‘A great admiration rises upon me; astonishment seizes me.’ Augustine.

“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10, ESV).

The word translated ‘mind’ is the Hebrew word for ‘kidneys’ (see, for example, Leviticus 3:4). Elsewhere it is translated ‘inmost being’ or ‘inward parts’. So in the ESV translation we read in Psalm 139:13 ‘ for you formed my inward parts’ and in Proverbs 23:16: ‘My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what is right.’ 

Young’s translation or Proverbs 23:16 uses the Old English word ‘reins’: ‘And my reins exult…’

This is from the Latin word renes from which comes the more familiar word ‘renal’.

In their book ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully Made’, Brand and Yancey quote Psalm 139:13-14 at the start:

‘You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’

They then add this quote from Augustine’s Confessions:

“Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”

They ‘omit to wonder at themselves’!

As another translation of Augustine puts it: ‘A great admiration rises upon me; astonishment seizes me. And men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of the ocean, and the courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at themselves.’

Let us not not so omit…even as such wonder draws us to marvel at our Creator:

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1).

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