Friday, 11 December 2020
Title: Significance and Self-Image
By: Ps Cheng Cheung

Psalm 139: 14 ”I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And t͟h͟a͟t͟ my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139: 1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know … You understand …
3 You comprehend …
And you are acquainted …
4 You know …

Are you part of a large corporation? A listed company, perhaps? Or a huge private company or an educational institution, such as a university? Have you met the management at the highest echelons of the organization? You may know their names, but you probably do not know them personally. And of course, you do not expect them to know you. However, I trust, after reading this Psalm, you do not think the same of the living God, the Almighty Ruler of the universe. Because He knows you…… i͟n͟t͟i͟m͟a͟t͟e͟l͟y. And He wants you to know Him and grow to love Him as intimately as He loves you.

At the start of the Psalm David says God has searched him and known him (and all of us) through and through. He knows about our passive days (sitting down) and our active ones (rising up). The thought is that God explores and examines us completely and thoroughly. He understands what prompts us to think certain thoughts. He therefore understands the hidden, unspoken intents behind our actions. T͟h͟e͟r͟e͟ i͟s͟ n͟o͟t͟h͟i͟n͟g͟ w͟e͟ c͟a͟n͟ h͟i͟d͟e͟ f͟r͟o͟m͟ G͟o͟d͟. Scary, right?

The most amazing part is v 4:

“Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, Lord, You know it all.”!

We need to pause and allow the full implications of what we have just read to sink in. Let us be fully aware that God’s omniscience regarding the words of our mouths does not just cover His chosen ones. It includes every living human being in every language in every continent at every moment every day! Putting that aside, we want to recognise this fact for each of us personally: There is nothing we can hide from God.

The question that may naturally arise is ”How did that come about?” and the answer is found in v 13 – 18.

13 For You created my innermost parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

You, Lord God, alone did it. The psalmist pictures the Lord attending to the details of the life in His hands like a knitter must pay close attention as he knits a garment of great beauty. Not mother nature, not evolution. And the picture I get is the intricate weaving or joining together all the innermost parts to form a functional, well-ordered body consisting bone, flesh, blood, and organs is done by the Almighty. Most amazingly, it is a body with emotions, capable of decision making, feelings of love, compassion and righteous anger, just like its Maker. But now due to the fall, man is ingrained with willful disobedience as well. Does the celestial Artist and Potter exercise any less skill with each and every creation? No, because we are all significant to Him.

When I first came across this phrase, ”fearfully and wonderfully made” I hit a wall, trying to figure out what it meant. Perhaps a short story will serve as an illustration:

An old school friend served as a medical missionary with his wife at a hospital in Ethiopia, some years ago. He is a general surgeon. One day, an ambulance brought a young man to the hospital who was bleeding to death. He was a bus driver and his bus had been involved in a head on collision with a truck. There was a large hole in his chest and a major artery next to the heart was gushing blood. They had to stop the bleeding or the man would lose his life. My friend, Andrew, had never performed heart surgery before, but he had no choice.

I remember him telling us how his hands trembled, as he performed open heart surgery. He carefully sewed the ruptured artery, stich by stich, one eye on the beating heart next to his fingers, the other on where the needle was going. It was painstakingly slow, as he moved the needle in and out of the soft arterial tissue. After hours, the operation was completed! To me, fearfully and wonderfully done. I can visualize our Maker taking just as much care creating each of us
v 15b …I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Friends, one of the emotional struggles of our age is that of poor self-image and a perception of inadequacy. These verses should give assurance that everyone whom He has created is valued and sacred to our Great God. Humanity is the pinnacle of His creation, bearing God’s image and therefore looks, intelligence and status do not count in His eyes. He accepts each of us unconditionally as we are.

My Prayer

My Heavenly Father, thank you for this timely reminder. Thank you for this wonderfully revealing Psalm which assures me of your care for me, individually, from the time I was created.

Help me treat everyone I come across with the dignity and respect they deserve. Thank you that each of us is precious in your eyes. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五,2020年12月11日
标题:极大价值和自我形象
作者:张祯祥传道
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇139:14 我要称谢你,因我受造奇妙可畏;你的作为奇妙,这是我心深知道的。

诗篇139
1 耶和华啊,你已经鉴察我,认识我。
2 …你都晓得…你从远处知道…
3 …你都细察…你也深知…
4你没有一句不知道的…

你是大公司的一员吗?也许是上市公司?或是大型私人公司或教育机构,如大学?你见过组织最高层的管理层吗?你可能知道他们的名字,但可能不认识他们。当然,你也不指望他们会认识你。但是,我相信,读完这篇诗篇,你不会认为永活的上帝,全能的宇宙掌管者和他们一样。因为祂非常了解你。而且祂希望你认识祂,并像祂爱你一样深爱祂。

大卫在诗篇的开头说道,上帝已经鉴察并认识他(以及我们所有人)。祂了解我们被动响应需求的日子(坐着)和我们身心活跃的日子(起来)。 其思想是上帝彻底地鉴察和观察我们。祂理解是什么促使我们思考某些想法。因此,祂理解我们行动背后隐藏的、不为人知的意图。我们无法对上帝隐瞒任何事。很吓人,对吧?

第四节是最令人惊喜的经文:
耶和华啊,我舌头上的话,你没有一句不知道的。

我们需要暂停一会儿,从而充分理解刚刚所阅读的内容。让我们意识到,上帝不仅仅是对祂的选民嘴里的话无所不知,也包括每个人的每一句话—不论是在世界上的各个角落,每时每刻,并各种语言!我们需要要明白一个事实:我们无法对上帝隐瞒任何事。

自然会问的是:为什么会如此?而答案皆可在13-18节找着:
13 我的肺腑是你所造的,我在母腹中,你已覆庇我。

唯独上帝你成就这事。诗人描绘上帝对生命各个细节的关注,祂犹如一名针织工,正细心织一件精美的衣裳。不是大自然,不是进化。我所看到的这幅画是复杂的编织或者把所有最深处的部分连接在一起,由全能者组成骨、肉、血和器官,形成一个功能齐全的身体。最令人惊讶的是,它是一个有情感的身体,能做决定,有爱情、同情和义愤,就像它的创造者一样。但如今因人的堕落,人故意不服从的问题已根深蒂固。天国的艺术家与陶匠对每一件作品的创造技巧是否有差别?绝不,因为我们对祂都很重要。

当我第一次读到“因我受造奇妙可畏“,我有些不解,想明白它意味着什么。也许以下的故事可以作为例证:

几年前,一位老同学曾与妻子在埃塞俄比亚的一家医院当过医疗宣教士。他是一名普通外科医生。有一天,一辆救护车把一名一直流血的年轻人送到医院。他是一名公交车司机,他的公交车与一辆卡车相撞。他胸口有个大洞,心脏旁的一条大动脉正喷着血。他们必须止血,否则他会死。我的朋友Andrew从未做过心脏手术,但他当时别无选择。

我记得他说他动手术时,手是怎么颤抖的。他小心翼翼地缝着破裂的动脉,用一只眼睛盯着他手指边跳动的心脏,另一只眼睛盯着针的去向。手术非常缓慢,因为他将针头移入和移出软动脉组织。几小时后,手术顺利结束了!对我来说,这就是“奇妙可畏”。我可以想象我们的造物主以同样的关爱创造我们每个人。

15节:我在暗中受造,在地的深处被联络。

朋友们,我们这个时代的情感挣扎之一,是自我形象不佳,以及自我感觉不足。这诗篇给祂所创造的每个人一个确据,那就是我们都受伟大的上帝重视,并且祂视我们为宝贵。人类是祂创作的顶峰,承载着上帝的形象。因此,在祂眼中,外表、智慧和地位并不重要。祂无条件地接受我们每个人。

祷告:我的天父,谢谢你及时的提醒。谢谢你这极富启发性的诗篇,从我被创造之时,你就照顾我。助我给予遇到的每个人应得的尊严和尊重。谢谢你,因为每个人在你眼里都是珍贵的。奉耶稣的名祷告, 阿们。

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