“And God saw the light, that it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4
At nine weeks, the child’s unique DNA code has “printed all the pieces” necessary for life outside the womb, and those parts are beginning to function as they will after birth. Nine weeks of fetal development is a bit of a “preborn graduation”: The baby is no longer called an “embryo,” and is promoted to “fetus.” The rapid development of the first weeks of life has established a solid foundation and framework of all the major organs, and all will be growth and fine-tuning from this point forward. One can almost imagine God sitting back and pronouncing the initial work, “Good!”
There is a different sort of code known as “Gematria” where each letter in the Hebrew alphabet also has a numerical value, and each number has an assigned “meaning.” For example, the number 7 symbolizes divine perfection and completion, as when God rested on the 7th day of Creation.
In Hebrew gematria, the 9th letter of the alphabet is the letter “Tet," with a numerical value of 9, corresponding to the meaning, “beneficence,” as in active goodness for the benefit and welfare of others. The first time the letter tet is found in the Bible is in the description of the light at the moment of creation in Genesis 1:4, in the word “tov.” Tov is typically translated as “good,” but a better translation might be “beneficial.” Some explain that the “goodness” meant by tov can be described like the pain of childbirth: No one believes that it is good; but everyone believes that it is beneficial because through that pain we receive a new life.
If we were to reflect on the 9th week of fetal development in the spiritual context of tet/9/tov/beneficence, we might imagine the active goodness of God drawing back a figurative curtain to reveal, for the first time, the unique person who until now has been being “created in the secret place.”[i]
This new person now has everything he will need to carry more of God’s goodness into the world – a new life born for the benefit of others. His mother will experience the pain of childbirth, but her child’s goodness will cause it to quickly fade and be remembered as a worthwhile pain. As the child grows, he will experience his own pain many times over, but in God’s economy, no pain is wasted, for God’s purposes can turn our pain to good[ii]; and he will be enabled to show others the compassion he has received.[iii]
Every preborn child has a destiny and a purpose. Every preborn child can bring God's healing and goodness to untold numbers of future generations.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.
Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose.” Jeremiah 1:5
[i] Psalm 139:15
[ii] Romans 8:28
[iii] 2 Corinthians 1:3-4