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One of the many sins for which God punished His people in the Old Testament was the sin of child sacrifice. The practice of offering infants as burnt offerings upon idolatrous altars incurred the wrath of Almighty God. God pointed out Judah's involvement in this sin saying, "they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My mind" (Jer. 7:31).
While it may be difficult for us to imagine a scene in which parents would burn their children on the altar of a pagan false-god, something similar is happening in our world today. Each year an estimated 50 million unborn children are killed through abortion worldwide. Abortion is defined as the intentional termination of pregnancy before birth, resulting in, or accompanied by, the death of the fetus (Ecarta Encyclopedia, 1998). It is important to note that nearly all of these abortions fall into the category of what is called "abortion on demand." In other words, nearly every one of these 50 million abortions is simply the result of a mother's arbitrary decision to rid herself of her unborn child.
Though it may be true that thousands of babies are not currently being offered as burnt sacrifices on the altar of Molech today, something far worse is happening. Millions of babies are being sacrificed each year on the idolatrous altars of selfishness, greed, worldly pleasure, and irresponsibility. All of this is done in the name of what is referred to as "a woman's right to choose." But what does the Bible say about abortion? Though we cannot put our finger on a Bible verse that literally says, "abortion is wrong," we can bring numerous passages and principles to bear on the subject.
1. The Bible Speaks Of Unborn Children As Living Persons The Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet saying, "Before I formied you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jer. 1:5). Jeremiah was no less a living person inside the womb then he was outside of it. Of John the baptizer, the angel said, "He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, from his mother's womb" (Lk. 1;15). Can there be any doubt that John is here spoken of as a living person while yet in the womb? Other Bible passages teach that same principle (Isa. 49:1; Psa. 139:13,14).
2. Unborn Babies Have The Attributes Of Living Persons: - Much of the debate surrounding abortion revolves around whether life begins before or after birth. The Bible answers the question with great clarity. Many passages of Scripture maintain that "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11) About three weeks following conception, the baby's heart begins to beat and to circulate his own blood supply. If the life is in the blood, then there is life in the womb. For this reason the penalty for destroying life was given to those who harmed unborn children under the Law of Moses. (Exo. 21:11,23).
Science further confirms this point. At 40-42 days after conception, the baby's brain waves can be recorded. At 60-70 days the baby begins to squint, swallow, and move his tongue. At 70-80 days all major organs are present and working within the baby. It is possible for the baby to survive outside the womb after only five months.
3. The Bible Uses The Same Words To Refer To Unborn Children As It Does To Refer To Children That Have Been Born: -- In the Old Testament we find the same Hebrew word for children employed in describing Jacob and Esau in their mother's womb as is later used to refer to Jacob's grown children (Gen. 25:22; 37:3). No distinction is noted in the words used to refer to unborn children and those who have already been born. This is also true in the New Testament where the unborn Jesus is referred to by the same Greek term as John, who has already been born (Lk. 1:36,57). Again no distinction is made in the terminology used to refer to unborn children in contrast to those who have been born. While society may refer to an oborted baby as simply a "discarded fetus," the Bible refers to unborn babies as living children. From the perspective of our Creator there is no difference.
4. By The Standard Of God's Word, Abortion Stands Condemned As Murder: -- Murder is defined as killing with premeditated, evil intent. Abortion on demand is intentional, premeditated shedding of innocent blood. It si not hard to understand what God thinks of this form of legalized murder. Among those things which He hates are "hands that shed innocent blood" (Prov. 6:17). What could fit the description of shedding innocent blood more accurately than the barbarc destruction wrought upon helpless unborn children around the world each day? The Bible consistently condemns murder as a sin tht will keep a person out of heaven (Gal. 5: 21; Rev. 21:8).
5. The Bible Charges Parents With The Responsibility Of Loving And Caring For Their Children: -- Among other things, older women are to teach the younger women "to love their children" (Titus 2:4). There is a radical difference between a mother loving her child and a mother paying a physician to cut out, suction, poison, or otherwise expel her child as is the case with abortion. Rather than commit such atrocities against their own children, parents are to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).
Conclusion: -- The Bible does speak clearly on the subject of abortion, and its proponents are well described by the apostle Paul as being "without natural affection" (Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3, KJV). In allowing and condoning abortion on demand, our society demonstrates a lack of respect for God, His Word, and the sanctity of human life. Where will you take your stand on this controversial moral issue? This is one area where you must exercise your "right to choose." Make the right choice.
By David Dann in Truth Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 9, Sept. 2007.
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