Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; Jeremiah 5:1
He was born in the woods in a one room log cabin with a dirt floor. There was little money, but plenty of hard work. At a tender age he lost his mother. Although a difficult start to life, his was definitely a life worth living. He became, who many believe to be, our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.
George Herman Ruth, Jr., was one of 8 children. He was born into poverty and saw 6 of his siblings die due to disease and poverty. He was placed in an orphanage. Later known as Babe Ruth, he become the greatest baseball player of all time.
Dave Thomas, was given up for adoption at birth and his adoptive mother died by the time he was five. He dropped out of school at the age of ten to work at a restaurant. Later in life he founded the chain of restaurants known as Wendy’s.
Life isn’t always easy, but it’s still worth living. What is the value of a life? What value could we place on the contributions of such great pillars as mentioned above and countless others who were adopted or suffered other hardships early in life like Steve Jobs, Jamie Foxx, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Marilyn Monroe, Scott Hamilton, Malcolm X, Bo Diddley, and George Washington Carver and others? Due to poverty and the lack of a stable home perhaps many of the individuals mentioned could have been a candidate for abortion.
Regardless of the obvious value of life there have been over 35 million abortions this year. In the United States 22% of all pregnancies, not including miscarriages, end in abortion. (http://www.worldometers.info/abortions/).
Psalm 139: 3-16 has this to say about life, before birth.
3 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Among all those abortions were there captains of industry, leaders of nations, and individuals of extraordinary talent or intelligence? We will never know. God places the value of our lives high even before we are born. Call it what you want abortion, termination, murder, choice, but it still ends a life, a life whose potential has been lost forever. A life created by God.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
My nephew will be witnessing the birth of his first child soon. It was interesting how for a moment I struggled with how to begin this post. If I said “There will be a new life soon,” I would be wrong. My nephew’s child is already alive, just not born. Plenty of doctors can attest to this fact. If I said “we will have a new member of the family soon,” again I would be wrong. This unborn baby is already a part of our lives. There are plenty of gifts, cards and furniture to prove that.
Some might disagree with me. They would call my grand nephew or niece, a fetus and nothing more. They also claim this treasure is not alive, although the doctors, nurses, my nephew and his wife have already had the pleasure of hearing the heart beat on several occasions. The mother has also testified on more than one occasion of how much the baby actually moves. Those who are not alive usually have trouble moving and showing a heartbeat.
Others insist this is not a baby. This wonderful creation has legs, arms, lungs, toes, a mouth ready to eat and a brain capable of capturing information at greater speeds than most adults. This life that exists within my nephew’s wife is a young human, less than a year old. By definition this makes this wonderful creation a baby.
I am sure that killing a creation as just described would be a lot easier if we could just believe that it is not human, not a baby and not alive. However there is nothing biological to differentiate between this creation and the baby we can hold in our hands. The only difference is the state of where they are physically.
The bible makes it clear that it is God that forms us in our mother’s womb and knows us intimately even before we are born. (Isaiah 49:1, Psalms 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:4-5) Much of our character, likes, dislikes and physical characteristics have already been programmed by our creator. Our genetic material already has the information that will determine if we will be capable, with proper training and nutrition, of throwing a 90 mile per hour fastball, shooting a three pointer or winning a marathon. Although we may not know the inner workings of this wonderful being, God does.
What is our responsibility? To welcome this child into our lives, providing all the love and care we have. It is tragic that many children will not be received likewise. Some will literally never see the light of day.
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god…. Acts 17:23
Paul was surrounded by many of the learned men of his day, philosophers, and teachers; these men had come from all over the world to discuss a multitude of ideas including religion and philosophy.
They took Paul to the Areopagus to discuss God and religion. Paul noticed all the many gods they had and then he found a rather unique one. He soon became fixated on the statue to the unknown God. Paul knew it was his God that was unknown to them.
Today there are still many gods. A god is what we worship. We dedicate our lives to our god and we sacrifice to our god. We love our god and think about our god all the time. Our god is loved above everything else. However for some this god may live in their back pocket, especially if it is money. Their god may live on the television screen or the arena, especially if it is a team. Their god may live in the refrigerator, or on the golf course or even at the beach. The priestess of their god may be their boss, especially if it is their job or career. Yet others worship at the feet of science, nature, Mother Earth, or the individual. However none of these are the true God; for He cannot be contained or limited to one place. He was once the unknown God, but sadly, is now the forgotten God.
This is the generation that considers itself too sophisticated to believe in an almighty, divine God. For them creation is a fable; we simply came along by accident, except there is nothing simple about us.
Scripture says it best, “the fool has said in his heart there is no God.” (Psalms 14:1) Paul explains that God is clearly revealed through his creation, starting with us. (Romans 1:18-20)
We are surrounded by the most complex society that has ever existed, complete with computers, smart phones, GPS, satellites, rocket ships, drones, tablets and the list goes on and on. All these have teams of designers, inventors, creators that spent countless hours perfecting their inventions. However the most complex creation does not come from an Apple Inc. factory. It is the one reading these words right now. There is far more information, data, coding and tiny engines within our being, than can be found in any of the most complex inventions, proof of design. Yet we are to believe that we came about by accident. It would be like blowing up a dictionary and ending up with Hamlet.
There are many gods, we sometimes serve them unknowingly. Let us choose wisely. For there is only one God who speaks, listens, loves, watches, saves, has a place prepared for us and promises to never leave us. He is our programmer, our inventor and creator. His mark is upon our DNA, our minds, and even our souls. He desires to spend all eternity with us. Will you deny Him, forget Him or serve Him?
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:14
How many of us enjoy a visit to an Art museum? It is filled with treasures, wonderful creations, to tickle the imagination, move the heart and inspire the weakest among us. We analyze, judge and discuss for hours and only hope for more creations at each corner as we walk through its halls. But the beauty of this world cannot be contained in an art museum. It only begins there. In truth there is art all around us. We see it in the city landscape, finely kept gardens, modern parks, buildings, bridges and countless other structures. Now for my taste there is beauty that is greater than all of these. I would happily choose the view of gentle waves crashing along the shore, or the endless array of colors scattered across a forest in the fall. I would stand in amazement before the greatest Mountains and I am easily humbled below the heavenly stars. For the greatest artist of all is God Himself.
What is His greatest work? Not the oceans, the moon or the sun. We are his greatest work! The complexity of man is beyond our imagination, some scientist estimate that a cell’s DNA contains about 4,000 books of 500 pages each of information. Consider how much data is actually stored within each cell and each human being. Consider the uniqueness of each person in appearance, in spirit and especially in imagination. We truly are a wonderful creation.
We should find joy and comfort in knowing that we are God’s greatest work. We are truly a treasure for our creator. He does not look away from us. He watches over us and hears our prayers. He works in our lives for our good and has our eternal future planned. He has no intention of being separated from us.
Paul wrote: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) Jesus himself said “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
How much value does our creator place in us. He paid for us with the blood of His son Jesus Christ. Therefore our value is priceless and cannot be measured. Any thought or word that would demean our value and worth is simply a lie. Do not be fooled, we are the greatest work from the greatest artist and our value cannot be measured!
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us… 1 Samuel 8:19
The people clamored for a king and Samuel, the great and wise, but aging prophet turned to God. Samuel’s revelation was, to put it simply, scary. He goes on to explain that the king will take their land, their children, their profits and use them for his own purpose. He explains that they would all become servants to the king. Loss of freedom, property, income and even your children does not seem like an attractive offer. However, the people clamored even more. Why? They were scared. They wanted to place their trust in a king. Someone who could organize them, build up their armies and protect them against their enemies. Fear can cause people to do some very strange things.
The other reason, and highly connected to the first reason, was a lack of faith in God. They were choosing to place their trust in a government and not God. It was God who had freed Israel from slavery in Egypt. It was God who had protected and provided for them while they journeyed through the desert. It was God who had given them countless victories against their enemies, both during the conquest of the promise land and its defense in the many years that followed. Throughout all those centuries He gave them freedom instead of an all-powerful monarch as stated in Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
In our time we have seen a growing influence of government in the lives of its citizens throughout the world. This is not an American phenomenon; the entire world is desperately seeking to be rescued. Just like in the time of the prophet Samuel we clamor more and more for our government to take charge, even though we know that for the government to be the solution it will have to grow, in power and in budget and we will pay with both a loss of income and freedom. This is symptomatic of a society that no longer believes in God and would rather place its hope in fallen man. God calls those who would trust in man cursed. (Jeremiah 17:5) It seems that as our Government grows more powerful it grows more inept at solving the world’s problems. Inflation, poverty, debt and war are still on the rise, while the economy continues to fail.
Instead of surrendering more and more of our rights, our income and our privacy, perhaps it is time to let God be the solution and not a larger, more powerful government. It is time to practice some faith in the God who does not lie, cheat or cover up. He will not raise our taxes; seek personal gain, or other perks. Put Him in charge of our lives, that He may give us the strength and guidance we need every day to work through our own problems, and watch freedom reign!