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Psalms 139:14

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I will praise thee - I will not merely admire what is so great and marvelous, but I will acknowledge thee in a public manner as wise, and holy, and good: as entitled to honor, love, and gratitude.

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made - The word rendered “fearfully” means properly “fearful things;” things suited to produce fear or reverence. The word rendered “wonderfully made” means properly to distinguish; to separate. The literal translation of this - as near as can be given - would be, “I am distinguished by fearful things;” that is, by things in my creation which are suited to inspire awe. I am distinguished among thy works by things which tend to exalt my ideas of God, and to fill my soul with reverent and devout feelings. The idea is, that he was “distinguished” among the works of creation, or so “separated” from other things in his endowments as to work in the mind a sense of awe. He was made different from inanimate objects, and from the brute creation; he was “so” made, in the entire structure of his frame, as to fill the mind with wonder. The more anyone contemplates his own bodily formation, and becomes acquainted with the anatomy of the human frame, and the more he understands of his mental organization, the more he will see the force and propriety of the language used by the psalmist.

Marvellous are thy works - Fitted are they to excite wonder and admiration. The particular reference here is to his own formation; but the same remark may be made of the works of God in general.

And that my soul knoweth right well - Margin, as in Hebrew, “greatly.” I am fully convinced of it. I am deeply impressed by it. We can see clearly that the works of God are “wonderful,” even if we can understand nothing else about them.

Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 17

7. God is as truly the author of physical laws as He is author of the moral law. His law is written with His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every faculty, which has been entrusted to man.—Christ's Object Lessons, 347, 348, 1900 CD 17.1

8. The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord's wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God's law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful.—Manuscript 3, 1897 CD 17.2

[Sin of taking a course which needlessly expends vitality or beclouds the brain—194] CD 17.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 20

14. Health is a treasure. Of all temporal possessions it is the most precious. Wealth, learning, and honor are dearly purchased at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these can secure happiness, if health is lacking. It is a terrible sin to abuse the health that God has given us; such abuses enfeeble us for life, and make us losers, even if we gain by such means any amount of education.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 150, 1890 CD 20.1

[Examples of Suffering Due to Disregarding Light—119, 204] CD 20.2

15. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; if His laws were never violated, if all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be the result.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 151, 1890 CD 20.3

16. A careful conformity to the laws God has implanted in our being, will ensure health, and there will not be a breaking down of the constitution.—Health Reformer, August, 1866. CD 20.4

[Health Reform the Lord's Means of Lessening Suffering—788] CD 20.5

17. In the ancient Jewish service it was required that every sacrifice should be without blemish. In the text we are told to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We are God's workmanship. The psalmist, meditating upon the marvelous work of God in the human frame, exclaimed, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” There are many who are educated in the sciences and are familiar with the theory of the truth, who do not understand the laws that govern their own being. God has given us faculties and talents; and it is our duty, as His sons and daughters, to make the best use of them. If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits or indulgence of perverted appetite, it will be impossible for us to honor God as we should.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 15, 1890 CD 20.6

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 38

So closely is health related to our happiness, that we cannot have the latter without the former. A practical knowledge of the science of human life is necessary in order to glorify God in our bodies. It is therefore of the highest importance that among the studies selected for childhood, physiology should occupy the first place. How few know anything about the structure and functions of their own bodies and of nature's laws! Many are drifting about without knowledge, like a ship at sea without compass or anchor; and what is more, they are not interested to learn how to keep their bodies in a healthy condition and prevent disease. CH 38.1

The indulgence of animal appetites has degraded and enslaved many. Self-denial and a restraint upon the animal appetites are necessary to elevate and establish an improved condition of health and morals, and purify corrupted society. Every violation of principle in eating and drinking blunts the perceptive faculties, making it impossible for them to appreciate or place the right value upon eternal things. It is of the greatest importance that mankind should not be ignorant in regard to the consequences of excess. Temperance in all things is necessary to health and the development and growth of a good Christian character. CH 38.2

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Ellen G. White
Education, 201

Let pupils be impressed with the thought that the body is a temple in which God desires to dwell, that it must be kept pure, the abiding place of high and noble thoughts. As in the study of physiology they see that they are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), they will be inspired with reverence. Instead of marring God's handiwork, they will have an ambition to make all that is possible of themselves, in order to fulfill the Creator's glorious plan. Thus they will come to regard obedience to the laws of health, not as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, but as it really is, an inestimable privilege and blessing. Ed 201.1

“Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.”

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 192

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14. HP 192.1

Said the psalmist, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God has given us faculties and powers of mind and body, which it is the duty of all to preserve in the best condition. If any weaken their powers through the indulgence of appetite, they decrease their power of influence, making themselves imperfect. Only by the expensive offering made upon the cross of Calvary can we understand the value of the human soul. We are placed on vantage ground by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, to obtain freedom from the bondage of sin which was wrought by the fall of Adam. HP 192.2

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 61.2

Scientific research will open to the minds of the really wise vast fields of thought and information. They will see God in His works, and will praise Him. He will be to them first and best, and the mind will be centered upon Him. Skeptics, who read the Bible for the sake of caviling, through ignorance claim to find decided contradictions between science and revelation. But man's measurement of God will never be correct. The mind unenlightened by God's Spirit will ever be in darkness in regard to His power. LHU 61.2

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 80

This is the first duty of every student. No one is to measure out what he supposes his fellow student is capable of doing. Let every student reason soundly regarding what he can endure. Each has an individuality that no one can handle as successfully as himself. No one can submerge his identity in another's. He must know himself, and give himself a favorable chance to come forth with an unbroken constitution, with a clear mind, with well-balanced nerves, and a good digestion. With these, he will be fitted to do the work he has qualified himself to do. If he disqualifies himself by imprudence, by eating hurriedly because he has little time to spend, he is unfitting himself for ever doing sound, wholesome work.... MM 80.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 271

The knowledge that man is to be a temple for God, a habitation for the revealing of His glory, should be the highest incentive to the care and development of our physical powers. Fearfully and wonderfully has the Creator wrought in the human frame, and He bids us make it our study, understand its needs, and act our part in preserving it from harm and defilement. MH 271.1

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 267.2

The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place, and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards.... Our bodies are wonderfully made, and the Lord requires us to keep them in order. All are under obligation to Him to keep the human structure in a healthful, wholesome condition, that every muscle, every organ, may be used in the service of God.... God, who formed the wonderful structure of the body, will take special care to keep it in order, if men cooperate, instead of working at cross-purposes, with Him. OHC 267.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 152.6

Life is a holy trust, which God alone can enable us to keep, and to use to His glory. But He who formed the wonderful structure of the body will take special care to keep it in order if men do not work at cross-purposes with Him. Every talent entrusted to us He will help us to improve and use in accordance with the will of the Giver. Days, months, and years are added to our existence that we may improve our opportunities and advantages for working out our individual salvation, and by our unselfish life promote the well-being of others. Thus may we build up the kingdom of Christ, and make manifest the glory of God.—The Review and Herald, June 20, 1912. RC 152.6

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 154

I will praise thee; I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14. RC 154.1

Every power that God has given us should be employed in the very wisest and highest service to God. The Lord has brought out a people from the world to fit them not only for a pure and holy heaven but to prepare them through the wisdom He shall give them to be colaborers with God in preparing a people to stand in the day of God. RC 154.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 165.5

The human house, God's building, requires close, watchful guardianship. With David we can exclaim, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God's workmanship is to be preserved, that the heavenly universe and the apostate race may see that men and women are temples of the living God. RC 165.5

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 280

As the matter was laid open before me, and the sad burden of the result of drug medication, the light was given me that Seventh-day Adventists should establish health institutions discarding all these health-destroying inventions, and physicians should treat the sick upon hygienic principles. The great burden should be to have well-trained nurses, and well-trained medical practitioners to educate “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). 2SM 280.1

Train the people to correct habits and healthful practices, remembering that an ounce of preventive is of more value than a pound of cure. Lectures and studies in this line will prove of the highest value.—Letter 17a, 1893. 2SM 280.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 248.1

Those who have bracelets, and wear gold and ornaments, had better take these idols from their persons and sell them, even if it should be for much less than they gave for them, and thus practice self-denial. Time is too short to adorn the body with gold or silver or costly apparel. I know a good work can be done in this line. Jesus, the Commander in the heavenly courts, laid aside His crown of royalty and His royal robe and stepped down from His royal throne, and clothed His divinity with the habiliments of humanity, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might come into possession of eternal riches, and yet the very ones for whom Christ has done everything that was possible to do to save perishing souls from eternal ruin feel so little disposition to deny themselves anything that they have money to buy. 3SM 248.1

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 314

Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16. SD 314.1

We are to obey the laws of His kingdom, making ourselves all that it is possible for us to be. Earnestly we are to cultivate the highest powers of our being, remembering that we are God's property, God's building. We are required to improve every day. Even in this world of sin and sorrow, we may, by earnest, persevering effort, rise to the highest spiritual efficiency.... We are to please God. This we may do; for Enoch pleased God, though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day. SD 314.2

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 213

Guided by Moral and Religious Principle—We are to act from a moral and religious standpoint. We are to be temperate in all things, because an incorruptible crown, a heavenly treasure, is before us.—Testimonies for the Church 2:374. Te 213.1

As Christ's followers, we should, in eating and drinking, act from principle.—Redemption; or the Temptation of Christ, 60. Te 213.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 487

I was shown that there is a much greater work before us than we as yet have any idea of, if we would ensure health by placing ourselves in the right relation to life. Dr. A has been doing a great and good work in the treatment of disease and in enlightening those who have all their lives been in ignorance in regard to the relation that eating, drinking, and working sustain to health. God in His mercy has given His people light through His humble instrument that in order to overcome disease they must deny a depraved appetite and practice temperance in all things. He has caused great light to shine upon their pathway. Shall those who are “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” be behind the religionists of the day who have no faith in the soon appearing of our Saviour? The peculiar people whom He is purifying unto Himself to be translated to heaven without seeing death, should not be behind others in good works. In their efforts to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, they should be as far ahead of any other class of people on the earth as their profession is more exalted than that of others. 1T 487.1

Some have sneered at this work of reform and have said it was all unnecessary, that it was an excitement to divert minds from present truth. They have said that matters were being carried to extremes. Such do not know what they are talking about. While men and women professing godliness are diseased from the crown of their head to the soles of their feet, while their physical, mental, and moral energies are enfeebled through gratification of depraved appetite and excessive labor, how can they weigh the evidences of truth and comprehend the requirements of God? If their moral and intellectual faculties are beclouded, they cannot appreciate the value of the atonement or the exalted character of the work of God, nor delight in the study of His word. How can a nervous dyspeptic be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason of the hope that is in him, with meekness and fear? How soon would such a one become confused and agitated, and by his diseased imagination be led to view matters in altogether a wrong light, and by a lack of that meekness and calmness which characterized the life of Christ be caused to dishonor his profession while contending with unreasonable men? Viewing matters from a high religious standpoint, we must be thorough reformers in order to be Christlike. 1T 487.2

I saw that our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us the great blessing of light upon the health reform that we may obey the claims which He has upon us and glorify Him in our bodies and spirits which are His and finally stand without fault before the throne of God. Our faith requires us to elevate the standard and take advance steps. While many question the course pursued by other health reformers, they as reasonable men should do something themselves. Our race is in a deplorable condition, suffering from disease of every description. Many have inherited disease and are great sufferers because of the wrong habits of their parents, and yet they pursue the same wrong course in regard to themselves and their children which was pursued toward them. They are ignorant in regard to themselves. They are sick and do not know that their own wrong habits are causing them immense suffering. 1T 488.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 536

The tenderest earthly tie is that between the mother and her child. The child is more readily impressed by the life and example of the mother than by that of the father; for a stronger and more tender bond of union unites them. Mothers have a heavy responsibility. If I could impress upon them the work which they can do in molding the minds of their children I should be happy. 2T 536.1

If parents themselves would obtain knowledge, and feel the importance of putting it to a practical use in the education of their dear children, we should see a different order of things among youth and children. The children need to be instructed in regard to their own bodies. There are but few youth who have any definite knowledge of the mysteries of human life. They know but little about the living machinery. Says David: “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Teach your children to study from cause to effect; show them that if they violate the laws of their being they must pay the penalty by suffering disease. If in your effort you can see no special improvement, be not discouraged; patiently instruct, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. If by this means you have succeeded in forgetting yourself, you have taken one step in the right direction. Press on until the victory is gained. Continue to teach your children in regard to their own bodies and how to take care of them. Recklessness in regard to bodily health tends to recklessness in moral character. 2T 536.2

Do not neglect to teach your children how to cook. In so doing, you impart to them principles which they must have in their religious education. In giving your children lessons in physiology, and teaching them how to cook with simplicity and yet with skill, you are laying the foundation for the most useful branches of education. Skill is required to make good light bread. There is religion in good cooking, and I question the religion of that class who are too ignorant and too careless to learn to cook. 2T 537.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 375

If we can arouse the moral sensibilities of our people on the subject of temperance, a great victory will be gained. Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced. Temperance in eating, drinking, sleeping, and dressing is one of the grand principles of the religious life. Truth brought into the sanctuary of the soul will guide in the treatment of the body. Nothing that concerns the health of the human agent is to be regarded with indifference. Our eternal welfare depends upon the use we make during this life of our time, strength, and influence. 6T 375.1

*****

David declared: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” When God has given us such a habitation, why should not every apartment be carefully examined? The chambers of the mind and heart are the most important. Then, instead of living in the basement of the house, enjoying sensual and debasing pleasures, should we not open these beautiful chambers and invite the Lord Jesus to come in and dwell with us? 6T 375.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 260

The God of heaven is constantly at work. It is by His power that vegetation is caused to flourish, that every leaf appears and every flower blooms. Every drop of rain or flake of snow, every spire of grass, every leaf and flower and shrub, testifies of God. These little things so common around us teach the lesson that nothing is beneath the notice of the infinite God, nothing is too small for His attention. 8T 260.1

The mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. It is not as the result of a mechanism, which, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath. In God we live and move and have our being. Every breath, every throb of the heart, is a continual evidence of the power of an ever-present God. 8T 260.2

It is God that causes the sun to rise in the heavens. He opens the windows of heaven and gives rain. He causes the grass to grow upon the mountains. “He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.” “When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; ...He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.” Psalm 147:16; Jeremiah 10:13. 8T 260.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 86

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14. TMK 86.1

Only one lease of life is granted us here, and the inquiry with every one should be, How can I invest my life that it may yield the greatest profit? Life is valuable only as we improve it for the benefit of our fellow creatures and the glory of God. Careful cultivation of the abilities with which the Creator has endowed us will fit us for usefulness here and eternal life in the world to come. TMK 86.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426

All the physical organs are the servants of the mind, and the nerves are the messengers that transmit its orders to every part of the body, guiding the motions of the living machinery. Exercise is an important aid to physical development. It quickens the circulation of the blood, and gives tone to the system. If the muscles are allowed to remain unused, it will soon be apparent that the blood does not sufficiently nourish them. Instead of increasing in size and strength, they will lose their firmness and elasticity, and become soft and weak. Inactivity is not the law the Lord has established in the human body. The harmonious action of all the parts,—brain, bone, and muscle,—is necessary to the full and healthful development of the entire human organism. FE 426.1

The work of physical training, begun in the home, should be carried on in the schools. It is the design of the Creator that man shall know himself; but too often in the pursuit of knowledge this design is lost sight of. Students devote years to different educational lines; they become engrossed in the study of the sciences and of things in the natural world; they are intelligent on most subjects, but they do not become acquainted with themselves. They look upon the delicate human organism as something that will take care of itself; and that which is in the highest degree essential—a knowledge of their own bodies—is neglected. FE 426.2

Every student should understand how to take such care of himself as to preserve the best possible condition of health, resisting feebleness and disease; and if from any cause disease does come, or accidents occur, he should know how to meet ordinary emergencies without calling upon a physician, and taking his poisonous drugs. FE 426.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 278.5

This living God is worthy of our thought, our praise, our adoration, as the Creator of the world, as the Creator of man. We are to praise God, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our substance was not hid from Him when we were made in secret. His eyes saw our substance, yet being imperfect, and in His book all our members were written when as yet there was none of them. He breathed into our nostrils the breath of life. The inspiration of God has given us understanding.—Manuscript 117, September 21, 1898, “A Personal God.” UL 278.5

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