I’ve written on a lot of issues and biblical passages on here over the last few years, but the one thing I haven’t tackled was the issue of abortion. The reason I haven’t tackled it was because I didn’t have the time to explore the topic in the comprehensive manner that I normally lean towards (i.e. like this or this or this). I still haven’t found the time, and the kind of post I’d like to write requires a lot of research. I have started my research and wanted to share something that I’ve already learned:
The Abortion Guarantee.
It doesn’t take much reading of Scripture to learn that God has a heart for the widows, orphans, poor and oppressed. In Scripture, God is abundantly clear in revealing his concern for those groups (Ex. 22:22-27, 23:1-3, 23:6-8, 23:10-11; Lev. 19:15, 23:22, 25:35-43; Deut 14:28-29, 15:7-15, 24:14-22; Ps. 9:9, 10:16-18, 34:4-7; 35:10, 41:1-3, 68:5, 103:6, 146:5-9; Is. 1:16-17, 10:1-4, 58:1-12; Jer. 7:5-7; Ez. 22:23-29; Zech. 7:9-10; Mal. 3:5; Mark 12:38-40; Rom. 15:25-27; Gal. 2:7-10; 1 Tim 5:3-8; James 1:27, 2:15-17, etc.). The Lord hears their cries, comes to their aid, and is angry at those who mistreat them.
The Lord indeed comes to the aid of the widows, orphans, poor and oppressed, but there is a specific group of people that has a special place on his list of priorities, even above them:
God gets angry at the oppression and abuse of children. God gets furious when they are killed.
Consider the following:
1. The nations living in Canaan were expelled from the land because of child sacrifice.
They were expelled for more than child sacrifice, but that’s one of four horrid practices listed in Lev. 18:19-29:
a. Sexual immorality (Lev. 18:19-20)
b. The sacrificing of children (Lev. 18:21)
c. Homosexuality (Lev. 18:22)
d. Bestiality (Lev. 18:23)
The people of Canaan were expelled from their land for those four practices, and Canada and the US already have already legalized and normalized 3/4 of those (and when it comes to legalized infanticide, we’re likely on the way). Lev. 18:29 also makes it fairly clear that the destruction of the various people-groups in Canaan was due to an underlying universal principle, and I recently discussed this passage in far more detail here.
2. Israel was specifically warned against child sacrifice.
God explicitly warned Israel not to follow the example of the nations that came before them (Deut. 12:29-31), specifically singling out the pinnacle of their moral rebellion as “they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deut. 12:31). God restated a similar warning in Deut. 18:9-12, warning Israel to not “follow the abominable practices of those nations” (Deut. 18:9) since “because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you” (Deut. 18:12).
3. Israel didn’t heed the Lord’s warning and suffered for child sacrifice.
Ps. 106:34-39 records how Israel “sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons” (Ps. 106:37) and as a result, God sent nations to oppress them several times (Ps. 106:40-43). For example, King Ahaz went beyond the kings who came before him and “made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel” (2 Chron. 28:3).
2 Kin. 17:7-8 comments on the situation that led to the captivity of the ten northern tribes. The passage explains how Israel “walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel” (2 Kin. 17:8-12) and the Lord repeatedly sent prophets and seers to warn Israel to “turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes” (2 Kin. 17:13). Those warnings not only fell on deaf ears (2 Kin. 17:14), but aggressively rebellious ears. Israel willfully abandoned God’s commands and built the two golden calves, followed by the idols of Asherah and Baal (2 Kin. 17:16), and finally culminating in the burning of “their sons and their daughters as offerings” (2 Kin. 17:17). That, combined with their practice of divination, is what provoked the Lord to anger and why he “removed them out of his sight” (2 Kin. 17:17-18).
4. Judah also didn’t heed the Lord’s warning and suffered for child sacrifice.
Manasseh acted “according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel” (2 Chron. 33:2). The Chronicler comments on how “he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers.” This is what provoked the Lord to anger (2 Chron. 33:6). Jeremiah spoke out, saying that the sin of Manasseh was responsible for the Lord sending multiple forms of destruction on Judah (Jer. 15:3-5). What’s even more alarming is that the passage opens up with the Lord saying that the coming judgment is assured since “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people” (Jer. 15:1). That same sentiment is expressed by Ezekiel (Ez. 14:12-23).
5. How bad is the wickedness of child sacrifice?
God calls it unimaginable for him.
In Jer. 7:30-31, 15:3, 19:4-5 and Jer. 32:34-35 God speaks of the sacrifice of children as that “which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.”
Now it’s not that God was somehow caught off guard by child sacrifice, but rather that God speaks of child sacrifice as “unimaginable” to show how wicked it is. He makes the point four separate times when he speaks through his prophet Jeremiah.
6. What is God’s response to child sacrifice?
I mentioned previously how Lev. 18:29 seems to suggest that child sacrifice is a horribly wicked sin; one at the level where any nation that commits it will face the wrath of God. God warned Israel about the practice of child sacrifice, using the example of the Canaanite nations who came before them, repeatedly.
God is not just talk.
Yahweh Tsabot has some rather vivid words for those who offered their children as sacrifices to idols. Speaking through Jeremiah, God states that the Valley of Ben Hinnom would be renamed the “Valley of Slaughter” because one day, it will be filled with the bodies of slain Israelites (Jer. 7:32-34 & 19:6-8). Also, God spoke through Jeremiah that the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was a direct result of their idolatry, culminating with their infant sacrifice (Jer. 32:26-35).
God spoke a similar sentiment through Ezekiel in Ez. 16:35-37 and Ez. 23:36-39. Because Judah and Israel slaughtered their children, the Lord would bring other nations against them to conquer them.
So what is this “abortion guarantee”?
Well, I’d suggest that the numerous passages I’ve pointed to explicitly reveal, and exemplify, a universal principle:
God destroys nations that murder their children
That’s what happened to the various people of Canaan; they were punished unto the point of destruction. If I had space, I’d make the case that the same thing has happened in a whole lot of other nations (i.e. Rome, for starters).
That’s what happened to Israel and Judah; their punishment lasted for generations; they were rebuilt only because of the promises of God to their forefathers.
Contrary to popular belief, the United States isn’t “the United States of Israel;” they don’t have a special relationship with God as Israel did. Both Canada and the United States are Gentile nations.
When’s the last time you met a Hivite? How about an Amorite?
Unless God is gracious and grants repentance to Canada and the United States, the same thing that happened to the Hivites and Amorites must happen to Canada and the United States. Only Israel has lasted 3,000+ years. Canada and the United States are just pushing past 300 (depending on where you mark the start of each) and I seriously wonder if either one will exist as a nation in another century.
I hope my exegetical offerings will help give some biblical weight to the importance of the issue. Christians may yet be instrumental in God bringing out countries back from the brink of destruction.
Also, I’d like to offer three other short points to remember:
A. People are people, known by God, before they’re formed in the womb (Jer. 1:5).
B. An infant in the womb is a separate person to his/her mother (Ps. 22:10, 139:13; Luke 1:15).
C. NO Christian can murder their children and still be in right standing with God (Ez. 23:38-39).
This post is just a short look at one facet of this issue, so speak up in the comments and share your thoughts!
And don’t worry.
Next Thursday’s post will be what the masses have been asking for.
I haven’t forgotten.