13 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16 ESV).
Abortion is nothing new. It is not an act exclusive to the 20th or 21st century. Rather, it can be traced throughout recorded history.
“Virtually every culture in antiquity was stained with the blood of innocent children. Unwanted infants in ancient Rome were abandoned outside the city walls to die of exposure or from attacks by wild foraging beasts. Greeks often gave their pregnant women harsh doses of herbal or medicinal abortifacients. Persians developed highly sophisticated surgical curette procedures. Primitive Canaanites threw their children onto great flaming pyres as a sacrifice to their god Molech. Egyptians disposed of their unwanted children by disemboweling and dismembering them shortly after birth—their collagen was then ritually harvested for the manufacture of cosmetic creams. None of the great minds of the ancient world—from Plato and Aristotle to Seneca and Quintilian, from Pythagoras and Aristophanes to Livy and Cicero, from Herodotus and Thucydides to Plutarch and Euripides—disparaged child-killing in any way. In fact, most of them recommended it. They callously discussed its various methods and procedures. They casually debated its sundry legal ramifications. They blithely tossed lives like dice. Indeed, abortion, infanticide, exposure, and abandonment were so much a part of human societies that they provided the primary literary leitmotif in popular traditions, stories, myths, fables, and legends—from Romulus and Remus to Oedipus, Poseidon, Asclepius, Hephaestus, and Cybele,” explains Dr. George Grant, pastor of Parish Presbyterian Church, Franklin, TN.
Are humans nothing less than animals? Is the historical practice of infanticide a simple way of disposing unwanted babies who are totally dependent creatures? If not, where in Scripture does it teach the inherent value of the unborn? I direct your attention to today’s text from Psalm 139.
Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David. A key word in the psalm is “know.” God knows (vs. 1, 2, 4, 6, 23) and the faithful soul knows (vs. 14). God possesses intimate knowledge of His people and there is no place where anyone can flee from that knowledge (vs. 1-15). Verses 13-16 illustrate this truth by describing God’s knowledge of the life of the unborn child.
“This intensely personal Davidic psalm expresses the psalmist’s awe that God knew him, even to the minutest detail. David might have remembered the Lord’s words, “the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). The exact occasion is unknown,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.
For the next several days, I will unpack what David meant by what he wrote about God’s knowledge of the unborn. May we realize how holy, and awesome is our Creator and Sustainer.
Read and meditate upon today’s passage of Scripture. Have a blessed day in the LORD.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Weekly Podcast begins Monday, September 5 featuring expository messages from the Epistle to the Ephesians.