Knit Together

For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb

The Miracle of Life

Anyone who has ever held a newborn child in their arms knows the feeling of being overwhelmed by the glory of the miracle of life. A new life, a human being made in the Creator’s image, is a miracle. Life is a miracle each and every time, a miracle in the fullest sense. It’s a work of divine agency, a beautiful and welcome act given from above, something more than the sum of mere material and biological processes. Anyone who has held a newborn child knows something divine is at work, something beyond our understanding. When we see the beginning of a life, we understand that God has worked a true miracle – He did this in his original breathing of the breath of life into the lungs of the first man, but He also reworks the same miracle each and every time He speaks another unique human soul into existence. When a human being is conceived, God weaves together spirit and matter, He inseparably intertwines the immortal soul with the bodily flesh in the womb of the mother. This union will never be broken, each of us is a body as much as a soul, and though the two will briefly separate, God has promised we will someday be reunited with our bodies for eternity.

This is the humbling mystery: that when God performs His favorite and most impressive miracle, the bringing forth of new life, He chooses to do it through us – specifically, through women. This is perhaps the greatest natural honor that God can bestow on humanity, that he works through sinful, broken humanity to bring forth the miracle of the creation of life. God works a miracle at every birth, every conception, and continues working the same miracle of life throughout each lifetime as He sustains us, causes our hearts to beat, fills our lungs with air, and keeps us from harm until our days have run out. God brings us forth and sustains us, and the unbelievable gift is that this miracle is performed through sinful and unworthy intermediaries: us.

Knitting with Parental Threads

Scripture tells us that God knits us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). This means that our formation was an intentional, deliberate crafting. We’re handmade, not just a result of natural processes. God directly and intentionally shapes and molds each of us inside our mother. There is of course a sense in which all such biological processes are a direct result of God’s intentional hand – after all, it is He who causes the sun to set, the rain to fall, and the Earth to turn. But there is a sense in which this is even more true for human beings than it is for any other natural or biological process. We are God’s image bearers, His representative here in creation. We are unique in our honor and place among the created things. When God knits each of us together in our mother’s womb, He gives each of us unique abilities, traits, characteristics, and personalities. The mind-boggling part of this is that in His sovereign working of all things, God chooses not to create each individual human ex-nihilo, from nothing. Instead, He chooses to form us out of our parents, using traits and characteristics from the mother and father in the creation of the child. Each of us to a degree looks, acts, and thinks like our parents – sometimes, one more than the other. God knits us with the threads of our parents, both physical as well as spiritual, emotional, and mental. God doesn’t start with a blank slate and simply choose characteristics from a list, but instead crafts us by His hand with aspects of our parents. Even our first parents in the Garden of Eden weren’t created from nothing, but formed from dust and rib, from earth and from man. We are by nature creatures with origins.

This truth is an incredible blessing and a burden. Because we are sinners, when our children are formed out of us, some traits they may inherit will be sinful tendencies. The struggles, issues, and sins that plague our parents can plague us too. The Bible speaks to generational sin, and when the Bible talks about sin, it means sin – not “trauma.” 

A distinction does need to be made here: we’re born with a sinful nature, with certain sinful tendencies and lusts. But it does not follow that we can excuse those sins by saying, “God made me this way.” To claim such is a blasphemy against God’s character, if by saying it you imply that God approves of or even enjoys the sins you tend naturally toward. God knit each of us together as individuals, but the difference between the pure characteristics and the sinful ones within us can only be determined by whether or not the trait in question is sinful, not by whether or not we naturally possess it. We may find the line to be blurry at times, but in reality it’s clear: sin is sin, and righteousness is righteousness. You may indeed have been “gay” from birth, born with homosexual tendencies and plagued by those desires your entire life. But even though God did ordain that you would have that tendency, He no more “made you that way” any more than He “made” Jeffrey Dahmer with the desire to consume human flesh. Our sin is our own, and stems from our sinful nature – our sin is not God’s.

So, God knits us together by His own hand, intentionally and carefully, and He does so by using pieces, bits, and threads of each of our parents. Each human being is a totally new creation of God’s alone, and also a product of two human people with traits and sins. One important aspect of this miracle of life that we ought not miss is the process itself: God creates an individual human being at the moment of conception, but He doesn’t immediately call them forth into the outside world. Instead, He spends 9 months carefully knitting and forming the individual in the womb of their mother. It’s a process, it takes time, and God has purposes in it.

High Terrorism

If our time in the womb as we develop is called by God a “knitting together,” a complex process that takes place over time, an intentional and careful and loving process by the very hand of God, then this truth will teach us something about the nature of the inverse as well. If time in the womb is being “knit together,” then the act of intentionally subverting, interrupting, or undoing that knitting is an act of destruction. It’s the deliberate sabotage of a personal, intentional, meaningful creative work. It’s attempting to undo the miracle of life. And because the life being destroyed is one formed in the image of God, to end it is an act of terrorism against the Creator Himself, the source and sustainer of life. But because the child is formed not only by God directly, but through and with the substance of the parents, the terrorism is twofold. For a mother to end her child’s life is also an act of terrorism against oneself. It’s not simply an attempt on a life, it’s a Kamikaze attack that is intended to hurt the Creator, and destroy oneself in the process. 

The act of abortion says that the Creator was wrong to bring this person into existence, that He is wrong for forming a life here and now, and that we know better than He – “this life ought not exist.” To tear apart the life being knit is a vile and intense act of terrorism against God. It’s also a vile and intense act of suicidal rage against oneself, as it says not only that God is wrong for creating this life, but also says “I am wrong for playing a part in its creation.” Cases of rape and incest don’t change this in any way. Though the victim of a rape did not consent to the act that produced the child, God has still said the child ought to exist, despite the wicked sin of the father. God continues sustaining the mother’s body as it forms the child, and He continues to knit on, aware all the while of the evil that began the process.

God shows over and over again in history and in scripture that He loves to use the acts of evil man to bring about glorious good. The betrayal and murder of His Son is the clearest example we could ask for. God takes our evil acts and turns them into glorious good, even miracles. God chooses not to abandon the miracle of life just because a rape was committed. On the contrary, God doesn’t even hesitate for a second. He barrels on and begins the knitting process immediately at conception, stating clearly and unmistakably that this life ought to exist, and that it is good that it does. He continues on knitting a new human life from the two parents. And this is what redemption looks like – the son or daughter need not die for the evil sins of the father. Life can emerge even when the circumstances that gave rise to it were evil. This is true because life itself is a greater good than any sin is an evil – and how could this not be so, when Christ has told us that He is life itself?

The miracle of life tells us that each and every human being is a product of God’s direct hand, and simultaneously a product of two parents with their own unique traits, personalities, and abilities. Each life bears equal objective value, apart from size, location, or origins. God affirms over and over again the value of each life in the womb, and He affirms it to our face with every pregnancy. Every pregnancy should signal loudly to us that God is at work, that He has purposes, and that He will use us to accomplish them. The miracle of life tells us that choosing life over death, destruction, and murder is always the right decision, and will be rewarded. God will affirm this truth once and for all on the last day. On that day, regardless of the choices of evil humans, the murders, the terrorism against miracle, life will stand victorious. Because on that day, every aborted and mutilated and murdered child will be raised to life again, given a perfect and whole body, and live forevermore in the presence of the One who knit them together.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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Zephram Foster

Zephram Foster writes from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He works in higher education, and in youth ministry in a Reformed Baptist Church. He creates in various formats such as songwriting, blogging, and hosting a film podcast called Not Qualified. He has been published at American Reformer, Ad Fontes, Touchstone Magazine, and others, and his various other outlets can be found at

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