To begin with, please allow me to thank all of you who participated in the Bible quiz from two weeks ago. Most of you did exceptionally well! I have put the answers at the end of this column and will be sending out books to the five winners shortly. And now, let's do a column, shall we?
You, sir, or you, ma'am, are unique. And unique does not really even begin to describe it adequately enough. It may be better to say that you are a miracle from God and that there is not only no one like you, there is really nothing quite like you.
The first human being, Adam, did not get to ride in a mother's womb for nine months, so he took his first breath in the outside world. You, sir or ma'am, beat him by a significant amount. Listen to these words from Medical News Today in a column titled "How Babies Breathe in the Womb":
"Together, the umbilical cord and placenta deliver nutrients from the mother to the baby. They also provide the baby with the oxygen-rich blood necessary for growth. This means that the mother breathes in for the baby, and the oxygen in her blood is then transferred to the baby's blood. The mother also breathes out for the baby, as carbon dioxide from the baby is moved out through the placenta to the mother's blood, then removed with exhale."
So, Adam only got to have the breath of life outside the womb; you got to have it both inside and outside the womb! You also had your very own DNA from the moment of conception, your heart started beating 18 days later, and at 23 weeks in the womb, you started dreaming.
And then you, already a living being, were born. And though you could do little more than drool at that point, you were born with a capacity for communication that no other creatures have. Animals will always "speak" the same language all the days of their lives. You started with unintelligible noises and went on to learn a complex language and have the capacity to learn multiple foreign languages as well. Dogs start at "Bark!" and end at "Bark!" You started at Gaahh! and may well end at "Yo neccesito una restaurante" or "En arkay ayn ha logos" or "re-shiyth Elohim bara shamayim eth erets."
Do you feel fat some days? No need to answer that. But I will encourage you a bit about that. That DNA I mentioned? If you unwrapped and stretched out all of your DNA, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences says the resulting strand would be 67 billion miles long! You, sir or ma'am, could stretch back and forth to Pluto nearly 11 times. So you may not be fat; you could just be "well folded."
You are also not an accident. In fact, God makes it pretty clear that he has a unique plan for each life ever conceived. Just a short list of the huge number of people in the Bible whom God mentioned plans for before they were born includes David, Samson, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Cyrus, Isaac, Shear Jashub, Samuel, Jacob and Esau, and Mary. So let this sink in, especially if you wonder if you really matter: God wanted there to be a you and has had plans for you before you were ever even thought of.
You are also part of a species that has been blessed with a nearly infinite capacity. God made human beings in his image (Genesis 1:26-27). And even after the fall, that capacity to do nearly impossible things is still there. Of the wicked world of men in the days of the tower of Babel, God said that unless he scattered them, nothing would be restrained from them which they imagined to do! The years have proven that to be true. While one generation of animals after another has done exactly what every generation before them has done (eat, sleep, reproduce, maybe learn an occasional trick or two) mankind has taken to the skies, traveled to the moon, sent probes far outside of our solar system, created artificial hearts, decoded the human DNA genome, split the atom and invented both Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Bojangles' Cajun filet bisuits.
In fact, let me show you just how lofty of a position that you hold, son of Adam or daughter of Eve. Psalm 8:4-6 says, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet."
You, sir or ma'am, are just a tiny notch below the angels of God in power and glory! I know it does not seem like it on the days when depression sets in, or the arthritis starts acting up, or you inexplicably cannot find the phone that you are holding in your hand, but there is God, and then there are beings like Gabriel and Michael, and then there is you just a bit below that. And trust me, if you know Christ as your Savior, in eternity, you will finally live up to your full potential.
So, later today, when the devil whispers to you, "You can't handle the storm," you may feel free either to whisper back, "At least I didn't lose my golden fiddle to a Georgia hillbilly" or with the more theological "God made me in his image, and from the very moment of my conception, there has been no one and nothing like me."
And now, the answers to the quiz are as follows. 1. Matthias 2. Pharaoh's daughter 3. Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar 4. Belshazzar 5. 318 6. Mephibosheth 7. Hosea 8. Bethel and Dan 9. Cyrenius (or Quirinius) 10. A wedding in Cana of Galilee 11. Washing feet 12. Adam 13. Jael 14. Noah and the flood 15. Repent 16. Hadassah 17. Nazarite 18. Nazarene 19. Paul 20. Stephen.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at [email protected].