Fearfully & Wonderfully MadePsalm 139
13) For you fashioned my inmost being,
You knit me together in my mothers' womb.
14) I thank you because I am awesomely made,
wonderfully; your works are wonders -
I know this very well.
15) My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth
16) Your eyes could see me as an embryo,
but in your book all my days are already written;
my days had been shaped
before any of them existed. (CJB)
Psalm 139 begins with the psalmist's heart being confronted by God's all-knowingness.... His omniscience of every moment of our lives......., how hard it is to be understood so fully by a holy God! Without the promise of a Messiah, a promised one, who was to be the Jeshua, the savior, how could man ever bring their heart to do anything but to at least try to run from God?
But the promise of a Messiah was made. A Savior was foretold!
Christ came. Jesus revealed the love of the Father to us all.
Because of that, the psalmist can come boldly and wonder at the nature of the creator who seeks to know everything about us......., knowing everything about both our hearts, minds, and limb.
I particularly love the rendering of the CJB for verse 4:
4) that before I even speak a word, ADONAI
you know all about it already......
Oh yes, He knows *all* about any given, single word......., about *each*, single word....., but also how they all fit together in our hearts.
Think about it again: He knows
a word -------
Yes, He is so familiar with each and every one of us that He knows each of our very specific inclinations (v.2).
And what else would we expect from the creator of the utter complexities of our living and breathing flesh? What else could we imagine but that He also knows more about the utter complexities of each facet of our lives than even we could possibly know......
Why is that? The psalmist knew....... because He designed every detail about us - - - first planning us, then being involved in the whole creative process (He didn't delegate that process to the angels......). Yes, He was involved in the whole creative process about each and every little detail - - - He made us - as He made us - as only He can make us......
Yes, after the fall, a part of Him grieved that He had made us (Genesis 6:6). At first, I was so horribly struck by that statement in the Bible - by the part that wanted to bring an end to the suffering and any reminder of the beloved creatures He had made who were being crushed by sin - even if it meant simply destroying us...... Without realizing it, I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I had it all wrong when I asked: What is it about me that my father grieved my even being born? How that question tormented me - but in time, I finally listened to Him - - - and then I began to realize that I had misunderstood Him yet again....
Yes, I had misunderstood, but He sent His love to me to help me understand - His love was helping me to see Him for what He is: utter and complete and perfect love - even when He, like the liberals, wanted to just bring an end to the agony, He also needed to offer salvation to His beloved creation.......
But I couldn't just jump to His being 'loving' that quickly. I had to ask a whole new question first:
The question that finally found a reasonable answer is this, "What grieved Him?"
And the answer? It was not my being created: He had already stated the fact that Adam was 'very good' and Eve was 'very good'........ And remember, nothing else rated that high of a response from God during the creation. Everything else was merely 'good.'
He also looks at the fallen creation which is me and says, "very good"!
How do I know that? Because He sent His Son to bring me back to Him.... I was worth all the trouble that Jesus went through because, not just Adam, and not just Even, but I, yes, I too, am created as 'very good' stuff!
Yes, I doubted that fact for quite a while, but Jesus' expression of ultimate love settled that in the end. No more doubts. He sees me as 'very good', and wants to walk with *me* (same way with all of us! you too!)!
So, if I am still worth dying for because of something about that 'very good' quality --- in me !!!, WHAT GRIEVED HIM?
What was there about the Fall of Man - what was there about everything having gone wrong that caused Him to grieve?
Little did I understand how that question and another question I struggled with fit together. I needed to realize both questions and see the answers of each in light of the other to begin to understand. Here is that second issue:
I also struggled with the idea in Romans that this world is here to demonstrate the utter sinfulness of sin......(Romans 7:13). Though I'm a conservative in application (that justice thing is rather strong in me) - I'm a bleeding liberal at heart (that mercy thing is growing in me all of the time, thanks to His mercy flowing through me)...... So, when several of my conservative friends have heard me admit that I'm a liberal at heart, they asked me what I mean, and I explained that, like so many liberals, I am inclined towards hating the idea of hating my enemies...... I'm inclined towards hating the idea of God's having allowed such a demonstration of the utter sinfulness of sin. I'm inclined to hate the fact that He doesn't just 'zap' everything and make it better - or better yet, I wish He'd never allowed anything to 'fall' or 'break' in the first place. THEN they hear me say that I cringe at the psalms that rejoice in overcoming the enemy. That's when they say, "Really?" And I want to ask, "You don't?" Well, I guess not.......... But they didn't convince me to join them in rejoicing in the demise of anyone...... though I do long for the demise of evil and of death and of tears and of suffering, and on and on the ode goes...!
Then finally, after struggling with all of that for some time, I finally put those two perplexities together:
a) God grieved having made us because He hated seeing what sin was doing and would do to us. It was crushing us, and He hated that and grieved that....... because He loved us more than we can imagine.
b) but for justice's sake, it was necessary to put forth a demonstration of how sinful sin is (that Romans 7:13 thing).
c) and for mercy's sake, it was necessary to put forth a demonstration of the healing, and even living power of faith.
How could God demonstrate how sinful sin is without a beautiful bloom being both crushed and utterly destroyed by sin....
Think about it. Do you remember hating to see the flower fade, or worse, to see it crushed?
I remember not only my first such grief, I also saw the falling faces of two of my sons who looked with astonishment and even disbelief at the crushed and fading flowers in clasped in their wee little hands, wondering how anything could be allowed to crush such loveliness, especially when those blooms had been filled with their well-intentioned love just bubbling up from the very bottom of their hearts, love that had wanted to bring those miraculous beauties in from the grassy hillside - bring them in to their mother who was weak and in bed - - - - just so they could share such incredible beauty with their mother, sharing the wonder of love and life together with her....
The more beautiful the flower, the more poignant the pain.
The more heartfelt the love, the more agonizing the loss.
God grieved our being crushed - He grieved our pain - and He grieved having to go through the pain of watching us go through that pain. It is all so hard - even for God (Genesis 6:6).
God created us as creatures who cannot array themselves in the splendor of the lily (at least not in our fallen state..... Matt 6:29).
Yet our innermost being has a splendor unlike anything else, for it is made in the image of God Himself........ (Genesis 9:6 - and yes, this is after the fall!!!)
So yes, God grieved and continues to grieve the crushing of the most treasured of His creations........
Nothing else could demonstrate the sinfulness of sin as fully as the act of crushing His highest work, the very culmination of His creation - a creation He will someday place a little higher than the angels........
The redeeming aspect of the story of the fall is the Redeemer Himself - who chose to lift up this crushed creation through His being crushed - sounds oxy-moronic, at first, I know....... until you consider the power of 'true-love that conquers all'........ Yes, the child in us that hates the reality of crushed flowers......., yes that child in us naturally wants to believe that true love *does* conquer all, huh? Ain't it so? The thing that catches us off guard is that we don't naturally think that the prince will 'win' by allowing the dragon to kill him! What's that all about? The prince is just supposed to kill the dragon, right?! Yes, Jesus allowed the dragon to kill Him, because His beloved had taken a poison into herself, and there was only one antidote - His death!
But His death could be undone because of the truth behind that phrase 'true-love conquers all'! Sure enough, true love overcame the grave and He rose from the grave with a new power - the authority to share the power of that 'true love' with us, so that we might both conquer sin and have eternal life with Him one day......
All we need is faith - and as we place our faith in the one that was crushed - and stand in wonder at the crushing of something greater than ourselves - who chose to be crushed for our ***'good'*** - we are healed.
Yes, He provides that faith as a gift. Some men place their gift-of-faith in themselves or something they worship (idols, money, whatever, it matters not if it's not God). But to all those who place their 'gift-of-faith' in Him - the utter beauty of the crushed one....... crushed for our sake..... to them gives He the power to become sons of God.
Yes, He provides that faith - a faith which will raise those who place their faith in Him up - yes, up higher than the angels (yes, higher than the ones who never even sinned! - another aspect of God's plan which perplexed me........, how could I accept such an honor to be placed above creatures who never, ever, ever, ever sinned? - - - - but such is the honor that He places upon both faith, and vessels of faith,,,,,,,,, good stewards of the faith which He freely bestows upon us all.........).
God demonstrated the power of His love - - - - a perfect love, and only a perfect, true-love is strong enough to be crushed to death but still have the power of life in it.
The power of His true-love contained the power of life over death, raised Him from the dead, brought Him back to life, brought Him back to us - - - - and He is offering that power to you......
His true-love has the power to bring life to your lifeless spirit and heart today.
Trust His love today.
Receive it today!
Accept the Lord - today!