Monday, November 12, 2007

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Dr. Leo Alexander was a consultant to the Secretary of War in the Nuremberg Trials who had unusual access to many Nazi war criminals in the medical community. In 1949, He wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that, what they originally intended to be compassionate acts of mercy actually set the stage for the Holocaust. He said that, whatever proportions their crimes finally assumed, they started from small beginnings.

First, there was a subtle shift in the basic attitudes of the physicians. They started by reasoning that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived and, initially, their concerns were only to end the lives of the severely and chronically sick. They soon became comfortable with their rationalizations and gradually the sphere widened to include those who were socially unproductive. Before long, people of different ideologies and races were murdered and, finally, they justified their agenda to exterminate all non-Germans.

Either we are uniquely created and specially sanctified by God OR we are merely the results of random biological processes with no particular foreordained purpose.

What does God’s Word have to say about the SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE?
In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image." Genesis 2:7 tells us, “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
When creating animal life, God simply spoke them into existence. But the creation of man was special. God personally molded Adam and made him in His own image with the abilities to feel emotions, to make moral choices, and with the capacity for spiritual discernment.

There is another distinct difference between man and animals in that man received his life through a deliberate act of God’s inbreathing. We are created spiritual beings.
In Psalm 139, David wrote, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Because of His personal role in creation, God is the owner of our innermost parts and passions. He rules and occupies the most secret and vital part of our inner beings. Before we are even aware of Him, or anything else, God cares for us and hides us away as a precious treasure until He sees fit to bring us to the light. Before he was born, David was under the control and guardianship of God.

At the time of conception, when we are yet unknown to humans, God is at work forming us and is intimately acquainted with us. And before He even begins to put all the parts together, every essential material of our being is clearly in view of God. “The word of the Lord came to (the prophet, Jeremiah), saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jer. 1:4-5)

We know that God “formed” Adam but in David’s Psalm and here in Jeremiah’s prophecy we learn that God personally forms every person. This Biblical view of humanity should form the basis of every Christian’s attitudes regarding the sanctity of life.

God’s knowledge of us is not just an intellectual or casual awareness but is an intimate relationship. In His divine foreknowledge He specifically sets each one apart for His own special purpose and for His glory.

The Apostle Paul assures Christians that “…God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace. “ (Eph.1: 4-6)

Part of our uniqueness is the fact that God has created us with the ability to recognize Him and the capacity to know Him. This is part of God’s general revelation to all men.

In Psalm 139:14, David recognized that he was “…woven together.” Imagine an artistic weaver skillfully knitting and embroidering every thread of us together into the delicate tapestry of the human fabric. And He sees the completed picture even before it is started.

This whole process is by deliberate and specific design. Just as an architect draws out his plans, God carefully detailed every specification of our being. He knows our personalities, our gifts, our weaknesses, our infirmities and our potential long before we ever existed.

David ‘s reaction was to praise God. When we consider the skill and kindness that God employed in creating us, praise ought to be our natural response. David expressed his admiration of the fine workmanship and his reverence for the skill of the Worker in the phrase, “I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works.”

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