Fellowship address, Aug. 2, 2015


By John Aldworth

Father God knew us in our mother's womb. He then set about remaking us for his purpose (Psalm 139:14-16).

As it affects each of us as believers personally, this process is akin to the recreation of the earth we see in Genesis 1:1-3. We were originally 'made' by God in our mother's womb
(Psalm 139:13-14), just as God 'made' the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1:1.

Then because we were 'born in sin and shapen in iniquity' (Psalm 51:5) we became like the earth in Genesis 1:2.
We could be said to be ''without form and void', indeed in darkness - certainly in our natural state we are not fitted to God's purpose.

But just as God did not abandon the earth to a dark, watery grave but began to recreate, re-clothe and re-populate it (Genesis 1:3-31) so the Father did not abandon us but began a
process of re-creation in us (Eph. 4-5 and 10). Why? Because, as Paul said to the pagan Athenians (Acts 17:28), '... we are also his offspring'. Thus those of us who have trusted Christ as our Saviour have been brought out of darkness into 'his glorious light' (1 Peter 2:9).

The psalmist David (Ps. 139:13-16) expresses this beautifully:

For Thou hast possessed my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise Thee for I am fearfully wonderfully made; marvelous are they works and that mysoul 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.

Were we perfect from the womb? Many believe babies arrive perfect in innocence. But they don't, and this is made clear in Psalm 139: 16:

Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect: (unformed) and in thy Book all my members were written which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.

Do you see the parallel here with Genesis 1:1-3? The earth was 'unformed' until God shaped it and so were we in our mother's womb. Notice in Psalm 139:13 God 'covered' David in the womb; He guided and protected the whole process. Covered is taken from a root word meaning to weave. So two things were being woven in us by our Father as the warp and woof of our lives. And He covered and protected us throughout this process. You do realise it's a process, don't you? We are a work of God in process. We should each wear a badge with the initials PBPWM - GHNFWMY' (Please be patient with me - God hasn't finished with me yet).

The warp and the woof. These two parts of our most intimate being are clearly seen in the example of Adam.Here God shows how He really is Adam's Father - and our Father - in every sense
of that word, fathering us both physically and spiritually. In Genesis 1:26 God made Adam and Eve in spirit. They were so perfect they truly were an unblemished image of God
the Father:

So God (that is, the Father) created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him;male and female created He them. That's the warp, the frame on which we as the 'cloth' are woven. Then in Genesis
2:7 we read how God created Adam out of the dust of the ground and then in Genesis 2:21-22 took a rib out of Adam and made Eve from it:

And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

And this is the woof, the thread of our physical humanity that is 'cross woven' (dictionary definition of woof) into spiritual being.

In all this God is our Father. He is the cause of our conception, our shaping in the womb, our birth, our development in life. He is the master weaver, making harmony and beauty out of the threads of our lives. He is the master potter, shaping us for his eternal purpose.

Question: How in Psalm 139 did David know about the work of God in procreating him and then recreating him 'in secret' and 'in the lowest parts of the earth'? Answer: Because God showed it to him, just as He wants to show us how He was at work in us right from the moment of our conception. Also, importantly, because David believed what God said. Thus it was 'by grace through faith' (Eph. 2:8).

Is it important for us to know and believe that God the Father wove our substance in the womb and that He is still drawing together the threads of our lives even now? David thought so. For him, as for Timothy, the most needful thing was to 'lay hold on eternal life' (1Timothy 6:12).

Perhaps the Apostle John saw this most clearly. References to 'eternal life' abound in his gospel but in John 17:3 this whole purpose of our life and being is summed up in the words of
Jesus Himself: 'And this is life eternal that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent'.

You and I were created to know God our Father but often like sheep we stray from this purpose, God's purpose for our lives. Like the Prodigal Son we sometimes spend our substance (that which God created in us
by his Spirit while we were yet in the womb [Psalm 139:15]) on 'riotous living'.

Continuing in his purpose is the key to 'laying hold' on eternal life. And continuance is the very word used in Psalm 139:16 in connection with God fashioning our members which are written in his Book, not ours.

There needs to be a continuance of the work our Father began in us when we 'were wrought in the lowest part of the earth'. Our experience of it is only conscious to us when our soul, like David's 'knoweth
it right well'. And when we, like him, ask God (Psalm 139:23-24) to:

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.