The Sanctity of Human Life
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Verse 14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
David praises God for the wonderful way in which He fashioned our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. All the glory for creation is given here to God, entirely to him; for it is he that has made us and not we ourselves. In other words what David is saying is, “I will praise thee, for you are my creator; my parents were only the instruments of it.’’ God’s creative work in forming the human embryo was so awesome to the psalmist that it almost left him speechless. His response of praise reveals his understanding and respect for a child as God’s unique creation.
Verse 15 says, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
Though David knew that God formed him in the secret place, God’s creative work was not hidden from Him. The secret place referred to the womb. He says that even in the womb God knew every bone in his body. God made him and knew him inside and out.
Though the formation of a baby, in the womb, was hidden from people, that formation was not hidden from God. He sees, knows, cares, and oversees the entire process.
Even with his limited understanding, the psalmist praised God for His creative work in forming him in the womb. Don’t you think we should praise God even more in light of the knowledge that has been given us through science?
Verse 16 says, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
The psalmist believed that even before his body was formed, God had established His purpose for his life. The word “substance” refers to the growing child that began to develop from the moment of conception. The psalmist lacked knowledge of human conception and development that we have today; nevertheless, David knew God’s creative hand had formed him from the very beginning. Human conception and development in the womb are part of God’s continuing creative work.
God’s knowledge of the psalmist included all of his days. God sovereignly ordained the psalmist’s life span while he was in the mother’s womb. When he speaks of the “book”, he is referring to the record of God’s decisions and purposes that exist in the mind of God. God has a purpose for each person. Given this truth, it is little wonder that those who have faithfully followed the Christian faith have understood life to begin at the moment of conception, and not at birth. They, too, have solidly stood in opposition to the taking of that human life by abortion. We should celebrate, value, and protect every human being from the first moment of conception to the last breath of human life.
Now let’s read Mark 10:13-16 to see what Jesus said about children.
Verse 13 says, “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.”
Children are and always have been important and precious to Jesus. He chose to use a child to illustrate the type of person who can enter God’s kingdom.
In this verse, parents are bringing their children to Jesus with the intent of having them blessed by a Person recognized as holy. This is a reminder to us to lift up our children and grandchildren to the Lord in prayer every day, and I am glad that when we meet we always pray together for them.
The disciples, however, did not approve of the people's actions. They rebuked the people for bringing their children to Jesus. Why would they do that? Maybe the disciples thought Jesus was too busy or had too much on His mind. Perhaps they thought that Jesus was too important to be bothered with such unimportant persons as children.
Verse 14 says, “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Here we can see Jesus’ response to the disciple’s actions. He was indignant, which was a sign of His deep displeasure, when He saw His disciples trying to prevent children from coming to Him. His command to the disciples was twofold: “Let them come to Me” and “do not hinder them.” Jesus wanted each child brought to Him. Rather than viewing children as a nuisance, Christ accepted and valued them. Today, Jesus wants little children to come to Him as soon as they are capable of coming to Him. It is always best to come to Christ when you’re young, so you have longer to serve Him and to get to know Him and to love Him.
Verse 15 says, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
To enter the kingdom of God a person must receive the kingdom like a little child.
But what does that mean? What do you think Jesus meant by this statement?
The quarterly said that some of the characteristics of a child are helplessness and dependency. A child is dependent on others to meet his or her needs. A child does not become distracted by all the complexities of life. When he trusts, his faith is simple and unwavering. Jesus was teaching that belonging to God’s kingdom depends upon God’s willingness to offer eternal life and a person’s willingness to accept that life with childlike faith in Him. The kingdom of God must be received as a gift. It cannot be earned or achieved by human effort. It can be received only by those who realize they are helpless, without merit, and are willing to depend solely on God’s grace.
I read this in a commentary on this verse, and I want to share it with you. It said, “That there must be something of the temper and disposition of little children found in all that Christ will own and bless. We must receive the kingdom of God as little children; that is, we must stand affected to Christ and his grace as little children do to their parents, nurses, and teachers. We must be inquisitive, as children, and must learn as children, and in learning, we must believe.
The mind of a child is a white paper, you may write upon it what you will; such must our minds be to the pen of the blessed Holy Spirit. Children are under government; and so must we be. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? We must receive the kingdom of God as the child Samuel did, Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. Little children depend upon their parents’ wisdom and care, are carried in their arms, go where they send them, and take what they provide for them; and that is the way we must receive the kingdom of God, with a humble acceptance of Jesus Christ, and a simple dependence upon him, both for strength and righteousness, for guidance, and provision.”
Verse 16 says, “And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
He took them up in his arms, and that shows His love and concern for them. He put his hands upon them, as their mothers desired, and He blessed them. But see how he out-did the desires of these parents; they begged that He would touch them, but he did more. He took them in his arms. Now the scripture as written in Isaiah 40:11 is fulfilled. It said, “He shall gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom.”
There was a time when Christ himself was taken up in old Simeon’s arms. And now he took up these children, not complaining of the burthen, but pleased with it. If we can just bring our children and grandchildren to Christ, he will take them up, not only in the arms of his power and providence but in the arms of his pity and grace. When He put his hands upon them, He blessed them with the spiritual blessings he came to give. Our children are happy, if they have the blessing of knowing Christ.
Through His actions, Christ showed that He loves and values children; He does not see them as a nuisance. All people especially believers, should follow Christ’s example and show care and concern for children, including the unborn.
Since we have time, there are two questions that I want to ask:
1. What practices that devalue human life does God want us to avoid today? (Abortion, mercy killing, pornography, slavery, how Moslems treat women)
2. What can believers do about these issues? (pray, make our views known to our government, support Right To Life groups)
I have a precious memory of leading my children to accept Christ as their Savior, and from years of teaching Children’s Church, I have brought the Gospel to many children. It is hard to tell if children truly understand, but remember our job is to sow the seed, and others may harvest them for God’s kingdom. I praise God for my grandmother who took me to church and read the Bible to me and for the preacher at the Rosedale Tabernacle that harvester my soul for our wonderful God and Savior.