What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)?

What Can We Learn from Psalm 139:14? What is the fearfully and wonderfully meaning? What does this reveal about God and us, His creation? If you want to know the amazing answer, read on!

If you are not familiar with Psalm 139:14, you would surely recognize it once I tell you what it says. Psalm 139:14 is among the most quoted verses in the Bible because of how eloquently and beautifully it is written by King David.

We read in the New King James Version:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

This is how Psalm 139:14 The Message renders it:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

Now that you know what Psalm 139:14 says, let’s dive in and start learning its beautiful lessons.

Fearfully and wonderfully made

To start our study of this inspiring verse, let us take a look at what it means for us to be fearfully and wonderfully made.

One of the best ways to do this is to check their Hebrew words.

Fearfully comes from the Hebrew word, “yare.” It basically means to morally fear and revere.

When David said that we are fearfully made, it doesn’t mean that we are made in fear. The Hebrew word yare, when used in terms of praising God, means to stand in awe (Vine’s Dictionary). This implies that we are fearfully made and thus, our Creator deserves honor, respect, and reverence.

On the other hand, wonderfully comes from the Hebrew word, “palah.” It means to distinguish, separate and marvel and make wonderfully.

Wonderfully made means that you are made with great wonders. The very thought of our existence should make us realize how wonderful life is and how awe-inspiring our body is.

I have read one quote one time and it goes like this:

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”

I agree. A lot of people look for wonders far and wide, but basically, forget how wonderfully made their bodies are.

Every one of us is made fearfully and wonderfully and this gives us an idea that we are truly special in the sight of God. I hope you don’t forget that fact!

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How wonderful is the human body anyway?

When David mentioned that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, he hasn’t seen the best of what our body can do yet! When you read Psalm 134 13 14 devotional, it would be nice to bear in mind the mind-blowing facts mentioned below.

Today, we have modern science and technology to investigate deep down the human anatomy, biology, and physiology. With the right tools, we are able to get a deeper understanding of how our human body works and in turn, understand better what David mean when he said, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Here are a few facts about the human body you should know about to really understand what David was talking about.

  1. A single fertilized egg upon human conception is capable of forming cells, tissues, organs, and a complete biological system.
  2. The human ears can hear in the frequency of 1,000 to 50,000 hertz.
  3. Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.
  4. Scientists concluded that the average human body contains approximately 37.2 trillion cells!
  5. If you took all the blood vessels out of an average adult and laid them out in one line, the line would stretch closer to 100,000 miles long. This means that your blood vessels can be wrapped around the earth for about four times!
  6. Every second, more than 100,000 chemical reactions occur in the brain. The brain can even generate about 20 watts of electricity when awake.
  7. The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  8. The Human brain is considered to be the most powerful computer which has the processing speed of 3000+ Ghz. To give you a perspective on how fast that is, consider the today’s fastest mobile phone’s processors, which only have 1.8 to 2.2 Ghz.
  9. On average, your heart beats about 115,000 times in one day or 42 million times in a year or 3 billion times in an average lifetime.
  10. Your DNA can stretch from the earth to the sun for about 600 times!
  11. You actually see with your brain and not your eyes. It is your brain that interprets what your eye is seeing and corrects images simultaneously. According to one estimate, your brain-eye coordination performs about 10 billion calculations per second to help you see. (This does not include the miracle of the sense of hearing, smelling, and tasting. All of these processes demand a great level of complexity for you to translate sounds, odor, and taste into something you understand.)
  12. Have you ever wondered how your body compensates with external and internal demands? Our Creator is a Master Designer. Your heartbeat gets faster when you need more oxygen. You sweat when you need to cool down your body. You get a fever when your body fights off infection. You shed tears to get rid of irritants in your eyes and a lot more!
  13. You have more than 200 bones. Each one of them is masterfully designed and shaped according to their function. They are intricately connected to each other with lubricants and cushion between them. Even modern science struggles to replicate this anatomical structure of our body.
  14. Do you know that the stomach comes with 35 million glands that secrete digestive juices? To avoid digesting itself, the stomach ensures that it only secretes the right amount of juices and every three days, it sheds a new lining.
  15. Your lungs allow you to breathe in and breathe out for about 12-20 times per minute. In just a day, you breathe in about 11,000 liters of air.

These are just some of the amazing facts about the human body and there are a lot of them that I don’t have time to mention here. This should give you an idea of what it really means for you to be fearfully and wonderfully made!

Can you now see why God inspired King David to say that we are fearfully and wonderfully made?

Upon meditating on the complexity of the human body, Bill Gates, said this:

“The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.”

Final words

God inspired King David to write the beautiful words and revelation in Psalm 139:14. In this verse, God revealed that indeed, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. In us lies the greatest potential to become future children of God in His coming Kingdom.

May we appreciate more the life that we have and never forget the purpose of our very existence.

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