“Fearfully and wonderfully made” is one of the most famous phrases from the Bible.
It’s taken from Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139 was written by King David who expressed his confidence and comfort in God’s constant presence and involvement in his life. David had a close and personal relationship with God.
So, when we say that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, we are acknowledging that God has created and designed us uniquely and beautifully.
“Fearfully made” means…
…being created with a sense of reverence and awesomeness.
“Fearfully”, when we see it in Psalm 139, doesn’t mean a fear that has to do with being afraid of something. It is better translated to “reverence”.
The root Hebrew word of “fearfully” is yārē’, which means to stand in awe of or to revere. Think of the sense of awe or astonishment when we behold a beautiful jaw-dropping sight of the mountains at sunrise, or when we hold a newborn baby.
We were created with reverence. God has created all of us in His image, designed us to be uniquely who we are, to fulfil the special purpose He has planned for each of us.
Even before we were born, God had already ordained the days of our lives and He had already written the days of our lives in His book (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:15-16).
And “wonderfully made” is…
…translated from the Hebrew word pālâ which means to be marvellous, wonderful, surpassing, extraordinary and separate by distinguishing action.
To be “wonderfully made” is to be set apart because of how amazingly created we are.
We are unique and individually made different, and we are set apart.
How are we set apart?
1. We are created in God’s image
In Genesis 1, God created all the heavens and the earth, all the animals, plants, sky, seas and human beings.
Both humans and animals have the breath of life (Genesis 1:30), but humans are set apart because we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).
So unlike animals, we have a soul and are inherently spiritual in nature.
2. Our biological design reflects God’s intelligence, wisdom and creativity
Our physical bodies are God’s awesome creations.
Consider the blood running through our veins; our eyes which help us perceive light; our heart that pumps our blood. These are all wonderful works of God.
Since we’re all so precisely and wonderfully made, how much more amazing is our Creator?
“Our bodies move, heal, perceive, see, smell, taste, touch, reproduce, bring pleasure, and even function without our express direction while we sleep. We still haven’t fully explored all the possibilities of our incredible brains, and our bodies house souls with creative, loving, sacrificing, worshipping, noble capacities that continue to amaze us.
He is a designer, creator, engineer, mathematician, artist, mechanic, biologist, and philosopher, all rolled into an eternal and ever-present Father. We, in our existence, testify to His greatness.” (Lori Stanley Roeleveld)
If you think about our bodies in a physical, biological, mechanical, functional, mental, emotional and spiritual sense, it’s mind-boggling — and our Creator loves us!
3. We simply are unique
There are no two people who are exactly the same in the world. Even identical twins are not even 100% identical. Personality traits, our thoughts, and how we look and behave… these are all unique.
God didn’t create us in a factory or mass-produce us. He crafted us individually and beautifully. No one in this world is the same as you!
If even a single strand of our DNA was changed, we would be so different from who we are now. God has created us with such meticulousness and care to make us who we are.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Though, on this side of eternity, sin may sometimes distort what God has created to be perfect, we know that we were created masterpieces because He is perfect in every way and does not make any mistakes.
God, our Creator, is not just a painter of the skies or the crafter of the earth — He is the sculptor who meticulously crafted every fibre of our muscles, every stand of our DNA. He is the author of our lives.
God loves you for who you are. We are created to be in communion with Him and to be filled with His Spirit in order to fulfill the purpose of our lives (Isaiah 43:7).
Truly, what is mankind that God is mindful of us? Praise the Lord that He knows us and has made us to be loved and in love with Him!
- What does “fearfully and wonderfully made” mean to you?
- How has that view been challenged or affirmed by this article?
- Give thanks to God for how He has designed you purposefully.