“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:13 – 14)
There are many things that baffle me about the mindset of the Christians of our time and I do not hesitate to express them. One of such is what people think being fearfully and wonderfully made means. Some actually think it speaks of the physical.
I understand that many assume that this scripture refers to being physical appealing with some even rephrasing it as “…fearfully, wonderfully, and beautifully made.” It is thus evident that many agree that being physically attractive is what the Bible speaks about here. But it is not having a blemishless face, or round cheeks that means a person is fearfully and wonderfully made. No, nothing physical.
The most acceptable attribution of these verses to the physical is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made for the fact that our frame is so complex and the organs of our system coexists in perfect order serving their purpose in the most profound manner. This is true to some extent with this.
It is true to a full extent that a person is fearfully and wonderfully made WHEN and only WHEN God hast possessed his reins. The psalmist did not say we are fearfully and wonderfully made speaking of mankind as a whole but spoke of himself alone. Neither did he say he was fearfully and wonderfully made until he had said “thou hast possessed my reins.” So everything we read here revolves round this fact that God has possessed his reins. It is when God possesses one’s reins that he is fearfully and wonderfully made.
What does it mean for God to possess one’s reins? The reins is the instrument used for controlling a horse. You don’t need to carry a horse on your head to make it move from place to place, you just lay hold of the reins and you are in control. The horse obeys you absolutely without objection. You can ride the horse right into the river, off the cliff, and all the way unto its death. It will go with you and not object. Until God possesses you to this extent you cannot be said to be wonderfully and fearfully made.
Why? “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” (2 Timothy 2:20). Not everything is wonderfully made because some are made for dishonour. Those who are fearfully and wonderfully made unto honour are those who God has possessed their every thought. God is now he who guides their steps in life. The world is out completely sidelined and cannot at all influence their decision. God alone reigns on the throne of their heart.
Therefore when we look at Peter, Paul, James, John Wycliffe, John Owens, or Martin Luther, Frances Rudley Hevergal, we see people wonderfully and fearfully made. It has nothing to do with their appearance but their being possessed by God. God owns and directs them. This is what makes them wonderfully made. Where does this leave all the fashion models and actors and actresses? Vessels unto dishonour, even if they appeal so much to the eye. If any is wonderfully and fearfully made it is always not because of their Physical appearance.
This man whose reins was possessed by God, in the latter part of the Psalm said “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.” (Psalm 139:21 – 22). Being fearfully and wonderfully made, the psalmist is affectionately fixed to God. Seeing the glory of being and wonderfully made he seeks to be more and more wonderfully and fearfully made and ends the Psalm saying “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23 – 24). How shall God make him more wonderfully and fearfully made and lead him in the way everlasting if it were not by possessing the reins. In seeking greater glory and excellence in God, the psalmist didn’t say make me more physically attractive. No, he only said “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Dear brothers and very dear sisters let this be our craving and not things that appeal to the flesh.
Never ever forget that being wonderfully and fearfully made is having the reins possessed by God. The question is: “are you wonderfully and fearfully made?” It is a personal question that needs not to be rashly answered. Soberly and thoughtful consider if God has possessed your reins. If not go before him now and ask him to possess your reins.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I seek to be fearfully and wonderfully made, a vessel unto honour in thine house. Possess my reins from now henceforth and even till my dying moment. Amen.
By: Moses Ayomikun Oladipupo
Header photo courtesy: www.stanthonyretreat.org