El Chuwl – The God Who Formed You (Deuteronomy 32: 18). We see God as El Chuwl in Deuteronomy 32: 18 “You were unmindful of the Rock who bore you, an you forgot the God who gave you birth”.
The Word translate “gave you birth” (or, in another translation, “formed thee”) is “chuwl”, which is a root word the meaning of which includes “to twist or whirl; to dance; to bear (with the idea of being born); to bring forth”.
Isaiah 43: 1-3a says, “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior …”
We see this same revelation of the God who formed us in Psalm 139: 13-18 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you”.
In both these passages, we see not only El Chuwl, the God who formed us, but we see His creative power inextricably linked to His love for us. Jeremiah 1: 5 provides even a greater picture of this love when God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”. What deeper love is there than to know and be known?
In Pensees, Pascal reflects on man’s search for happiness, writing: “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”
The same God Who formed us is the God Who knows us and Who wants to be known by us. Just as an artistic masterpiece cannot be fully understood apart from understanding the artist, so we cannot separate our purpose from our Creator- the God Who gave us birth.