“Why am I like this?” is one of the deepest and biggest life questions we can ask. We look at ourselves and ask, “Why is my body like this? Why is my character like this? Why is my mind like this? Why are my emotions like this? Why am I weak in these areas and strong in others?” Psalm 139 traces us all and all of us to the Divine Designer. By seeing God the Father as our designer and creator we will grow in self-understanding, self-acceptance, and worship.
The Bible presents God’s Fatherhood in four ways:
- Personal: He is the eternal Father of his eternal Son
- Creational: He is the Father of each and every member of the human race.
- National: He fathered the nation of Israel
- Salvation: He regenerates and adopts his elect as his children.
It’s the second that we are looking at today, God’s creational Fatherhood, his Fathering of every person as their Creator.
“So, how is God my Father as the Creator?”
1. GOD IS MY DESIGNER
God designed all humanity
The creation accounts reveal a Creator who was working according to a plan. He didn’t just turn up one day and say, “I wonder what we’ll make today” (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:18-25). No, this was the result of time, thought, imagination, invention, and creativity. What he came up with as the climax of his creative work was human beings in his image, male and female. They had some similar features and characteristics with the other creatures, but they also had unique characteristics among all the creatures, setting humanity as the head of all the creation (Psalm 8). God not only designed the end result but the creative process (dirt + divine breath for the man, rib + divine breath for the woman).
God designed my humanity
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (16).
Just as God planned ahead when designing humanity, he planned ahead when he designed our humanity. Again, he didn’t just decide one day to make us and then scribbled a quick design. Long before there was even an atom of us in existence, God had a specific design for each one of us. Different bodies, different souls, different emotions, different health, different personalities, different ways of thinking, different strengths and weaknesses, different gifts and talents, and so on. God designed Adam out of dust, Eve out of Adams rib, and makes our bodies out of two other human beings. He designed our bodies by deciding how cells from both our mother would come together in a unique way for each of their children. He also designed a unique soul suited to our bodies and his purposes.
CHANGING OUR STORIES WITH GOD’S STORY
Reflect on your design. Take time to think about how God designed humanity in general and you in particular. Note how he designed each part of you, body and soul. Think about his thoughts that carefully planned you. You are special. You are unique. You are one of a kind in a wonderful way.
Praise your Designer. He put a lot of thought and skill into you. No one is an accident and nothing about them is an accident. Everyone is a deliberate act of divine creation and providence that flows out of a well-thought-out plan.
PRAISE THE DESIGNER WHO
DESIGNED YOU TO PRAISE HIM
“God designed me, but who made me?”
God did both.
2. GOD MADE ME
He breathed life into all humanity
As Father, God gave life to the first human beings, Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:26-31). In the first creation account, the power of God’s life-creating Word is emphasized (Gen. 1:26-31). In the second creation account, the power of his life-creating breath is the focus (Gen. 2:7). There was no human life until God spoke and breathed life into the dust (Adam) and the rib (Eve). With that Word and that breath, God brought perfect undying humanity into being out of the dust and the rib. In doing so, he also breathed life into the human reproductive systems that he designed resulting in all subsequent human beings.
He breathed life into my humanity.
God gave us life by bringing together a male reproductive cell and a female reproductive cell, but if that was all, there would have been no life. What gave life, human life, was God breathing his breath of life into these cells, at the exact moment they connected. That gave physical life and changed two cells into a human being.
CHANGING OUR STORIES WITH GOD’S STORY
Reflect on your life. You would not be here unless God decided to give you life, to bring together cells from your parents and breathe into them. What a gift! What a grace! What a God!
Praise your Maker. God supervised and managed when and how initial cells came together. He organized which genes would be transferred in which proportions. Neither luck, nor chance, nor fortune, played any rule. God our Maker is present at the creation of every human being.
YOUR MAKER MADE YOU
TO MAKE PRAISE
“Did God then step back and let “nature” take its course.”
No, he was supernaturally involved throughout.
3. GOD SHAPED ME
God shaped all humanity
God shaped Adam and Eve, he formed them so that they were exactly what he originally designed. Since that first creation, God has been creating boys and girls so uniquely that no two of the billions he has designed and given life to are the same. He shaped and still shapes each baby in the womb so that they will fulfill his purpose for them in the world. He designed DNA that contains the code for when each cell should multiply, what it should do, and what it should be.
God shaped my humanity
This is what stuns the Psalmist most in this Psalm. It’s not God’s generic shaping and forming of all, but his very specific shaping of himself. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them” (13, 15-16). There was nothing accidental in this process, as God took the two cells and started multiplying them in such a way that his design was perfectly fulfilled. He was the potter, we were the clay (Isa. 64:8).
CHANGING OUR STORIES WITH GOD’S STORY
Reflect on your shape. Because of sin bringing a curse on the whole creation, sin enters the creative process now Gen. 3:16). That means we are not perfect in any part of us. God could create us perfect but his curse means he permits his curse on sin to curse the creative process. We trace all miscarriages, disabilities, disease, weakness to sin’s curse. God remains sovereign over the whole process but without becoming imperfect himself (Ex. 4:11).
Submit to your shape. There’s a divine reason for every genetic disorder, every weakness, every malfunctioning or missing part, every mental or emotional illness. When we are tempted to rebel against our Designer, Maker, and Shaper, we should open Psalm 139 and bow down in submission and even worship, as David did.
Encourage the shape. Fathers cannot be like God in the exact same way. We cannot design our children. We cannot give life to our children, though we do contribute what God gave life to in the womb. We cannot shape our children in the womb, but once they are born, God asks us to contribute to their shaping, their nurture, their flourishing, by nurturing their relationship with their Creator and discovering the purpose he has for them.
IS NOT NOTHING
A NEW CHAPTER
- Jesus: The Creator became a Creature. God joined him with Mary’s egg and by the power of the Holy Spirit gave him a perfect humanity and an experience of living as a creature.
- Gospel: God does the same sovereign and gracious work in the re-creation of our souls. Regeneration is even more powerful than our original generation.
- Identity: Get your identity from your Maker not feelings. No creation creates confusion.
- Abortion: “My body, my choice!” That little body in the womb is God’s. It doesn’t belong to anyone, but to him, and he alone has the right to give or take life.
- Disability: Our whole humanity has been affected by sin. In some it’s just more obvious than others (John 9:1-3). ALL of us were made with a unique mission to glorify God.
- Mental Illness: So many mental illnesses, especially eating disorders, stem from self-loathing, dissatisfaction with who we are and how we were made. Here is mental health.
- Love: See everyone as a special creation of our Father, made uniquely, and in his image.
- Prayer: Father, you carefully created us to be your dependent and submissive creatures. Help us to love you, ourselves, and others by embracing our identity as your creatures.
1. When and why do you ask this question: “Why am I like this?”
2. How does being a creature affect accountability to our Creator?
3. What can you learn about regeneration from our creation?
4. How do these truths influence your identity?
5. How will this change the way you view others, especially your enemies/opponents?
6. Parents, how can you help your children find their design and flourish in it?