Every human life is sacred to God. Everyone is His craftsmanship. In Genesis 2:7, it records God loving personally forming Adam’s body out of the elements of the ground and then bending over to breathe into His nostrils the breath of life. The verse says: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
God also took as much care in the creation of the woman. Genesis 2:21-22 says: “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”
But here is the truly amazing thing. God also takes that much care in the formation of every life. Psalm 139:13-16 gives us a beautiful picture of that loving care:
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
God forms our internal organs – our heart, our lung, our kidneys – all within our mother’s womb. He knits together a skeleton and covers it with flesh. His works are marvelous from the intricacy of the eye to the cleverness of the thumb. He even sets down the days of our lives, fashioned for us before we were born.
How can anyone who believes the Bible is God’s Word ever doubt God’s personal involvement in every human life? How can we ever call a life an accident or a mistake? It might be unplanned by the parents, but not by God. Every child is a gift of God personally crafted by God Himself.
Since that is true, who are we to judge the value of one life over another? Just because that life may be wrapped in a body that we consider less than perfect, it is no less precious to God. As David Ring, the famous evangelist who is severely handicapped with cerebral palsy, has said, “God don’t make junk, although He came close.” Yet we are so quick to judge the value of another human being by how perfect their body or mind is.
Now, ultrasounds and amniocentesis are becoming routine. But why would that be? It is so parents can have the option of terminating the pregnancy if some “abnormality” is found, like David Ring’s cerebral palsy, or Down’s Syndrome. Some studies show that 90% of couples who find through amniocentesis that they are expecting a child with Down’s Syndrome will abort that child. Yet have you ever met parents of a Down’s Syndrome child who haven’t found that child to be the absolute light of their lives? That child is a joy, the most loving person you could ever meet. Yet we as a society are so quick to throw away those who don’t measure up to our standards.
You’ve probably heard this quiz before. I can’t remember where I first heard it. But how would you counsel the parents in the following circumstances? Would you recommend, or at least accede to an abortion? Would you think it wise to terminate the pregnancy in the following situations?
Case 1: A minister and his wife, who are very poor and who already have fourteen children, now find the wife is pregnant with number fifteen. Considering their extreme poverty and the excessive world population, would you recommend an abortion? If so, you have just killed John Wesley, one of the greatest evangelists of the 19th century.
Case 2: The father is sick with the sniffles. The mother has TB. They have four children. Number one is blind. Number two has died. Number three is deaf. Number four has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again. Should she abort? If she does, she will have just killed Beethoven.
Case 3: A white male raped a thirteen year old black girl, and she is pregnant. If you were her parents, would you pressure her to get an abortion? If you did, you would be silencing the voice of the great Gospel singer, Ethel Waters.
Case 4: A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiancé isn’t the father, and he is upset and wants to dump her. Should she consider an abortion? Then Jesus Christ would never have been born, and He never could have gone to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He would have been murdered in the womb instead.
What life is sacred and worth protecting? All human life is because it is sacred to God. Max Lucado in his book, “The Applause of Heaven,” tells of a sweater that hangs in his closet. He doesn’t even wear it anymore. It doesn’t even fit him anymore. The sleeves are too short, and the shoulders are too tight. Some of the buttons are missing. Why doesn’t he throw it away? That would be the logical thing, wouldn’t it? He’ll never wear it again. He has no use for it. It just takes up closet space. But what makes this sweater with no label so valuable? It was hand knitted with love by his mother. Even though it has lost its usefulness, it hasn’t lost any value.
Human life is also valuable because of its maker. That includes pre-born all the way to pre-death, and every stage in between. It is valuable because God loves it, and because Christ identifies with it.
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus made this claim: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to Me.” He claims that whatever we do to the least of human life, we do to Him. Do you value the sanctity of human life that much?
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Rev. Daniel Packer has been a pastor for twenty years (Currently he serves as pastor of the Orrington Center Church in Orrington, Maine). He is an active proponent of Biblical morality. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.