Marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well”— from his soul, a soul that had been opened by a marvelous work of God’s grace.  Knowing, then, that God was his Creator, physically and spiritually, David was resolved that he would live in praise to God.  So everyone whose heart has been opened to God, by God, and who knows God as the marvelous God, the author of life, physical and spiritual, everyone one today who knows this God is called to praise Him for His marvelous works of birth.

     David here is piling up words to express the infinite wonder of God in the conception of a child, in human pregnancy, and in birth.  The term that he uses first of all is “marvelous.”  That refers to something that is done with skill and wisdom, something that produces amazement in you when you see it.  He uses the words, “I am fearfully made.”  That word refers to something that produces awe and reverence in your heart for God.  He uses the words “wonderfully made.”  That word refers to something that is performed in an overwhelming manner in order that it produces in us “ooh’s,” and “ah’s.”  All of this, says David, is true of God’s work in the creation of a child in the womb of its mother.  Marvelous are Thy works.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

     What takes place when a child is conceived within the womb is not something that has happened by chance.  It is not a product of a man and a woman’s fertility.  It is not simply egg and sperm uniting.  It is not simply the combination of cells in mitosis.  But it is the very marvelous wonderwork of the living God.  We read in Ecclesiastes 11:5, “Thou knowest not how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”  God does this.

     Yes, God uses a husband and a wife.  He uses that union to bring into life another soul.  He makes a living soul in the womb.  For this reason (and for many other reasons) the Bible tells us that sex is not for outside of marriage.  It is not a plaything.  It is a mysterious and a wonderful thing that God has given to marriage.  To reveal the intimacy of the love that husband and wife have in God?  Yes.  But it is also used of God, by His hand, to form a life, to form a soul, a soul that must be in existence for good or bad, either to know the sunshine of God or His eternal wrath in hell.  For the formation of a soul.

     God is the author of life.  And what God makes within the womb is not a mistake.  David says, “Marvellous are thy works.”  God has formed us.  He determined our height, our bone structure (whether that will be a heavy bone structure or petite), our looks and our faces and the color of our eyes and the color of our hair.  You look into the mirror and you say, “I don’t like….”  Don’t like what?  God has made us.  He makes us in a way that we call normal and healthy.  But David is not making any exception in this Word of God.  He does not say, “Well, some children, you could say how wonderful God has made them.  For some children we should say, ‘marvelous are thy works,’ but not for others.”  Oh, no.  Marvelous are Thy works.  All the work of God in the formation of a child within the womb of a mother is a marvelous work—whether that be Down’s Syndrome, the missing or the extra 21st chromosome, the birth defects that can now be diagnosed before birth and become another argument for abortion.

     No, no, dear ones in the Lord Jesus Christ, that is not right.  There are no exceptions to this Word of God.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well!  The work of God is marvelous.

     The work of God in pregnancy and birth means that we must see God’s detailed care.  That is what the word “marvelous” means.  It is the little things of God’s creation that reflect His infinite power and wisdom.  The Lord Jesus said that not even a hair falls from our head without God’s will.  The Bible teaches us that our breath, our breathing right now, and the beat of our heart, and the breakdown of oxygen in our lungs into energy, and all the rest, all of this is of God.  David said in verse 3 of Psalm 139, “Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”  The hand of God is the hand that keeps us in life, that forms us.  God’s hand is marvelous in its detailed care.  It is a wonder.

     God’s work in creating physical life within the womb of a woman is a marvelous work.  David says this in verses 15 and 16 of Psalm 139:   “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret… Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (incomplete); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  David said that God performed this marvelous work of bringing forth the human life in secret.  I did not see it.  You did not see it as a parent.  But God saw it each moment — on the very first day of conception, when thousands of new cells are made within the conceived life.

     Today obstetricians can tell us of all the stages of pregnancy, down to the weeks and to the days of the pregnancy and the progress of that human life.  They can explain to us how it all grows and develops.  But all the questions of how it happens and why it happens, only God knows that.

     They are all known to God.  God forms the ear and the eye.  We read in Psalm 94:9, “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?”  God makes the ear.  Perhaps you like to listen to music.  You have learned what is proper pitch and tone.  Did you know that middle C is when God makes your inner ear (composed of three bones — hammer, anvil, and stirrup) vibrate 256 times a second?

     Your eye.  In your eye are 107 million cells, some called cones — each one loaded to fire off a message to the brain when light strikes it, so that your eye, as made by God, is able to distinguish 1,000 shades of color.

     Your bones.  God has made 206 bones within your body.  Some are made soft and pliable  in the baby, and then they become hard as the baby grows.  Within the palm of the hand—the intricacy of the construction of your hand!  Did you know that on one square inch of your hand there are 3,000 sweat glands?

     The cells that are in your blood, the red and the white blood cells, these God has made.  God has made immune cells that can produce antibody cells, 2,000 in one second, to fight off infection.

     Marvelous, marvelous are God’s works; and that my soul knoweth right well!  Human life is the creation of the Almighty.  It is past finding out.

     Sometimes we walk around, as children of God, for days and we say, “Lord, Lord, show me a token of Thy power and goodness.  Lord, I’m not very happy.  Where is the Lord in my life?”  And we say, “Lord, do you care for me?  Are you there?”  Now will you listen carefully?  Marvelous are Thy works.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  In a marvelous way God has made us, and God continues to hold us by His powerful hand and infinite wisdom.  He makes us mentally, physically, psychologically.  He makes us in a way that surpasses all of our understanding.

     Mankind today babbles about computer speeds and download times, wireless or cable connection.  God gives man to do a little something.  But we read in Acts 17:26, “In him [God] we live and move and have our being.”  God directs the functioning of our bodies, the size and the shape and the skills.  God’s works are marvelous.

     David uses the word “substance”—my substance was formed.  That refers to the potentialities.  When a child is born, there are white blood cells in his body.  Some of these cells are equipped to fight specific diseases even before they come.  David says, “I am curiously wrought.”  That is, I am woven together with great skill and wisdom.  Who could put the human hand together?  Who could make the sensation of feeling and of touch and of smelling?  Back to the white blood cells.  Sometimes the white blood cells, we are told, look sluggish within the bloodstream—until an injury or an invasion of infection.  Then suddenly these cells become active.  Why?  Because God tells them to.  They act as trained commandos.  Some of them rush to the spot and stop the blood flow from going to the location.  Others localize the injury, others clean up the debris, others renew cells.  God does all these things!

     You hold your first child in your arms.  Perhaps with that birth, your first child especially, it is a moment you can never forget.  As a mother you begin to count all the little fingers.  You look at your baby.  This is a wonder of God.

     Marvelous are God’s works.  Now David, as I said, is rejoicing not only in the marvel of God, the Creator of physical life, but also in God the Creator of spiritual life.  He says, “My soul knows all these things right well.”  That is, by the grace of God David had been given a spiritual understanding of all things.  Apart from the spiritual understanding of all things, the Bible says, we are as brutes.  We do not understand anything.  That is very plain today.  Men in their vaunted wisdom deny God.  And they become foolish in all their imaginations, according to the Holy Scriptures.

     But God, by a power of grace, opens the heart of the believer so that he might see, so that he might stand and marvel at all that He has done.  And then God gives us to know even a greater wonder, a greater wonder than physical life—physical life with all of its wonders.  There is something even greater.  That wonder is re-birth.  That God, by grace, by grace alone, has viewed me, an unworthy sinner, in His eternal love and mercy and has given me, in Jesus Christ, by a power of His grace, His grace alone in my heart, to believe in Him.  Oh, then we are simply surrounded, we are flooded with the marvelous works of God.  And we say, I will praise God!  For I am fearfully and I am wonderfully made.  Marvelous, marvelous are God’s works.  And my soul knows all this so very well.

     Do you know this so very well?  Do you praise God today as did David?  Saving faith in Jesus Christ brings to us the consciousness of the forgiveness of sins and the cleansing of our conscience from all of our sins.  Saving faith gives us to know that we are made by God.  Saving faith gives us strength to live now to the glory of God.  Surrounded by such omnipotent love, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are free from the fears and from the temptations that might lure them to forsake the truth of God and to fall into the sin of abortion.

     Abortion is evil.  Repent!  Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Confess the living God who is marvelous in all of His works.

     Let us pray.

     Father, we thank Thee for Thy Word and ask for its blessing upon our hearts today.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.