“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1” (all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“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. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
I am certain that every reader of this devotion has read and treasured the two passages quoted above from God’s Holy Word; however, have you paused lately to think deeply and reverently on these? If you are like me, you may reach a point in your reading and study that you believe you have grasped the whole meaning of some passage only to have your soul reminded of a beautiful gleam of truth that had thus far escaped your notice. Such reminders often come in the quiet, still moments of the night.
Do you remember the very first great truth you learned about God and His love for you? I remember with pristine clarity that first Truth that my mother shared with me when I was yet a toddler. I believed without shadow of doubt what she said, and later, as I grew into my teen years began to doubt those words – only to come to know of their veracity when I learned more of God and His Word.
As I have often written before, my mother used to go about her daily chores singing the great old hymns of the Church – Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior, Blessed Assurance, I Come to the Garden Alone, Love Lifted Me, Abide With Me, etc. I loved hearing her sing, but had little understanding of the depth of the words to those old hymns. Though I did not fully understand the deeper meanings, the words to those hymns sank into my youthful heart and slowly matured to a better understanding. The Seed sown by the Sower are like the words to scriptural hymns – they sink into one’s heart and grow, watered by the Light of Love, until a wonderful Tree of Wisdom and Life is made fruitful there.
So, you may wonder: What was that First Great Truth that my mother taught me while I sat upon her knee? It was simply this – “You came from God.” My mother told me this in answer to my question, ‘Where did I come from, Mother?’ It is true that all life originates with the artful Master’s careful molding at conception. At the age of three, I had no problem at all believing that great Truth, but fools grow from the frames of believing children. As I grew into my middle teen-age years, I began to doubt that truth after learning how babies were really born. No longer did I believe that babies came from God. I doubted because I had not learned to know God as well as I should have. As I matured into manhood, I experienced many challenges and hardships that made me to consider my Maker with greater care and study. Suddenly, I, like Paul, said to myself, “11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Of course, Paul did not mean that he put away the innocence and unquestioning faith of a child, but rather the immaturity of logic that a child, grown old, may develop.
Let us take note, again, of those wonderful lines from the 139th Psalm quoted at the beginning of this devotion: “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. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” With a certain degree of self-centeredness, we may interpret this passage to make reference to us alone since we consider ourselves so very special; but therein we would have erred. These lines refer to every fragment of life on this sphere that we refer to as earth. The beautiful variety found around the globe which represents the fullness of mankind is described in those lines. But there is more, too. Every beautiful and unique animal; every sea creature; every green plant and glorious flower is likewise produced by the thoughtful and artful hand of God. There was no you, or me, in the beginning – only the Triune God and His Heavenly Council. Something was necessary to bring us into this world – to give us breath and life, the faculties of thought and physical movement. That ‘thing’ was God. No more important words were ever uttered than “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Truly, that ‘beginning’ was our own. God had you and all of His people in mind at the instant of Creation – and animal and plant life as well.
There is also a glorious spiritual existence that is crafted by the Mercy and Will of God. While we were dead in trespasses and sin (just as dead as we were before He fashioned us in our mother’s womb), God spoke and breathed a new and eternal life into our spiritual nostrils, and we became a new Creation in our Lord – all while we were thoughtless of that Creation, He knew us and He drew us as surely as one drags a fishnet to the boat.
It is always flattering to receive a public recognition from a person of great importance, but consider again the lines of our Psalm. One must admit that our Father in Heaven has many things on His mind, but His mind is great enough to consider the butterfly, the rose, and you & me in our making. “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” How significant is that line! Our DNA was developed instantly at conception. At that very moment, we became who we are – in talents, in stature, in mental capacity, in every way! It was not af four months, or five months of pregnancy that we became human – but instantly. And God took time and notice to form us bit by bit while there was none of us to count.
Two nights ago, I woke up at around two A.M. thinking about my mother’s words in sharing that first Truth. The thought came to me that I must share it before I forget, or become unable to do so. So I wrote it down at that hour to consider on such a day as this (stormy and rainy in south Alabama with tornado sirens sounding – not uncommon for this part of the country). These words are not profound thoughts only for me, but to everyone reading this devotion. The timing of the remembrance of this awakening thought is reflected also in Holy Scripture: “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:29) or, “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” (Psalm 77:6)
I believe the First Truth of every Christian should be to know from whence they come and Whose hands fashioned their members ‘when yet there was yet none of them.’ If we reject the first truth of the Bible found in Genesis 1:1, and repeated in John 1:1-3, we can never truly know the Lord of our Salvation. We may count upon His mighty Grace and Mercy to stir up in our hearts, at sundry times, those long-dormant treasures of His Truths that may have been buried away in a private chamber of our souls – if we keep His precepts.
“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law. This I had, because I kept thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:54-56)
In considering this First Truth, remember that it is God who gives and executes conception “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.” (Genesis 3:16) This was not a promise to Eve alone, but to all Creation to follow.