Human beings are not special—at least according to the London Zoo. In 2005, the zoo introduced a four-day exhibit: “Humans in Their Natural Environment.” The human “captives” were chosen through an online contest. To help visitors understand the humans, the zoo workers created a sign detailing their diet, habitat, and threats. According to the zoo’s spokesperson, the goal of the exhibit was to downplay the uniqueness of human beings. One participant in the exhibit seemed to agree. “When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds them that we’re not that special.”
What a stark contrast to what the Bible says about human beings: God “fearfully and wonderfully” made us in “his image” (Psalm 139:14; Genesis 1:26–27).
David began Psalm 139 by celebrating God’s intimate knowledge of him (vv. 1–6) and His all-encompassing presence (vv. 7–12). Like a master weaver, God not only formed the intricacies of David’s internal and external features (vv. 13–14), but He also made him a living soul, giving spiritual life and the ability to intimately relate to God. Meditating on God’s handiwork, David responded in awe, wonder, and praise (v. 14).
Human beings are special. God created us with marvelous uniqueness and the awesome ability to have an intimate relationship with Him. Like David, we can praise Him because we’re the workmanship of His loving hands.
What are some practical implications of knowing and believing you’re fearfully and wonderfully made? What are some negative consequences of not believing this?
As inspired Scripture, the Psalms require us to discern between expressions of human perspective and the God who speaks to us. For example, in the first eighteen verses of Psalm 139, the songwriter clearly reflects the wonder of our Creator. But he makes a sudden shift in verses 19–22 with his expression of violent hatred for the enemies of God. We might wonder how his hateful words compare to the words of Jesus to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43–48; Luke 6:32–36). Perhaps the songwriter’s conclusion indicates he had second thoughts and asked the Spirit of God to help him understand what was happening in his own spirit (vv. 23–24).