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Why Life Matters (Psalm 139:13-16)

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Preached on Sanctity of Life Sunday






Why Life Matters

Psalm 139:13-16

To be preached on January 26, 2003

English Baptist Church, Stephensport, KY

by Pastor Matt Perry

 

History has a way of revealing the dark side of humanity.  In fact, all we have to do is look at recent history.  In the 1620s, the first African-American slaves were brought to this country and for 225 years they were treated not as people, but as property until Abraham Lincoln gave them the status of freedmen in 1863.  Yet, even a century after that, those of that race were still feeling the effects of that intense type of prejudice.

 

In the 1930s, a man was elected to power in a country that was badly beaten in WWI.  His views were radical, but this country was desperate to return to their glory days and it didnt matter how.  This man wrote a book showing how to do that very thing --- and one of those ways was to rid the country of a certain race, the Jews.  Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews in his concentrations camps.  Similarly, Josef Stalin (who happens to be the hero of one Saddam Hussein) killed 25 million during his tenure in Russia. 

 

Yet, there is a similar threat going on in our country right now. 

 

This past Wednesday was be the 30th anniversary of a case that has had far-reaching effects on how we in this country view life.  The verdict of Roe v. Wade determined that obtaining an abortion was legal, that the right to privacy extended to the termination of a womans pregnancy, and that the fetus in the mothers womb was not human in the Constitutional sense and thus has restricted rights. 

The result?

 

Since then, over 42 million babies in this country have lost their lives (that 1.5 million per year, 29,000 per week, 4100 per day, 170 per hour).  Worldwide, the total is 50 million per year.  It is the second most common surgical procedure in this county.  And, tragically, 80% of them are unwed mothers. 

 

While it may be easy for us to get angry about such things, my heart goes out to many who have had them because, frankly, they have been sold a bag of goods that says, This is your only option.  Many are convinced that this child is merely a lump of tissue and that by having surgery to get rid of this lump, your life will not have been inconvenienced or lost.  They say that a child should come into this world in a situation where he/she is wanted and loved. 

 

Look at what the Planned Parenthood Federation of America says on their website (http://www.plannedparenthood.org) .

 

It is the policy of Planned Parenthood Federation of America to assure that all individuals have the freedom to make reproductive decisions.  Reproductive freedom --- the fundamental right of every individual to decide freely and responsibly when and whether to have a child --- is a reaffirmation of the principle of individual liberty cherished by most people worldwide.  It helps ensure that children will be wanted and loved, that families will be strong and secure, and that choice rather than chance will guide the future of humanity.  Reasonable people everywhere agree that no woman should be forced to bear children; no family should be threatened by economic ruin as a result of unintended pregnancy; and no person should ignore the consequences of unwanted pregnancies. 1

 

National Abortion Rights Action League (http://www.naral.org -- who has now changed their name to NARAL:  Pro-Choice America) in their first paragraph says, As essential to American freedom as our right to think, vote, worship, work and marry, is our right to privacy.  This very basic and necessary right includes having access to sake and legal abortion and quality reproductive health care.2

 

Notice in these two paragraphs and in other missions statements like theirs, what seems to be the essential right stated here?  Freedom.  Choice.  Privacy.  As determined by whom?  The individual.  They are using one of the great principles of our country --- freedom --- to excuse their rationale for promoting and providing this barbaric activity.

 

What saddens me is a number of things:

 

First, I am saddened that those who are pro-abortion (or as they like to call themselves, pro-choice) make it sound as if this is the answer to offsetting so many of their problems.  Look at Planned Parenthoods rationale:  no woman should be forced to bear children; no family should be threatened by economic ruin as a result of unintended pregnancy; and no person should ignore the consequences  of unwanted pregnancies.   It makes it sound as if this baby were the equivalent of a fatal car accident or falling out of a building rather than a blessing from God.  They forget that our true founding document, the Declaration of Independence, says that our Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable rights:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  All that matters is the last two.  The first right has been disregarded. 

 

Look at these statistics as to why children are aborted. The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states: *

         1% are victims of incest or rape

         1% had fetal abnormalities

         4% had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy

         50% said they didn't want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships

         66% stated they could not afford a child

        75% said the child would interfere with their lives.3

Second, I am saddened that so few in the church seem to care about it.  The media has brainwashed us into thinking that this is simply a political issue.  But its not:  its a biblical one.  Life matters to God and it should matter to us as well.

When our moral compass (nay, our Scriptural, God-centered compass) has disappeared.  Convenience.  Freedom.  Liberty.  Privacy.  Those are the watchwords of the day.  And with no Scriptural compass, no one has any ground to stand on to say that this is wrong.  Without that moral compass, we create our own right and wrong.  And look at where it might lead.  Euthanasia for an elderly person who someone else deems does not contribute to society.  How about cloning or embryo stem-cell research, in which we create life for the sake of destroying it for research?  It makes the story of Dr. Frankensteins laboratory ring a certain amount of truth.

Now, it would be easy for us to merely look at the act of abortion from our perspective.  Yet, like with everything else, we must look at this unborn child from Gods perspective.  After all, the Scriptures make it clear that we are Christs ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:17), not our own ambassadors --- otherwise our perspective may be skewed in thinking this is a political issue to make people see our side.  Our aim is to introduce Gods viewpoint into the subject.  For that, we turn to Scripture.

 Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV) 

    [13]    For you formed my inward parts;
            you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    [14] I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
 Wonderful are your works;
        my soul knows it very well.
    [15] My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
        intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    [16] Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
        the days that were formed for me,
      when as yet there were none of them.

When we read this passage, we see that Gods nature is intricately wrapped in this creative process of bringing a new life into the world --- even from the womb, EVEN from conception.  We will look at three of His characteristics:  His omnipotence, His omnipresence, and His omniscience.

 1.      The development of the unborn child shows Gods omnipotence.

Omnipotence means all-powerfulness, control, supremacy.   When we talked two weeks ago why Genesis 1:1 matters, we showed from Scripture Gods power by Him creating everything by His will and bringing it to bear by His Word.  Genesis 1 details how God created the universe in its enormity and all the galaxies, stars, planets, moons, the sky and sea, the land, the vegetation, and the creatures --- an enormous task.  And a big God can do that.

Yet, look at verses 13-14: 

    [13]    For you formed my inward parts;
            you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    [14] I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
 Wonderful are your works;
        my soul knows it very well.

This shows that Gods creative power extends to even the smallest of places in crafting a new human baby --- in fact, He is actively in the womb weaving all that we are together.  Compare this viewpoint to those who say change the language of what is in the womb.  They call it a fetus, an embryo, and a tissue.  They do all they can to convince the public that this child in the womb is not a real person.  G. Meilaender in his book Bioethics says that while that embryo may not look like a human being, it looks a lot like we did at that age.

In fact, when a child is conceived, that child has its own DNA (which is the genetic information that is unique to that person --- enough to fill a library with 1,000 volumes or 600,000 pages worth of materials containing 500 words per page).  Pro-choice people say, This child is just an extension of the mother, like tonsils or an appendectomy.  Yet, this child has its own DNA and in 50% of cases, a different gender. 

You see why we must believe in a divine Creator?  Otherwise, were all here to find our own way and create our own morality. 

Yet, God gives us a chance to praise Him for His marvelous works.  Those who trust in Him have great reason to praise and have, now, little reason to be depressed.  If God made me fearfully and wonderfully, then I am valuable to Him --- and so is that unborn child.

2.      Omnipresence

Since we already know that omni- means all and the word presence is self-explanatory.  God is ever-present.  There is no place where He is not.  From the farthest points in the universe to right in your very room, He is there.  John 4:24 says that God is spirit, which means that He is not flesh and bone.  That means He is not like us who cannot be two places at once.  If there were life on a planet one hundred million light years from us, God would be just as present there as He would be here.  Thats an awesome thought, isn't it?

The Psalmist writes in this very same Psalm:

Psalm 139:7-12 (ESV) 

    Where shall I go from your Spirit?
        Or where shall I flee from your presence?
    [8] If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
         If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
    [9] If I take the wings of the morning
        and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    [10] even there your hand shall lead me,
        and your right hand shall hold me.
    [11] If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
        and the light about me be night,"
    [12] even the darkness is not dark to you;
        the night is bright as the day,
        for darkness is as light with you.

This is an incredibly poetic picture that demonstrates the omniscience of God.  No matter how much we think the nighttime will hide our sin, its as day to Him.  No matter how high in the mountains or low in the valleys we get to try and escape and to getaway from it all, we cant get away from God.  And no matter how thick those doors are to those abortion clinics when those atrocities are committed, make no mistake that God is there clearly seeing everything happening, knowing every emotion, seeing every cold heart --- and like the blood of innocent Abel in Genesis 4, the blood of the unborn child is crying up to God from the ground. 

Look here at verse 15: 

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 (Psalm 139:15-16a).

While we were in the womb growing and maturing ready to enter into the world, we were not hidden from God.  God was not only there, He (as we saw before) was making us and weaving us intricately.  

And thats where we need to be, dear brothers and sisters.  We need to realize that God is not just with us when we take our first breath.  Pro-abortionists use the Scriptures to say that the word ruach in the Hebrew means breath and that a person is only viable when they take that first breath.  Yet, this word in the context they mention deals with Adam, who was not brought forth from a womb but from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2).  This passage shows that that child in the womb is within the providence of God and, as we shall see in a moment, has a purpose and a plan for that child.  

The Bible treats the unborn child the same as it does the born child.  In Genesis 25:22, we see the unborn Jacob and Esau struggl[ing] together within [Rebekah] and that these would be two divided nations with their purpose and plan already determined.  In Luke 1:44, when Mary the mother of Jesus arrived to see Elizabeth, the Scriptures show Elizabeths response:  For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 

Many abortionists understand that this is a human child in the womb --- but for many their desire is to protect womens rights.  But it is not our rights that are the issue, it is Gods admonition to protect the innocent ones blood from being shed.  Look with me at Proverbs 24:11-12

    Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
        hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
    [12] If you say, "Behold, we did not know this,"
        does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
    Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
        and will he not repay man according to his work?

Gods at work in the womb; that child is not hidden from His sight.  We should not back down in our fight to protect His handiwork.  They are valuable little ones created in Gods image.

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