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The Lord’s Mysteries of Life

Written by Theodore Barthels | January, 2018
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Post Categories Devotions,Pro Life


Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 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, I know that full well.  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.  (Psalm 139:6, 13-16 NIV)

Mankind is presumptuous. We are proud. We declare our wisdom as superior to all other wisdom, and if we cannot understand something, then we will do what we will do. And so it is with the issues of life. We behave as if we are the masters of our own fate and determine the outcome of all life, and as if there is no other authority or might or dominion over man in this world. 

In this Psalm, David confesses the opposite to be true, especially with the issues of life. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (verse 6) This is the wisdom that comes from God which we also should recognize as being too wonderful for us, too lofty for us to attain, as we consider what David by inspiration reveals concerning the mysteries of life.

First of all, David acknowledged the wonder of God’s hand in his creation. Yes, David was formed in his mother’s womb in a way that we have come to accept as natural, but it is actually so much more than nature. How we were “knit together” by the hand of God within our mother’s wombs as we were given life is a wonder of God. We, too, are led to confess with David that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (verse 14) There is design to our being that comes from the Master Designer. David knew and understood that he was born from his mother, but he also knew by faith that he was a work of God.

The implications this truth has for the conduct of our lives and our attitude toward human life are immense. God made us with all the gifts and abilities we possess so that we might serve Him and our neighbor according to His holy will all the days of our lives. The number of the days of our lives are in God’s hand as well. Isn’t it amazing, indeed “too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” that the Lord, when I was still unformed, had plans for my life even though I am but dust and ashes! “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (verse 16)

It is with this Spirit-given insight into the mind and heart of God that we are led to speak of the sanctity of human life. It isn’t that we simply imagine our lives are precious—they are! Life itself is the gracious will of God bestowed upon us in the wonder of His almighty power and wisdom, the wonder of His grace and love in Christ. He sees our days, every one of them, before they even come to be! Who are we to say that a life started by the power of God should not be? How can anyone declare a human life too great an inconvenience or too much of a burden? These are souls for which Christ gave His life, whose burden of sin Jesus willingly bore, souls for whom He shed His blood. Why would He do this? Only because of the greatness of His love! “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (verse 6) However, I do know this: God’s grace comes to us in this brief pilgrimage, and there is not one soul whose salvation He does not desire.

Theodore Barthels is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin, Minnesota.

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