There was once was an old-time Bible-believing preacher on whom some boys played a trick. It seems they took some glue and glued some of the pages of his Bible together.
Well, the following Sunday, the old preacher took out his Bible to preach, and turned to the story of Noah. He then commenced to read about Noah’s wife: “And in those days, Noah was one hundred forty seven years old and he took unto himself a wife, and she…”
He then turned the page and read on, “… and she was forty cubits broad, seventy cubits high, and a hundred cubits long, made out of gopher wood, and daubed on the inside and out with pitch.”
Well, the old Bible-believing preacher scratched his head for a minute, and then said, “Brothers and sisters, that’s the first time I ever saw that in the Word of God. But, if the Bible says it, I believe it!”
Then he added, “That just goes to prove that other marvelous text in the Bible, which says we are all wonderfully and fearfully made.”*
Both Dr. Criswell and that old Preacher were right! Each and every one of us is indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”! Psalm 139 affirms this great truth. Verses 13-18, in particular, give us the origin of this phrase:
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.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand - when I awake, I am still with you.
The third Sunday in January is the day on which a great many in our country annually recognize and celebrate the sanctity (or sacredness) of human life. Why not take time this week to reflect on the great many blessings that you enjoy as a result of having been born a human being?
For, as such, according to the Bible, you have been created in the image of Almighty God. You have been endowed with a body, soul, and spirit. You have been redeemed by the precious blood of God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. You have been showered with mercy, guidance, and strength for the living of each new day. And, most exciting of all, you have been promised a home for all eternity in that most wonderful of places called Heaven!
By the way, if you are interested in knowing more about just how fearfully and wonderfully you have been made, please check out the following book by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1980). The back cover says:
Mysterious, intricate, pulsing with energy... The human body is an endlessly fascinating repository of secrets. The miracle of the skin, the strength and structure of the bones, the dynamic balance of the muscles . . .your physical being is knit according to a pattern of incredible purpose.
In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, renowned surgeon Dr. Paul Brand and best-selling writer Philip Yancey explore the human body. Join them in a remarkable journey through inner space - a spellbinding world of cells, systems, and chemistry that bears the impress of a still deeper, unseen reality.
This "Gold Medallion Award" winning book uncovers eternal statements that God has made in the very structure of our bodies, presenting captivating insights into the Body of Christ.
This classic work was so successful that it inspired a sequel titled In His Image (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1984). The back cover of this second volume states:
The Voice of God is a Heartbeat Away… In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand revealed how God's voice is encoded in the very structure of our bodies. In His Image takes up where its predecessor left off, beckoning us once again inward and onward to fresh exploration and discovery.
Yancey and Brand show how accurately and intricately the human body portrays the Body of Christ. In five sections - Image, Blood, Head, Spirit, and Pain - the acclaimed surgeon and
the award-winning writer unlock the remarkable, living lessons contained in our physical makeup.
This "Gold Medallion Award" winning book will open your eyes to the complex miracle of the human body, and the even more compelling spiritual truths that it reflects.
Both of these works are very informative. More importantly, they are inspirational, reminding us of the awesome creative power of our God. They are well worth anyone’s time to read.
*SOURCE: An entire website has been devoted to preserving the life, ministry, and legacy of W.A. Criswell. This particular sermon is found there: http://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1998/the-old-time-religion/.