In this post, I’m going to write about a topic that may push a few buttons. Actually, it shouldn’t push buttons in the Christian world, but nowadays the lines are getting blurred on many issues. Truth is the solution to the confusion.
I want to bring the issue of abortion to the forefront and explain how this is tied to both the United States and Israel. Some people may not take issue with babies being aborted, but as a nation we should be on high alert and ready to take action on this immensely important issue. It is a national sin that has to be dealt with, or major consequences will occur.
Most people are aware of what abortions are, even if they aren’t familiar with how they are performed. The definition of abortion is: the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy. The key words here are DELIBERATE and TERMINATION. Having an abortion is a CHOICE and it ENDS A HUMAN LIFE.
When is a fetus a human being?
There are lots of arguments out there about what constitutes a human life. Some people say a “fetus” is not really a human life yet. The Bible refutes this idea.
Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. 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. You saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
God designs us at conception
These verses are clear. God creates us! He creates us right inside our mother’s womb FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. When the verse above says MY FRAME WAS NOT HIDDEN FROM YOU, it means God knows and sees every aspect of our development in our mother’s womb. We are in the “secret place” as we are formed and woven together in the “depths of the earth”. This means we are protected and covered inside our mother as we are intricately designed. In the very depths of our mother’s womb we are formed, just as God created the earth. God ordains our days while we are still a “fetus” in our mother’s womb. He has our lives already planned out.
God Knew Us Before We Were Born
The big take-away from this???? God already has plans for us before we are born! We are a precious human life- even as a fetus! The idea of aborting a fetus in God’s eyes is the same as murder. God ordains life at conception. The process of his grand design begins immediately. Some people say a heartbeat has to be heard, but according to the scriptures, life is planned by God in the secret place from the very beginning.
Here are a few more verses that show God forms and creates us, and has a plan for us.
“This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, WHO FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB; I am the Lord, the MAKER OF ALL THINGS…..” Isaiah 44:24
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3, NASV).
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
A baby is not an accident or a mistake to God. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he is the one in charge.
Abortion is Wrong
What’s very disturbing about abortions is the brutality in how they are performed. Some babies are suctioned out, tearing their limbs apart. Others are given an injection that makes the baby go into cardiac arrest. Sometimes more than one injection is needed and the baby suffers as the injection takes effect. In partial birth abortions, the doctor turns the baby into a breech position, grabs a leg and pulls the entire baby, except for the head, through the birth canal and outside the mother’s body. Next, the baby is stabbed at the base of the skull with Metzenbaum scissors. In the 70’s and 80’s saline abortions were common. With this type of abortion the baby is exposed to a chemical saline injection that burns the poor baby inside and out.
It is hard for me to type those things because it is hard for me to stomach the fact that there are doctors doing this to babies every single day. They are taking innocent lives in the most inhumane ways. As a nation how can we tolerate such brutality? Below is a link if you want to know more about abortion procedures.
Is Abortion Mentioned in the Bible?
Many people have argued abortions are not specifically mentioned in the Bible so not everyone can agree the practice is a “national sin”. This logic really makes no sense because in biblical days it was unthinkable for an Israelite woman to want an abortion. Thus, there was no reason for it to be mentioned. Also, based on the Ten Commandments which stated THOU SHALL NOT KILL/MURDER, it would have been a given that you were not permitted to take the life of a baby in its mother’s womb. However, even though the specific act of abortion isn’t mentioned, there is another practice mentioned that is very similar and just as disturbing. This practice is condemned and admonished by God.
The practice is called child sacrifice. In Deuteronomy 12:31, God says this about child sacrifice:
“You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.”
In this verse God is telling the Israelites they must not sacrifice their children to pagan gods like the pagan nations do. He says he hates this.
You might be shaking your head and saying, “Abortion is not child sacrifice! No one is sacrificing their baby to a foreign god. No one is putting their baby on an altar, or into a fire.” Even though both acts have differences in how they are performed, their roots and actions have haunting similarities.
Child Sacrifice in Archaeology
First, let’s look at archaeological evidence for child sacrifice in pagan communities because this is where the practice began. Based on documented archaeological evidence, the practice of child sacrifice was prominent in ancient Phoenicia, (ancient Israel’s neighbor). In 1921 a massive cemetery of sacrificed infants was found in Carthage. Most of the urns found contained the charred remains of newborn babies, though some were filled with the cremated bones of children as old as six. In addition, some urns included burial monuments that had the name of an ancient god known as Kronos, also spelled Cronus (otherwise known as Baal). Some also included the name of a goddess named Hammon (the wife of Baal).
Why in the world would Phoenicians sacrifice their innocent children to these gods? By studying the inscriptions on the urns and history of the Phoenicians, it is determined that sacrifices were done to earn favor with the god/goddess, and it was way to ensure success for his/her life. The sacrifice was meant to bring divine blessing. Sacrifices were also seen as a way to make amends for anything that may have been done to upset the gods.
This next part is very disturbing, but read it anyway so you get the full grasp of how evil this practice was. Ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus gives a detailed account of how these babies/children were sacrificed.
“There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus (Baal) extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds horrendous to me! I can’t imagine someone allowing their infant child to be placed on a statue, and then letting them roll into a fire pit!
This part is even worse……. Plutarch, a Greek author, adds more details……..
“the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of the wailing should not reach the ears of the people.”
Basically a lot of noise was made so no one could hear the screams of the babies!!!! How horrible!
The children of both wealthy and poor people were sacrificed to the gods. Sometimes, babies were bought from other families to be sacrificed. Other times, sickly or defective babies were sacrificed in the hopes that next time they would be blessed with a healthy child.
Oftentimes, the pagan cultures of people were just imitating the gods themselves because according to legend, Baal sacrificed his own children. It was believed that children could take the throne of their fathers in the “god realm”. Getting rid of the child ensured the throne would be safe and the god himself would continue to prosper. So, the idea behind the sacrifice is prosperity.
In the earthly realm, having too many children could be considered a financial burden. Wealth could be ensured if sacrifice was practiced. Not only did it control the amount of mouths to feed, but it also gained favor with the gods, and they believed it could bring prosperity. Sadly, we have all seen the stories in the news about Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies. They are profiting from the deaths of these innocent babies. They also make money from each abortion performed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this is wrong! Profiting from the deaths of innocent children can be likened to the ancient Phoenicians who sacrificed their own babies to gain wealth and success. God grieves for these innocent babies. When a nation begins killing their own children, a serious breach in the spiritual realm has been made. Darkness begins to trickle in slowly, and eventually it can take over.
Child sacrifice was also practiced in the biblical land known as Canaan. It was also practiced by some of the Israelites.
Leviticus 18:21 (ESV) says, “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”
The King James Version says: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”
Molech is another way of saying Baal. In this verse God is clearly telling the Israelites they must not participate in child sacrifice. In the King James version it says not to let their children pass through the fire. This is referring to the fact that pagan cultures offered children to Baal and they were burned with fire. In these verses God is telling the Israelites they must not follow this practice.
Leviticus 20: 1-5 (NIV) details the punishments that will be placed on anyone who sacrificed their children to Molech (Baal):
“The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molech and if they fail to put him to death, I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”
God hates child sacrifice
Well, it’s pretty clear that God will punish anyone who participates in child sacrifice. When God says he will set his face against him that means he will turn against that person. In this case it even says the person or persons committing the act will be stoned and put to death. The sin of killing children is so unbearable that God stipulates the community must stone the person/persons participating in it.
God also says that those who turn their heads the other way while these detestable sacrifices are going on will be punished as well.
Despite God’s clear and stern warnings, the Israelites still performed child sacrifice. This was done in the high places of the Valley of Ben Hinnom and this is described in Jeremiah 19 below……………
Where was child sacrifice performed?
“And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents. They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.”
Notice that in these verses God says the Israelites have filled this place with the blood of innocents- innocent children! God also says this is something he would never command the Israelites to do, nor has it ever entered his mind!!!!
Ezekiel 16: 20-21 says, “‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.”
Now here’s where it gets even more disturbing. According to Old Testament scholars it is probable that many of these children who were sacrificed may have been the offspring of temple prostitution. One of the pagan practices of those who followed Molech (Baal) was the act of having sex with temple prostitutes. If a baby was conceived, it could be sacrificed to Molech (Baal).
Ahab and Jezebel
If you read the history of Ahab and his pagan wife Jezebel, you know Ahab was considered one of the worst kings Israel ever had. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, a priest of the false god Baal. Jezebel’s father murdered his own brother to take over the throne. It is clear Jezebel came from an evil family. Jezebel followed in her father’s footsteps and was also consumed with power. Ahab allowed his evil wife Jezebel to bring in her pagan practices, which included Baal worship, temple prostitution and child sacrifice to name a few. See verses below……………
“In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.” 1 Kings 16:29-33.
Jezebel brought evil into Israel and Ahab did nothing about it. Ahab even allowed her to kill the prophets of God. He allowed her to bring in hundreds of pagan priests and priestesses into the kingdom of Israel who would degrade God’s holy place.
Jesus himself warns the churches about following the practices of Jezebel in Revelation 2:20.
“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.”
The part of this verse that refers to “eating food sacrificed to idols” means the churches are not to participate in anything offered to idols or any of the practices of idolatry. This would include inappropriate sexual acts and child sacrifice. This includes worshiping any god other than the one true God of Israel.
Jesus goes on to say……..
“I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”
I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty clear that child sacrifice and the pagan practices of Jezebel will bring severe consequences. Keep in mind that this particular passage is referring to the churches of today that tolerate these things! The seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 are referring to the spiritual condition of the churches when Christ returns, as well as addressing those of the past. You might be thinking, “churches today do not sacrifice children”. Remember, the modern parallel of child sacrifice is abortion. The big idea here is the churches should be standing up for the lives of these innocent babies. Churches should let their voices be heard when it comes to this issue and they should never support abortion. Supporting abortion as a christian just isn’t biblical.
Sadly, there were other Israelite kings that participated in child sacrifice such Ahaz, king of Judah, and his grandson Manasseh (check out 2 Kings 16:3 and 2 Kings 21:6). Even King Solomon followed the practices of Molech (Baal)- See 1 Kings 1:1-8.
Truth be told, these acts of child sacrifice were not hidden from public view. They set them up in the high places and the people were aware of it.
Some kings tried to stop this practice, such as King Josiah (2 Kings 23:1-3). Unfortunately, the changes did not last. The kings and people continued in their idolatry and killing of the innocent.
The prophets warned the nation of Israel and Judah to stop in these ways or judgment would come. And it did. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians. Now, the pagans would take over the cities inhabited by the Northern Kingdom. Later, God used Babylon as a way to punish Judah ( the Southern Kingdom). The Babylonians invaded and destroyed Jerusalem, along with the Temple. The destruction of the Temple sent a clear message to the people that God had left the building! He was done with their idolatrous practices, and he had given fair warning.
Ezekiel 23: 35-37 says:
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.” The Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront them with their detestable practices, for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths. On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it. That is what they did in my house.”
I could go on and cite more examples, but I believe you have enough evidence. Child sacrifice is not tolerated by God.
Now that we understand how this practice was followed in ancient Israel, let’s set our minds on how this could have any bearing on what we know as modern day abortion.
Abortion is like child sacrifice
Perhaps the easiest parallel to see is that child sacrifice is done by the child’s parents, and abortion is also done or approved by the child’s parent or parents. In ancient Carthage, one of the big reasons parents sacrificed their child was so they could attain financial success or gain the favor of the gods. This idea of gaining favor with the gods means that if they sacrificed their child, the gods would help them with their problems or change the circumstances they were currently in.
Nowadays there are many reasons why women get abortions. They may be too young. They might not be financially secure. It may be the result of sex outside of marriage. It may be the result of an affair. They may not want a child at this time in their life because they aren’t ready. Their boyfriend, family or spouse may not want the child. There could be shame involved in some cases. There’s always cases of rape, but the amount compared to the other reasons is very low.
The reasons for child sacrifice and abortion are not so different. There is a problem that has to be solved or the mother will not “prosper”. This could be financial or mental prosperity. Reputations can be damaged and lives will be changed dramatically. Ancient sacrifice was seen as a way to change your circumstance. Abortion is also a way to change circumstance. I don’t think women of today see abortion as child sacrifice and I do not think they get an abortion for the purposes of giving a sacrifice to any god. I’m just saying there are parallels between the two.
I‘m not judging those people out there who may have had an abortion. I know the reasons are not always simple and well defined. I know there is pain involved and some people live with the guilt for years. Jesus can certainly forgive anyone who has had an abortion. We are so blessed to have a savior who can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we lived in Old Testament times, the consequences would be severe. But, we now live in the age of grace because Jesus died on the cross for ALL OUR SINS! However, just because Jesus forgives doesn’t mean we can continue condoning and supporting a practice where innocent babies are killed. We need to educate those around us about why abortion is wrong. Those who think we can keep doing this forever AS A NATION with no consequences from God are living in a fairy tale. God gave Israel lots of time to repent. But, they kept continuing in their sin. When the punishment was given, the ENTIRE NATION was involved. Through the prophets God addressed the kings and all the people. He sent many warnings. We can be forgiven of this sin individually, but our nation will suffer dire consequences if the practice continues as part of our national laws and standards.
Abortion is wrong. Abortion is a National Sin
The United States is a nation blessed by God. In 1973 when Roe vs Wade was passed, a time clock started ticking. Sadly, from that point on, the way abortions were performed changed, as well as the timing of the abortions. Here we are in 2019 (46 years later) and there are states in our country that allow babies to be killed up to the day they are born! The cup of iniquity is pretty much full. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. The number is likely higher as not all are documented.
I believe we are already feeling the consequences of this national sin on many levels. Just look at the division in our land right now. We are a nation divided over many issues, but sin in particular. I do not know where it is all headed, but I can assure you that unless we get right with God as a nation, the end result won’t be good. In the case of ancient Israel, both the northern and southern kingdoms were destroyed. God warned them continuously about this national sin and many others- yet they ignored it and it led to their demise in both the years 586 B.C. and then next in 70 A.D. Like ancient Israel, the United States is a nation set apart by God. Our founding has deep christian roots, and the planting of thousands of christian churches here are great evidence of our ties to God.
How do we fight abortion? How do we stop abortion? How do we address this issue?
Some of us think there’s nothing we can do about it. Firstly, you should be aware of what your legislators’ view is on abortion. Do your research. You need to find out how your legislators and government officials are voting on this issue. Vote for those in office who will fight for unborn babies and their right to live. You can also support clinics/organizations who help women keep their babies (See links at the bottom of this post for ideas). You can also voice your opinion to others so they know why you feel the way you do. Of course, you can pray as well. Pray for our leaders and the women of this nation to turn to God and let him heal their lives and this country we live in. Pray to God about how you can help. Everyone can do something!
Aborting babies cannot be our answer. The root cause of abortion lies in our own sin. I’ve been told by people it’s not fair that a young girl’s life can be ruined because she will have to take care of a baby instead of going to school, college, etc. Others say it can ruin a woman’s rising career. Another reason used is that having a baby keeps women in poverty and will change the course of their lives. In a large number of cases, the woman is unmarried and the pregnancy was not planned. We must remember God has that child’s future planned already. Just because we didn’t plan it doesn’t mean God can’t plan it all for good. Even if the pregnancy is the result of a bad relationship, or a one night stand, it doesn’t mean the baby should be punished. God can take any situation and make it beautiful. There are many resources for mothers who need help. Also, there’s always the option to give their baby up for adoption. This one act can bring joy to families who cannot have their own children. Abortion should never even cross our mind. You know why? Because God says it doesn’t cross his.
In the midst of planning and writing this blog, I’ve been watching BBC’s Call the Midwife. It is a series that details the lives of midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The episodes depict the beauty and complexity of birth. More than anything, however, it shows the miraculous nature of birth and the overwhelming joy it brings to mothers, and those who witness the miracle of birth. A quote from one of the episodes is: “Birth is the smallest of magnificent things, and the greatest of little ones.” Birth is where it all begins, when we see that little face staring back up at us. When you hear a baby’s first cry, it’s a new voice, a new love and a new beginning. I had never happened upon this series until I started contemplating writing this blog about abortion and the sanctity of life. Seeing the episodes further cemented the belief that life is precious and miraculous.
God creates life at conception : What the Bible says about the beginning of life
Some babies are born into poverty and some into wealth, but they are all born from God. Each baby is unique and created for a kingdom purpose. Perhaps the circumstances of birth aren’t perfect, but God is. If we will trust him, God will bring good from any circumstances. God created all life. Thus, if a life is created, that life is appointed by God to be lived! Of course, it is important that when a new baby comes into the world that he/she has parents who turn to the Lord for guidance and strength. Living by the world’s standards will continue to bring heartache. Through the guidance of Jesus Christ, all new mothers can be assured they will make it through. The great reward of life will forge a new beginning. After all, Jesus is the creator of all things as it says in Revelation 4:11- “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Did you ever wonder why God sent his son Jesus to earth as a baby? He could have sent Jesus any way he wanted. He could’ve sent him as a grown man. Why did he choose to send him as a baby????………..because babies are miracles. Jesus’ conception was miraculous because Mary was a virgin. But, just the process of birth itself is miraculous! Jesus was formed in Mary’s womb by God. In this way God revealed his own son through the astounding process of birth. This same son, Jesus, would die for the sins of mankind and then be raised back to life. But, think about this………..it started with his birth.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19, KJV).
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The Paradigm by Jonathan Cahn