Psalm 139:13 (ESV) — For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
There is a lady at our church who loves to knit. Each Sunday she gets to church early and sits in the sanctuary with her knitting materials and does her magic. She is perfectly contented to sit there busily moving her hands and constructing her latest project. There isn’t always a finished product by the time the service starts, but on some Sundays, she finishes what she’s been working on. The materials under the master guidance of her hands and image in her mind come to life and take on reality. Simple parts and pieces become a whole.
Our passage today plays off this idea in explaining who we are. The psalmist in Psalm 139:13 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” The image here is of God’s craftsmanship and work in creating us individually. Yes, we know that there are physical processes that take place in the formation of embryos, but we do not understand or control how it happens. We cannot guarantee pregnancies even now in our scientifically advanced age.
The Scriptures teach that God forms us. This doesn’t mean you can examine the moment of conception under an ultrasound and somehow see the hands of God forming a human being. But the Scriptures paint the picture of God’s hands knitting us and forming us in the womb. It is God’s activity that is ultimate in the creation of humans. This means each of us are individually and uniquely created by God. Our lives are formed on purpose. Our unique DNA and chromosomes are chosen by God. Our facial features, gender, and other particular features are brought forth by divine plan.
There are so many implications for this in our lives. We are not accidents. God has not made a mistake in forming us as males or females. Our sexuality is bound by the gender restrictions that God has chosen. So many things take shape from this idea of being created by God. We are not free to make ourselves who we want to be. We are formed and knitted on purpose.
Reflection & Journal:
- What images do the words “formed” and “knitted” create in our minds about God’s activity?
- How does God being the author of our lives and bodies shape our self-identity?
- What are some practical things from our passage today that help you with following God?
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