The meaning of fearfully and wonderfully made is about God’s magnificent and creative power in making the human body. In this age of body shaming, there is so much consciousness about what others think about our bodies. Especially among women, it is a big deal. Men struggle too. Make no mistake. Whether you have too little or too much weight, it’s an issue. Too little or too much height. We are always seeing that we have too little or too much something. Knowing what Scripture says about our bodies goes a long way in taking back our confidence about this vessel that God has given to us.
Fearfully and wonderfully made scripture
What Scripture says you are beautifully and wonderfully made? This Scripture is found in Psalm 139:13-14. Here are two renditions of it.
Fearfully and wonderfully made KJV
For Thou hast possessed my reins. Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
Fearfully and wonderfully made NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139 meaning in context
Like every other, Psalm 139, is a poem to be sung. The warrior king David is said to have written Psalm 139. There is no specific situation that scholars know of that inspired David to write this Psalm. But the psalm sounds very much like David is talking to God. Like a prayer.
David goes to God with an issue that is not clear. Whatever happened, David feels that his integrity is being threatened by unkind people he describes as wicked (Read verses 19-24).
But, David knows without a doubt that he is innocent of whatever he is being accused of. And there is nobody in the universe who knows the details like God.
This is why David says in Psalm 139:1
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. (NIV)
David is trying to make his case for His innocence before God who knows all things. In doing this David is highlighting a few attributes of God.
In verses 1-6 he tells God about his omniscience. In verses 7-12, he tells God about His omnipresence. As David is prayerfully reflecting on God’s attributes, he realizes how truly powerful God is. And so in verses 13-18 he tells God how omnipotent He is.
Let’s explore verses 13 and 14.
What is the meaning of Psalm 138:13-14
When David declared in verse 14 that he was fearfully and wonderfully made, it was because of what he said in verses 11-13.
Psalm 139:13 begins with the word “for”. This tells us that what comes after is related to what was said before.
In verses 11 – 12, David talks about the fact that not even darkness can prevent God from knowing even the very tiny details of his life.
For God, even the darkness is like daylight (Verse 12). That’s why David is so confident that before the very beginning of his life, even in the womb, God was there.
Verse 13 will help us fully see the power of verse 14 so let’s study it.
Meaning of Psalm 139:13
If you have done any reading about how the Bible came about, then you would know the majority of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. For us to get the depth of David’s prayer song, it is helpful to study it using the original language.
Psalm 139:13 says
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (NIV)
The phrase “inmost parts” in the verse really means kidneys or internal organs. For Hebrews, these functioned as the seat of the conscience. David is looking to God for justice.
David is telling God that he is aware of how much He knows his heart and mind and conscience very well because, He, God, made those parts of him. Not only did God make his conscience but He has been fully involved in how he uses them.
Then David says that God “knit him together” while he was in his mother’s womb. David is using the idea of weaving fabric to describe God’s involvement in his growth while he was developing in the darkness of His mother’s womb. The picture David was painting with his words had to do with weaving using different color threads.
Although David was an embryo and then a fetus and hidden from everyone’s sight, God was busy at work putting him together like a very intricate, colorful garment. God himself supervised the process.
God has known him all along, through and through, all His existence. So if anyone knew that he was innocent, God knew him.
As David is saying all this in prayer, he couldn’t help but break out in praise:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
What does fearfully and wonderfully made mean in the Bible?
So, what is the meaning of fearfully and wonderfully made in Hebrew?
We will now do a word study on these terms.
What does fearfully mean?
Usually when we think of fear, we automatically think about being afraid. But in the context of this verse, David was not saying anything about being scared or afraid.
In the context of this verse, the word fear means “awe-inspiring or “to stand in awe”. It’s like looking at something that blows your mind and you can’t help but saying WOWWWW. Or being in such awe that your eyes grow wide and your mouth spontaneously hangs open.
What does wonderfully mean?
In Hebrew, in the context of Psalm 139:14, the word wonderfully means to be separated or to be distinct or distinguished.
As David looked at himself, he realized that he wasn’t like anyone or anything else that God had made. This alone is enough to make you stand in awe of what God has done.
How does this relate to us today in practical ways?
How can we know we are fearfully and wonderfully made?
David declared this truth in his prayer. He sealed it by saying “your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
How can we be sure that this truth applies to each of us today living in the 21st century. In this age of body consciousness, how can we hold on to Psalm 139:14 with confidence?
You are God’s masterpiece
You can be sure that you are fearfully and wonderfully made when you consider the story of creation and God creating man.
Let me explain.
As you read through Genesis you will realize that God called most things into being. The sun and moon, the sea and land forms, the vegetation, the bodies of water, the water creatures and the land creatures.
But when it came to the creation of man, the Trinity didn’t use words to create. It was a hands-on project.
Come with me to Genesis 2:7
Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground…
The word formed in this verse is the Hebrew word yasar. This word means to form or to fashion like when a potter works with clay or when an artist makes a statue.
The writer of Genesis wanted us to know that God put some effort into making us. All three members of the Godhead intentionally created us with their hands and everything little detail considered.
After God created Adam and Eve and gave them their responsibility, Scripture says “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Every other time before Scripture says “And God saw that it was good.” We’re God’s masterpiece.
See, we added something significant to creation. We are wonderful. We’re not animals or plants or vegetation. God made use separate, set apart.
And even after sin, we remain the crown of creation.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
When David says he’s fearfully made he’s basically saying God made him such a masterpiece that when you really stop to look at His handiwork you can do nothing but just stand and stare in wonder.
You’re a miracle
None of us wants to think about our parents having sex. Lol. But please indulge me for a minute.
You probably already know that there are millions of sperms in a single semen sample. As that sample made its way into your mother’s body, her body defended itself against it because the sample was tagged as foreign object that does not belong.
Those millions got cut down drastically by all sorts of conditions inside her body. Only a few hundred sperms actually made it close the egg.
And each of those sperms was a whole different person that wasn’t you. But God allowed you to be the one to survive the hostile conditions of conception to be here on the planet.
Another egg or another sperm wouldn’t be you.
And God got to watch you come into existence the moment that sperm fertilized that egg, to when all the cells multiplied to form your muscles and all your organs in the variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. God knit you together.
So many things could have happened during the process of your development while you were in the womb, but no matter what was happening to your mother, God covered you. God cushioned the blows of life. And you’re here.
And let’s not get into how God has sustained you all the years you’ve been alive. How your body works to keep you living.
You, my friend, are a miracle. A living, breathing, walking, miracle! A modern, miraculous, masterpiece.
And that’s all you need to be convinced that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are unique in so many ways
You have probably heard a million times that you are one of a kind. But, have you ever stopped to think about what that really means?
Besides your fingerprint and face and DNA, what else makes you different? Here are 20 things that could be used to tell you apart from someone else, even if you’re a twin.
#1 – Your iris – This is the part of your eye that controls the amount of light that goes in and out. You also use it to tell the color of your eyes. Do you see that pattern? It’s unique to you. And guess what? Both your eyes have a completely different pattern!
#2 – Your retina – I’m not a scientist. But this is the bundle of nerves at the back of your eye. These nerves carry all kinds of information about your health and nervous system that’s completely unique to you.
#3 – Your ear – The pattern of your ears are unique to you just like your fingerprint.
#4 – Your teeth – There is a reason dental records are used in criminal cases when there isn’t much to use to identify the remains of an unfortunate victim. Your teeth are all yours in every way, including the pattern they make.
#5 – Your skull – Ever wonder why no two faces are alike? It’s because every single skull is different.
#6 – Your skeleton – The bones that hold your body up are set in a way that is as different as your face and DNA. The entire TV show Bones is built around this idea. They use bones identify people. It’s amazing how can be told about a person from their bones alone.
#7 – Your toe print – Similar to your fingerprint, the ridges on your toes are unique.
#8 – Your footprint – Your footprint is unique in two ways. First, the ridges on the bottom of your feet make a one-of-a-kind pattern like your fingerprint. Second, as you walk, the wear on your feet creates a unique footprint. Just look at the wear of your shoes and compare it to someone else’s.
#9 – The way you walk – Yup, there is not a model who could copy you on a catwalk.
#10 – Your tongue – Yes, we all have one that looks the same but they are not. The pattern of the bumps and ridges on your tongue is all yours.
#11 – Your palm – This goes with your fingerprint. All the lines and ridges in your palm make a pattern that is completely unique.
#12 – Your fingernails – As unique as your fingerprint are the patterns in your fingernails. And all ten fingers carry a different pattern. Each person on the planet has ten different fingernail patterns.
#13 – Your lips – The next time you kiss someone you should charge them for your one in 7 billion kiss. The pattern of your lips is as unique as your DNA.
#14 – The microorganisms inside your body – Urine and stool samples serve more purposes than you think. You can be identified using the bacteria and microorganisms in your body. We each have an entire ecosystem inside us that is unique to us.
#15 – Your body odor – Ever wondered why the same perfume smells differently on you than someone else? It’s because we each carry a natural body odor that’s unique. That’s why dogs are used to find missing people or escaped criminals. Nobody else smells like you.
#16 – Your heartbeat – You know how they say you are marching to the beat of your own drum? Well, the rhythm your heart makes when it beats is all yours. Nobody else’s heart rhythm is like yours.
#17 – The pores on your nose – Yes, as different as your face is from someone else, your nose has its own claim to fame. Your pore pattern is all yours.
#18 – Your voice – You have probably been told that you sound like someone. Maybe your mom or sister or father or brother. But voice recognition is a thing for the very reason that no two people’s voices are exactly the same.
#19 – Your buttocks – This one was funny to me. But, did you know just like your walk, when you sit, that pattern that your butt makes is unique to you?
#20 – Your genitals – All of us have the same basic parts that make up our genitals but rest assured, they don’t look the same. In fact, every single person’s private parts looks unique.
Think about it. There are over 7 billion people on the planet now. A fingerprint has never been repeated. A skull configuration has never been repeated. A set of lips has never been repeated.
Every human being who has ever been born since the creation of Adam and Eve has been unique in these ways and more ways we are yet to discover.
How great is God!!!!!
God took the time to invest time into designing you, planting you in your mother’s womb and knitted you in just the perfect fashion according to His design.
Nobody has the right to decide what or who are or are not. And you have no right to let them define you either.
You’re fearfully and wonderfully made my friend. You make God stand back everyday and say “Wow, look at my handiwork, my masterpiece”.
Embrace that truth and reject the poison of body stereotyping.
Fearfully and wonderfully made quotes
Here are some other Scriptures quotes that talk about how God put every thought into creating us.
Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Final words on the meaning of fearfully and wonderfully made
You are a fearfully and wonderfully made woman (or man). There is nobody on the planet like you. When David declared that God “knitted” him in his mothers womb, it was so personal and intimate.
Know that God appreciates every part of you, just the way you are. Why? Because he was there when your genes were loaded. He was involved as every part of you was formed. You have a responsibility to take care of your body.
And you also have a responsibility to guard your heart against those who will want to make you feel less than because of the way you look.