As we begin a new year, I cannot help but remember this past Christmas with our household filled with the sounds of two very active children. With Brooklyn always on the move, as only a three year old can be, and Grant doing what three-month-olds do best, our house was once again very much alive with sounds that we had not heard since earlier last summer. Just watching a three-year-old jump, dance, sing, play with Lego’s and run with endless energy tired me out; however, I can tell you I slept with a smile on my face. The truth is the older I get the harder it is to be apart from all our grandchildren. I see the DNA of their parents and grandparents in each of them, and find myself praising God for our extended family.
Because of my attachment to my children and grandchildren, I find it difficult to understand how anyone could so freely discard an unborn child. By discard I mean kill. There is no good way to say it. I do wish I could tone it down a little. But God won’t let me and, as the saying goes today, “It is what it is.” Yet, at the same time, I do want to say to those who have gone through an abortion, I am truly sorry for your loss. And I want you to know that God is ready to forgive you for what you have done and wants, not only to heal you from the guilt and pain of your child’s abortion, but to be very much part of your life--through His Son Jesus Christ. Only He can heal your painful guilt.
But the question needs to be asked, as we celebrate Sanctity Of Human Life Sunday, How does God see the unborn child? I would like to explore this question by seeing what God sees through the eyes of the Divine. To do this, I would like to take you to Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Perhaps a little background is needed before pontificating on this verse. Jeremiah, who was often called the “weeping prophet,” had a difficult task ahead of him as a young spokesman for God. He was given his nickname because of the tears he shed telling the people of Judah of God’s judgment on them for their sin and rebellion. So let’s pick up the storyline in Jeremiah 1:4, where he tells his readers, “Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying…”
Well, what did God say to Jeremiah that is so important to the issue of life inside the womb? In the above passage, you will notice that God uses a series of four verbs to express to Jeremiah how He views human life, as well as how He is involved in their life. By looking at these verbs, we will come to understand that people are more than mere humanity.
I would challenge you to study the Scriptures by looking for ways that God is always consistent and constant when it comes to His involvement of shaping and forming the unborn child. First, the most astounding proclamation is that, before we were ever born, we have always existed in the mind of God! If God is omniscient, and He is, and He knows all people, all places, and all things perfectly, totally, and completely, then it stands to reason, within the divine knowledge of God, that He has known us in the same way in the same manner in eternity past, in our present condition, and in our future state. Although God can choose to forget our sin, He cannot choose to forget us (Isaiah 43:25). Jeremiah writes, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” This Hebrew verb means to know someone or something “experientially.” It is used in other passages in Scripture, as a man would “know” his wife; a term used for sexual intimacy.
The second verb I would like us to look at is “formed.” Thus, God was intimately involved in the forming of the child in the womb. This Hebrew verb means to “form, fashion, make…” Authors Woods and McLaren write, “The nouns maker, creator, and potter, come from the participle form of this verb. Thus, we understand it takes more than two to make a baby and by more I mean God.”
The third verb is “consecrated.” Here we are to understand the purpose and plan for human life. Particular to Jeremiah’s life we see that God set him apart (or aside) before he took in his first breath of fresh air, for His purpose and glory. Jeremiah was consecrated, sanctified for God a specific service, that of being a prophet, The Almighty’s mouthpiece.
The last verb God uses to describe His view of the unborn is seen in the use of the word “appointed.” Before the very foundations of the world were laid, God had planned out to the finest detail where Jeremiah would go, what he would say, and what he would experience. His ministry would be “to the nations.” His persistent message of God’s judgment would span over four decades to kings who needed to heed the words of the King of kings and repent of their sin. During his tenure as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah would face the trauma of seeing the temple go up in smoke, see conspiracy seize the land, and witness the people’s rebellion against his word from the LORD.
So what does Jeremiah and God’s intimate knowledge have to do with the sanctity of the unborn child that is put up for abortion in our land today? EVERYTHING!!!
First, I believe God sees eternally the potential man has. If God is all knowing, then it stands to reason that He completely knows, not only every scenario of every human being that has been born, but every human being that was lost through abortion. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Because of Satan and our sin nature working together, we are witnessing the discarding of unwanted children that have the potential for the abundant life Jesus speaks of. One can only imagine the number of preachers, teachers, lawyers who have morals, senators and statesmen with integrity, we have lost for the sake of “CHOICE.”
Second, I believe within the mind of God that He had plans for the unborn. I don’t believe His plan included them to be aborted by choice. Although there are times when the mother’s body will reject a baby or that the baby is too sick in the womb to stay the course to birth, I believe those who choose to abort have robbed their baby of God’s plan for their life. What parent has not looked at their child in the crib and seen the potential in their eyes to serve the Lord and to be a great man or woman of God. And haven’t we, as we look into their smiling little face, started making plans for them as to how they would grow, learn and achieve? If we are made in the image and likeness of God would not the Almighty have plans for us all within His eternal mind?
Lastly, I believe with lost potential, lost plans, comes lost appointments. People talk romantically about having an appointment with destiny. What nonsense! We have appointments with particular destinations. What is destiny, but only a vague, netherworld that holds no power for direction. But God has appointed us to a particular place, with a particular service that the unborn aborted never experience.
When my mother was dying, I took the opportunity to write to her one last love letter, telling her how much I truly cared for her as only a son could. You see my mother and I never really got along that well. However, as I grew up and became an adult son, I realized how truly precious it was to have a mother. I knew I needed to thank her one last time for her love and care for me over my younger years. I wrote something that might seem strange to you, because in the letter I thanked her for not aborting me. She could have, but she chose to keep me. Because of that one act of kindness and love, God’s potential, plan, and appointments have been met. As we celebrate our own lives, let us not forget the plight of the unborn child. Let us be a voice for the one who can only cry in the womb.
This is Pastor Whalen, wishing you joy in Jesus!