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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: How to Think of God’s Creation

Category Articles
Date June 18, 2018

Human life, body and soul together, filled David with wonder. The study of the uniquely-designed human being (Psalm 139:13-14) should bring us also to glorify God for his marvellous works.

In his book Hallmarks of Design (pp.164-194), the scientist Stuart Burgess gives ten unique features that God has given human beings:

  1. Upright posture. Man is the only creature with arms that can move while he remains upright. Many uniquely-designed parts of the body contribute to fine balance and posture necessary for this.
  2. Skilful hands. Human hands are not just for survival but they are highly capable of delicate and amazing feats.
  3. Unique skin. Our skin provides for fine temperature control and a sense of touch.
  4. Complex language. Our vocal tract, tongue, lips and brains all uniquely combine to form complex language. This separates us from even the most intelligent of animals.
  5. Complex facial expressions. The muscles controlling the face are uniquely combine to form complex and express emotion.
  6. Unique intellect. We are capable of conscious thought and huge complexity. The complexity of the brain itself challenges even those who study it.
  7. Unique genetic code. Although some say our genetic makeup is similar to that of chimpanzees, there are 60 million units of information that make us different.
  8. Unique reproduction. We have a relatively long childhood compared to animals. We need this time to learn many mental, language, physical and social skills.
  9. Uniquely spiritual. Human beings uniquely have a conscience and an interest in spiritual things, in contrast to animals.
  10. Unique beauty. The face, neck, and head have unique proportions and well-spaced, distinctive features, The proportions of the human body match the golden ratio, which is used in art, design, and architecture.

How foolish it is to think that these things could have developed by random, chance accidents, through stages of evolution, from creatures that do not have these features! As Matthew Henry noted in his famous commentary, these unique features point to a divine Creator: ‘The frame and structure of human bodies, and especially the most excellent powers, faculties and capacities of human souls, do abundantly prove that there is a Creator and that he is God’.

He also drew spiritual lessons from the fact that man is made to walk on two legs and looks upward and not downward (as the other animals). It is ‘because upwards his spirit must shortly go and his thoughts should now rise’.

John Love was a minister in the Scottish Church less than a century after Matthew Henry. He drew many important lessons from considering the human body, which you will find below. It should bring us to think of God’s glorious works in creation (forming it, in its complexity, from the dust), providence (sustaining its powers in operation) and redemptive (even the last effects of sin will be taken away at the resurrection).

* * *

This article is taken, with editing, from Love’s Memorials, Volume 1.

The Lord has permitted and planned that we should make use, in their due place, of all those discoveries of himself which are made in the visible creation.We should do so according to the precepts of his Word, in order that we may see his glory. Thus I should use the discoveries made about the body:

  1. So that I may praise God for his wonderful works in creating, forming and preserving me, even when I am in the state of sin. So the Psalmist does in Psalm 139:13-18.
  2. So that I may understand the true weight and fullness of the evidence of God’s power that appeared in the cures which Jesus and his apostles performed.
  3. So that I may be humbled by the view of the monstrous instance of human depravity — the proof that we left our first state, in which we would have observed the works of God so as to give him the due tribute of glory. And so that I may see the necessity of God’s grace to sanctify this to me and make it profitable.
  4. So that I may see the evil of sin, which has caused that such a beautifully constructed building [the body] must be dissolved; and has merited that it should, in all its parts, be tormented in hell forever, as polluted and defiled [if there is no repentance]. This is because it has been used in rebellion against him who created and upheld it.
  5. So that I may understand better one of the privileges which is reserved for the saints. For it will help my ideas of that glorious exhibition of God’s creating wisdom and power, which will be made when these are exerted in all their perfection in the framing of those bodies [of believers at the resurrection]. They are to be made like Christ’s body and are to last through eternal millions of ages. [I am to think of this] when I see how wonderfully framed our poor bodies are, which do to the dust [at death].
  6. So that I may be deeply impressed with the thought that I must die, and the thought of the uncertainty of my present life. I should also be deeply impressed that my body must decay in a little while. Such thoughts are encouraged by what I read in Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.
  7. Let me think what a multitude of these wonderful human bodies are at once preserved in being, order and continual activity, and provided with a regular supply of food. This supply comes, as it were, from the sun, which is at so vast a distance from us, but it is necessary so that his food may be produced from the earth. Let me think of all these bodies as made of one blood — after the same model — all consisting of the same parts.

What a multitude of them in every successive age! What a multitude have, from the beginning of the world, been reared up and have fallen again into dust, yet they shall be raised up again a the last day!


These articles are taken from the February edition of the Free Presbyterian Magazine and have been reproduced with permission.

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