Science and Psalm 139: God’s Genome
Can you really argue that we are fearfully and wonderfully made? I became enamored with Science in a class in immunology at the University of Chicago. I know just about enough about neurology or genetics to be highly dangerous.
Psalm 139 fascinates me when I read “you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” I can’t help but picture in my mind that double helix design. God is knitting together and when you think about the complexity and the uniqueness within which each one of us is created, is it not an unbelievably remarkable thing? We ought to look at each other and go, “Wow! You are amazing!”
I like the way C.S. Lewis said it. He said, “The dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which if you saw it now you would be strongly tempted to worship. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all love, and plays, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal.”
See, Psalm 139 begins to frame us in a way that we begin to appreciate the fact that you are invaluable and irreplaceable. There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that is not a testament to you, it is a testament to the God who created you. Uniqueness is God’s gift to you but uniqueness is your gift back to God. Why? Because no one else can worship God like you.
We may all sing the same song, but God doesn’t hear one song. He hears hundreds of individual songs because we sing out of the uniqueness of our minds, hearts, experiences and our DNA. We sing a song that has never been sung before and will never be repeated again. It is a unique expression of worship to our Creator.
The truth is, I don’t love my kids equally. Parents, you don’t either. You love them uniquely, because they are unique people and you want that relationship with your children. God is a lot bigger and his capacity is far greater, but He is not content with one of us not being in relationship with Him. To God, it is an infinite loss. And that’s why God loves us so much that He sent his only Son to die on a cross so that we could have relationship with Him.
That’s why the Bible says that He is not willing that ANY should perish. He wants a relationship with every single one of us because from the very beginning, He has seen us this way. He is One who conceived us in his heart and in his mind and He has plans and purposes when we were conceived in our mother’s womb. He is the One who knit us together. I think what He did during those days when we were formed in our mother’s womb is a picture of what He wants to do, not just through our life span but through eternity.
Psalm 139 says that God created our inmost being, which probably would be our personal genome sequence. I think that would be the inmost part, the building blocks of who we are. It says He “knit us together” and that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made and that our frame was not hidden when we were in the secret place; that we were woven together in the depths of the earth.”
When a baby is conceived, on day 22 the heart begins to beat. Week three, the child’s backbone and spinal column and nervous system is forming; the liver and kidneys and intestines begin to take shape. By the end of week four, that baby is 10,000 times larger than that original fertilized egg. Week five, eyes, legs and hands begin to develop. Week six, brain waves are detectable and mouth and lips are present and fingernails are forming. Week seven, eyelids and toes form and facial features including a distinct nose are observable, and the eyes have a retina and lens and the major muscle system is developed and the baby is able to move. Week eight, every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage and fingerprints begin to form. By the end of the eighth week, the baby can begin to hear.
Weeks nine and ten the baby can frown and make facial expressions and hiccup. Week eleven, all organ systems are functioning, the baby has a skeletal structure and nerves and circulation. Week twelve, baby has all the parts necessary to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord and thalamus; vocal cords are complete and the baby can suck its thumb. Week fourteen, the heart begins to pump several quarts of blood throughout the body every day. Week fifteen, the baby has an adult’s taste buds. It’s incredible. Month four, bone marrow is now beginning to form and the heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day and by the end of month four, the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and weigh up to half a pound. Week 17, the baby will begin to have REM dream sleep.
Week 20, the baby recognizes its mother’s voice. Months five and six, oil and sweat glands are now functioning. It’s all of these different things, amazing. Months seven through nine, baby opens and closes his or her eyes and the baby is using four of the five senses, knows the difference between waking and sleeping and can relate to the moods of the mother; antibodies are beginning to build up and the baby’s heart begins to pump 300 gallons of blood per day. Nine months, miracle, and almost the only time we appreciate it is when you are in the delivery room and it is your kid.
What a miracle! How is this even possible? I’m staggered by it! By God’s ability to knit us together. Then of course when we are born, unique eye print, finger print, voice print, even Siamese twins will have unique fingerprints. It is absolutely remarkable! Are you beginning to get the picture that this frame gives us? It better not lead to self-worship because you didn’t do it! It is our Creator who made us unique.