Your Hands Have Made and Fashioned Me | Psalm 119:73

Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

Psalm 119:73 ESV

This week my daughter took for her class presentation a neckless that I brought back for her from doing some mission work in Mexico, and she explained to her classmates the great difficulty in making by hand something so intricate. Now that so much of what we own is manufactured en masse, noting that an item was handmade brings a degree of gravity into the mix, for we then begin to imagine the practice, skill, patience, and time that went into its formation. If we marvel at an excellently hand-crafted piece of jewelry or furniture, how much more should we marvel at the truth that this verse declares: we, as humans, were formed and fashioned by God’s own hands.

Of course, the psalmist is praying what he has learned from Genesis 1-2. In Genesis 1, we are told that God created the entire cosmos simply by speaking things into existence; however, in Genesis 2, we read that God formed man from the dust of the earth, like a potter molding a piece of clay. Indeed, Isaiah 64:8 testifies: “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” And this is true of every single human because we are all image-bearers of God. All 8 billion of us alive today and the billions more that have already passed into eternity are handmade. There is not a mass-manufactured one of us in the bunch.

Such a spectacular truth flies in the face of the materialistic belief that both life and matter are nothing more than chemical accidents, for they hate nothing more than the idea of being hand-crafted by God. You see, being merely walking blobs of atoms and molecules means not being accountable to a higher power. Make your own rules, create your own destiny, and then die and cease to exist. It’s all a bit frightening to be sure, but at least it places you at the potter’s wheel of your own life.

But the psalmist knows better. Rather than foolishly asserting his own autonomy from the Potter, he embraces his Maker, longing to live according to His design. We ought to do the same. Whenever we meditate over our own foolish efforts to dictate our own lives and then turn our minds toward the marvelous wisdom of God displayed through all His wonderful works, we too should cry out for understanding to learn His commandments, to live according to His design. We should long to walk His ways, knowing that all our Creator’s commands are good, right, and true.


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