Personal safety is largely an illusion we wrap ourselves in and are comforted by until the moment when it is either threatened or simply snatched from our feebly grasping hands. There is but one true form of personal safety and it pertains not to the body – only to the soul.
There are those who walk among us who know this truth far too well. Their hearts have been seared by this red hot truth and they are forever changed. They know firsthand that the multitude of verses about safety in the Bible are not promises of physical safety here on earth but instead refer to the absolute safety of the soul for those who have received the free gift of salvation and become sons and daughters of the king through adoption. This is the hope of the believer – this is their confidence – and this is their terror as well. The veil has been torn from their eyes and they see all too clearly that the ones they love most in this world are not promised to remain theirs for the duration of their time traveling this pilgrim pathway.
There are in fact scriptures we prefer not to look at too closely. Verses that reveal the sin we either prefer to pretend doesn’t exist or feel is impossible to gain victory over rank high on that list. But also there are those that simply reveal truths we fear.
Psalm 139:13-16 contains one such truth hidden amongst David’s proclamation of God’s omnipresence and omniscience. There it silently lies speaking both a comforting and yet disturbing truth to those with ears to hear.
The passage is a familiar one for the average Christian and is often quoted in defense of the sanctity of human life. It begins,
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;”
Then along comes verse 16 . . .
16 “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
It’s a profound truth – an awesome truth – one we should fully embrace.
“. . . And in Your book were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them”.
Verse 16 is one we should fully examine and meditate on; not simply breeze by as we strive to reach the end of the chapter. It’s far from insignificant; it holds vital truths of consequence to followers of Christ and lovers of the Lord God Almighty.
This passage tells us that every individual created by the hand of God was ordained a set number of days before they were ever born into this world.
According to dictionary.com the word ordain means “to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.” This definition holds a world of meaning to a Christian because it clearly states a truth we hold dear and also dovetails nicely with other scriptures related to sanctification and gifts for ministerial purposes.
When the Bible tells us that our days have been ordained it is telling us that our days have been numbered but it is also speaking of a broader truth. The scriptures are telling us that every single human being ever formed in the womb was appointed a sacred purpose – an assigned ministry (service for God) – every human being was, in fact, given holy orders.
Consider for a moment that every life was planned and assigned a holy purpose in light of 2 Peter 3:9.
“The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.” (GOD’S WORD Translation)
This verse tells us that in spite of our preordained life’s purpose, God patiently waits for us to accept or reject our holy orders and thereby fulfill our life’s ultimate purpose within the predetermined number of days appointed for our lives.
When a young father, a child, or even a middle-aged woman dies before the average lifespan has been fulfilled, it is not at all uncommon to hear their life referred to as one “cut short”. This, however, is a worldly concept, not a heavenly one. Every human life, regardless of its length of days, is lived to it’s fullest ordained measure. That can be both a painful and a comforting truth but as Dr. Adrian Rogers said, “It’s better to speak truth that hurts and then helps than falsehood that comforts and then kills.”
Bethany and Katie lived every minute, every second of life appointed for them. The moment God chose to create Bethany and Katie and lovingly and painstakingly planned every single detail of their individual and unique appearances and personalities, He also ordained the number of their days. Their lives were not cut short. They were fully realized and by God’s grace, they fulfilled His ultimate holy purpose within their appointed days.