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Psalms Lesson 12 - Designer Made

Psalms Lesson 12 - Designer Made

Series: Psalms
Ref: Psalms 139:15–18

Before sonograms, ultrasounds, 3D imaging, and years of scientific research, King David gives us an unparalleled glimpse into humanity's true womb.

 

Transcript

One of the editors of an evangelical magazine recently interviewed Peter Singer.  Dr. Singer is a philosopher of bioethics and has been called the most influential philosopher alive.

Bioethics is a field of study that is now literally saturated with an evolutionary world view and nearly devoid of any kind of ethics based upon a Judeo-Christian perspective.  Which makes it even more ironic that this philosopher is the son of Austrian Jews, yet he has openly abandoned the Old Testament revelation of a creator God.

Singer has long since raised controversy over his views – views that are now becoming more and more applauded and appreciated.  In this interview, he shows you how far one can go when abandoning special creation in favor of evolution.

He has actually gone on record – and he isn’t alone, by the way – that since we’re really nothing more than highly evolved animals, it is morally acceptable for a baby to be put to death within 30 days of its birth – completely left to the will of the parent or guardian. 

Why not . . . animals abandon their young or even kill them if they want to. 

Dr. Singer further said that doctors and parents should be allowed to kill 1-year olds that evidenced any kind of mental or physical disabilities. If that isn’t chilling enough, he also stated in this interview that killing children specifically to harvest their organs for the benefit of older, physically ill children is morally acceptable. – quote – “they are not doing anything wrong in itself.”

I agree with the journalist who later wrote, “If Peter Singer is the most influential bioethical philosopher alive, than we’re all in trouble.”

And if that isn’t strange enough, Peter Singer doesn’t just teach at Princeton, he heads up this division of bioethics at Princeton University and was awarded a few years ago the honored position as head of Princeton’s Center for Human Values.[i]

This is one of our country’s leaders and policy influencers on issues relative to sex discrimination, animal welfare, foreign aid and abortion.[ii]

Imagine someone like this in charge of a Center for Human Values – when, in reality, he has little regard for the value of human life.

Yet he gets appointed.

That’s like appointing a wolf as the leader in the hen house.  That’s like asking a hungry fox to teach chickens what their value is in life.

You can only guess what that might be.

Time Magazine named him to its list of 100 most influential people and in June 2012, he was awarded by his home country of Australia for his work in philosophy and bioethics.

What’s at the core of Singer’s philosophy that leads him to these brutal and bizarre conclusions?  He made it clear in one interview where he said – and I quote him – “We can no longer base our ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation made in the image of God and singled out from all other animals.” End quote.[iii]

That really says it all, doesn’t it?

In other words, let’s abandon the biblical declaration of origins and the concept of a caring, dedicated, creative God and His designer creation  . . . and if you do, and this professor is proof – you will led to logically conclude that humans are really animals who are presently crowding the planet; and like any other animal, if the parent wants to feed them to their siblings or abandon them in the wild – there really isn’t anything morally wrong in any of that.”

And that’s ultimately because God had nothing to do with their creation anyway.

How ironic that this perspective would come from the son of Jewish immigrants who had narrowly escaped Hitler – who himself had traveled long and deep into the dark perversions of evolutionary logic and the survival of the fittest.

We’re just animals and God had nothing to do with us.

Not so, says David, the Singer-King of Israel. 

Without apology, David writes, God had everything to do with us.  In fact, God had everything to do with everything about us!

David is singing from a different sheet of music entirely as he composes one of his most famous songs – labeled Psalm 139 – a Psalm which has arrested our attention for several weeks now.

In this Psalm David takes us – not into the delivery room to see a newborn – but into the womb – via Divine inspiration – to see the beginning of the beginning of a person’s life.

Notice how he writes in verse 13 – For you – he sings to God – formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

David pictures David at a weaver’s shuttle – choosing the thread and the colors and – and weaving away at us.

Look at verse 14.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Fearfully – that is: amazingly – fearfully and wonderfully – that is: uniquely – amazingly and uniquely made.

From your fingerprint – to the size of your nose – to the color of your hair – or the lack thereof; in fact, I’ve read somewhere that your nose never really stops growing, nor do your ears.  Bones stop growing, but cartilage doesn’t.  That’s not good news.

Why would God create our nose and ears to keep growing but our hair to stop growing?  To prove He has a sense of humor. 

But I digress!

Look at the next verse in this song.  Verse 15.  My frame was not hidden from you (referring to God), when I was being made in secret.

The Hebrew term here referring to our frame is literally referring to bony substance – or skeleton.  In other words, God was not separate from the development of our skeletal structure.

Notice further in verse 15b. intricately woven (you could translate that embroidered) in the depths of the earth.

The depths of the earth is a metaphor for the secret recesses of the womb.

God was at work embroidering you, David writes, again in beautiful metaphor.

In other words David delivers the stunning, yet amazing truth that God has had everything to do with the way you were put together – including your nose and your ears which are only going to get bigger – that’s exciting.

It also means that God wired together what would become every physical ability and every physical disability – woven into your being so that we would uniquely give Him glory and uniquely have to depend upon him for our own unique needs – and find in Him a faithful, gracious, sovereign, Lord.

  • So, centuries before sonograms would show us a beating heart of that baby at 9 weeks;
  • centuries before we could observe the division of cells so rapidly that if a pre-born baby didn’t slow down in developing at some point, by the time of birth it would weigh several million pounds.
  • centuries before we could actually see the unborn baby sucking his thumb and responding to sounds and painful stimuli;
  • centuries before medical technology would discover that a pre-born baby is emitting brain waves almost identical to adult brain waves before the baby is even 40 days old in the womb –

David says, “You, O God, were busy at work from the very moment when sperm and egg met and that cell divided.

Is it life then?  David would say, life has then begun and God is already involved.

In fact, notice verse 16.  Your eyes say 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.

The words David chose under the inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit – translated unformed substance is actually one word – a word that didn’t exist in David’s generation – but best translates his original term – a term we can now accurately translate – embryo.[iv]

Substance under formation in the womb – substance not yet perfected – but living . . . developing . . . destined.

In fact, if you are careful to connect this phrase with the preceding phrase – David is saying that God is intricately weaving our embryo.

Now obviously medical science will leave God out of the equation – as they crusade for evolution and a universe without a Creator; but they have at least caught up with David’s revelation that an embryo is developing according to an intricate pattern.

Embroidered growth.

In fact, this same term for intricately woven – your translation might read, skillfully wrought – is the same Hebrew term in Exodus where Moses referred to the sewing of curtains for the Tabernacle – curtains embroidered with angelic creatures.

David says, ‘That’s it – we are growing according to some pre-existing information – a pattern – created just for you and me.

One author wrote about this pattern.  We happen to know it as DNA.  He wrote, your body is made up of about 30 trillion cells – and each cell contains volumes of information coded on it [and by which it develops in the womb].[v]

Another author wrote, “When David wrote in Psalm 139:15 that we were embroidered as if our form were being sewn onto an intricate and beautiful pattern, he actually described the remarkable process of embyonic growth, now discovered by modern molecular biology.  The pattern in the DNA molecule is an intricate double-helical structure which serves as a template for the developing body.[vi]

Let me go even further with an article from the Scientific American article – your DNA – your personal genome – is packed with at least four million switches that reside in little bits of DNA. For years, scientists thought that many of these bits of DNA were useless. In fact, Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA’s structure, called it “junk DNA” – in other words it had no purpose.

In the early 2000s, scientists still believed that as much as 97 percent of human DNA had no apparent function.  But in September, 2012, a team of 440 scientists from 32 labs around the world made a startling discovery: as these scientists delved further than ever they discovered a complex system that controls genes. In just the past 2 years, they have determined that 80 percent of this “junk DNA” isn’t junk after all – it is active and serves a purpose in controlling how cells, organs, and other tissues actually behave.  They’ve given “junk DNA” another title – it’s now called, “hidden treasure”.[vii]

Where did this information about how you would be made and what you would become and what you’d look like and sound like and what you’d be good at and what you’d like to do and what you wouldn’t like to do and how best you could glorify your creator God and a billion other things – where did all this information about you originate that came coded to your DNA through which you were embroidered by God’s pattern and design?

Listen, I don’t sew anything . . . I could never thread a needle without losing my sanctification.  I was at the store some time ago with Marsha and she was looking at cloth and I saw these packages of dress patterns . . . there was a dress pattern open on a nearby work table . . . I looked at it and thought,

“Man, that is just way too complicated . . . that’s not for me.!”   

Well listen, can you imagine the complexity of the pattern that would become you?!

Where’d that pattern come from?

David answers that too – without having a clue about DNA – notice the next verse, verse 16 again – 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.

The information about your life and the complexity of it and even the length of it in the book of your Creator God who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

And David says, in verse 17, How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them.  18.  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.  I awake and I am still with You.

In other words, the complexity of the pattern must mean that you, O God, thought complex and detailed thoughts about me as you created the pattern for just me – and to think You thought, and still think, about me – that is precious knowledge to me.  And when I awake to my daily life – the fact that You are designing even that day – and the life to come – creates incredible security and praise and worship.

To reject this knowledge – to abandon God’s revelation of God’s design of human life – is to embrace tragedy and death and even meaninglessness in life.

There’s no better illustration of the abandonment of Psalm 139 than the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 known as Roe v. Wade which endorsed abortion.

Scripture was no longer to be weighed as credible evidence.  And consider the fact that medical science in 1973 had still not caught up with the prenatal expose of Psalm 139.

Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun argued for the woman’s right to remove fetal tissue from her own body if she chose – it was her right to privacy.

In other words, a woman had the right to remove the fetus, as one might remove an appendix or a gall bladder; it was a non-person – a non-living human being – a lump of non-sentient tissue.

However, and tragically, Justice Blackmun admitted in the majority opinion that determining when life began was – and I quote – “a difficult question to resolve” – and then he went on to argue for abortion.

A difficult question to resolve . . . we’re not sure if it’s human life or not – it could be, but we’ll never know.

One author put Blackmun’s illogical reasoning into a simple illustration: what would he do if a hunter stood before him – guilty of shooting a man to death while out hunting deer – on the side of Penney Road – they’re waiting out there – anyway, this hunter kills another man instead of a deer.  And the hunter’s argument is, “I saw movement in the bushes; I didn’t know if it was a human being or a deer, and even though I was unable to resolve the difficult question, I pulled the trigger anyway.”[viii]

Any judge would argue back, “Shouldn’t you have waited until you were sure?  Shouldn’t you have gone the extra mile to protect the possibility of it being a person, before you pulled the trigger?”

The truth is, even without David’s description in Psalm 139, what we have learned in the last 30 years about life in the womb from medical science alone should put every abortionist out of business and reverse the Supreme Court decision and change every mother and father’s mind. 

We now know it is a thinking, feeling, developing human being, worthy of extra precaution and protection.

And that’s exactly what happened to Bernard Nathanson.  When science caught up to scripture – it changed his life.

Dr. Nathanson, after abortion was legalized in 1973, became the director at the Center for Reproductive Health, which he claimed was “the largest abortion clinic in the Western world.”

Nathanson said, “I knew every facet of abortion. I helped nurture the creature in its infancy by feeding it great amounts of blood and money.”

But in 1974, in an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Nathanson expressed his growing uneasiness with abortion. He wrote: “I am deeply troubled by my own increasing uncertainty that I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths. There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists from the very onset of pregnancy.” His uncertainty only intensified with the invention of ultrasound technology and the ability to literally see the baby in the womb. [And that did it] 

Nathanson said in an interview – and I quote –  
For the first time we could really see the human fetus, measure it, observe it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it . . . I changed my mind because this new scientific data . . . persuaded me that we could not indiscriminately continue to slaughter what was [now] demonstrably a human being.”

Did you notice the change in vocabulary?  He went from calling it a human fetus to a human being.

The journalist interviewing him said, “This insight about the humanity of the unborn child had nothing to do with religion or the Bible.  As a matter of fact, at the time he made these comments, he considered himself a Jewish atheist.  But he stopped performing abortions and later went on to crusade for pro-life movements [because of what he’d seen inside the womb from the earliest weeks.]

Shortly before his death at the age of 84, this Jewish atheist became a Christian and when asked why he converted to the religion of Christianity, he said, “Because no other religion [offers] forgiveness.”[ix]

Forgiveness.  And that’s true for you, if you’ve aborted a baby – you were educated that it was just a fetus.

Forgiveness: forgiveness always follows repentance, confession, of any sin – of any crime – of any misdeed – the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s son, cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7)

By the way, we know now . . . it isn’t just a fetus.

The term fetus, is defined as: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind.

You can use the term fetus for any animal you like.

You are not carrying in your womb simply one more animal – a fetus – you are carrying a baby – a human being who is fully alive.

Designed by a Creator God.

Let me close with a paraphrase of these verses – I found them in a commentary on the Psalms that I’ve enjoyed studying:

For You, God, and none other, originated my vital organs.  You knitted me together in the womb of my mother; my skeleton and bones were not hidden from You when I was made in that concealed place of protection, when my veins and arteries were skillfully embroidered together . . . like fine needlepoint.  Your eyes watched over me when I was just an embryo; and in Your book the days I should experience were all described and recorded –the kind of days that would shape me into the person You want me to be – even before I had been born.  How priceless and mighty and vast and numerous are Your thoughts of me, O God.  Should I attempt to count them, they would outnumber the sand on the seashore.[x] 

And Your plan isn’t limited just to this life; Your plan for me includes the life to come – my life and what it will become throughout all of eternity; that also has been already planned – by You – for me.

No wonder David can lead us in this song into deeper worship of our omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God.


[i] Adapted from theosophical.wordpress.com & biography.com/people/peter-singer-39994

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Erwin Lutzer, Twelve Myths Americans Believe (Moody Press, 1993), p. 104

[iv] Henry M. Morris, Treasures in the Psalms (Master Books, 2000), p. 223

[v] Lutzer, p. 108

[vi] Adapted from Morris, p. 223

[vii] Gina Kolata, "Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From 'Junk,' Play Crucial Role," The New York Times (9-5-12); Stephen S. Hall, "Hidden Treasures in Junk DNA," Scientific American (9-18-12)

[viii] Lutzer, p. 111

[ix] William Grimes, “B.N. Nathanson, 84, Dies; Changed Sides on Abortion,” The New York Times (2-22-11); John Ensor & Scott Klusendorf, Stand for Life (Hendricksen, 2012), pp. 13-14

[x] Charles R. Swindoll, Living Beyond the Daily Grind: Book II (Word Publishing, 1988), p. 373

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