The Holocaust of our day and God!

Abortion is murder

The greatness of God’s knowledge, presence and creation towards the believer

1) O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

2) You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

3) You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

4) Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

5) You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

6)Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

7) Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

8) If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

9) If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10) even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

11) If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”

12) even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

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.

17) How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18) If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

19) Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!

20) They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.

21) Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?

22) I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

23) Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

24) And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalms 139:13-24 ESV)

Introduction

The 1st of October was International Life Chain Sunday. As many as a million Christians in approximately 1 800 locations worldwide have participated in Life Chains previously. A life Chain is a peaceful protest using Placards and Posters where people gather to speak against the evil of abortion. A National March for Life organised by the National Alliance for Life (NAL) is planned in Durban and Life Chains are planned in 4 other cities in South Africa: Tembisa, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town.

The NAL is a loose affiliation of pro-life churches and organisations, formed in 1995. The Christian pro-life stance, that abortion is murder, is based on the fact that the Bible and medical science make clear: life begins at conception. The Life Chains recognise the abortion holocaust as one of the greatest evils being committed in the world today.

Abortion is Never Safe

In stark contrast to pro-abortion groups, who have proclaimed the 28th of September as the Global Day of Access for Safe and Legal Abortion, pro-lifers proclaim that no abortion is ever safe – a helpless pre-born baby is killed, and the mother is often physically, but always psychologically, wounded (as numerous peer-reviewed studies on Post Abortion Syndrome testify). Abortion is also the violation of the most basic Constitutional right – the Right to Life of innocent and defenceless citizens – the pre-born.

Pro-life groups and Bible believing Christians uphold the sanctity of life – that every life is valuable to God. As Christians we believe that life begins at conception. The pre-born baby is then genetically, physiologically and organically a distinct person. At about three weeks after conception the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Six weeks after conception the baby has its own lifelong brainwave.

Every Life is Precious in God’s sight. When a nation devalues it’s most helpless and innocent citizens and allows them to be slaughtered in their millions, it is no wonder that all other life is treated as cheap. It is an urgent priority for the Church to expose, oppose and end this genocide of children made in the image of God.

War Against the Pre-Born

The Christian Action Network estimates the number of babies killed by legal abortions since 1997 to be well over 1 400 000. The Christian Action Network believes that the number of legal abortions is higher than the official amount – due to outstanding statistics from some provinces in previous years and a possible failure of some hospital officials to accurately record abortions in state hospitals.

The war against the pre-born is compounded by the illegal abortionists who are ensnaring vulnerable young women in every town and city in this country to use abortion as a contraceptive, for as little as R200.

So you may ask: where does God fit into this picture in what is happening not only in South Africa but around the wordl? Many more abortions have been conducted in the USA and China and many other countries. Does God not allow abortions to take place? Is He not Sovereign over all? Is He not in control?

I believe this Psalm helps us to see that God is Sovereign over all and that nothing escapes His knowledge but that at the same time He doesn’t condone the murder of babies in any way and in no way does he approve of the shedding of innocent blood.

In this psalm we see the writer writing things about God. He conveys his wonder of God. And then he relates that to murderers, those who brings evil things to pass and those who take the Name of God in vain. The context of this Pslam is a similar context that we find ourselves in. We see that men of blood, murderers, going about their business. We hear people who speak malicious things against God. We see people rise up against God. We see governments making abortion legal. We have seen in history where governments or rulers have devised plans to annihilate babies (like King Herod in Jesus’ time) and (Pharao in Moses’ time) and the apostate Israleites who sacrifices their babies to Baal. We have seen people taking God’s Name in vain.

In this psalm we see how the writer in a sense pleads his case before God in order to be vindicated. We are not sure of the precise context. It may have been David who was persecuted by King Saul who was seeking his life. Or it may have been God’s enemies trying to destroy His people. Nevertheless, the psalmist gives us a clear view on the God of the Bible and then ends with a plea to God that if he is on the wrong path, to guide him to the narrow path to heaven!

So let’s start at the beginning

  • The greatness of God’s knowledge 
  • He knows our past (behavior, thoughts, and speech) verse 1;

 

Verse 1 tells us that God has searched and known the writer. This verse indicate that God has sifted the writer like chaf is sifted from wheat in a winnowing trough. God has intimate knowledge of the writer. He knows him better than he knows himself. We get the idea that he tested and investigated the writer, his thoughts, his ways, his motives, everything about him. In verse 3 the writer also says, “you are acquainted with all my ways.” Nothing is hidden from God. The word acquainted also refers to the fact that God has scrutinized everything that has happened to the writer and all he has done in order to see what was good and bad.

1 Corinthians 13:10-13 tells us categorically that God knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. It clearly says there that we shall know ourselves one day as God knows us. God knows everything that we have ever done and why we have done them.

He knows our present (behavior, thoughts, speech) (verse 2,3)

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways” (Verse 2,3).

God knows right now what we doing. He knows that we are sitting down.

He knows what we are thinking and planning and even our motives for doing things. He knows our present thoroughly, he knows us through and through.

He knows our future (behavior, thoughts, speech) (verse 4)

“Before a word is I my tonque, you know it altogether”. God knows the future as well. In fact because God is outside of time, he sees all of history in a single moment. That is what verse 16 implies: “..in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” God knows the future because he controls and determines the future!

God knows everything at the same time! God is omniscient

There is nothing about any person God does not know! There is nothing about the past, present and future God doesn’t know. He knows all future possibilities. Some people should start to fear at this moment. Some people should start to feel ashamed at this moment. Nothing is hidden from God! No thought, no motivation, no secret deed or word utter in secret behind closed doors is unknown to him. For unbelievers this thought should be terrifying! God knows all the lies you have ever uttered. He knows everything you have ever stolen. He knows your selfishness, your selfcenteredness and your rebellion! But then he also knows your diligence in working for Him and honoring Him! Verse 5 gives the beliver in God such comfort!

God’s protection and sovereign control towards his children

“You hem me in, from behind and before. You lay your hand upon me” (verse 5). If you look at the original language you see the language here used is that of arresting a person. It gives the impression that you are in a grip and that you cannot get out. You are surrounded. There is no escape! For the beliver that is good news. That is comforting, although maybe not at first because our lives are by nature defiled by sin. There is repentance needed. Confession of sins need to take place. There is restitution to be made. There is surrender to take place to God. The next line is most comforting for the believer in Christ. “You lay your hand upon me.” I take that to mean that God is there to keep and protect the believer. God knows all your trials, your temptations, your sins. And yet he does not destroy you instantly. He is merciful! He is patient. He is gracious. He sets his eyes upon us to help and to forgive and to bless. He is there to give security and safety and this happens in His Son Jesus Christ! God is there to lay his hand upon me. God is there to take possession of me! He makes me His! Therefore the writer burst out saying: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me! I cannot attain it!” Yes God doesn’t only know it all, but He is there for relationship! He is there to make covenant with us! He is there to help, to heal, to forgive, and to comfort with His Spirit! The greatness of God’s knowledge and His omniscience is that God doesn’t hold the sins against the believer! God removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. He remembers our sins no more!

  • The greatness of God’s presence

 

The next verse comes as a surprise. It seems like this knowledge of God’s omniscience is frightening to the writer: The writer says:

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”

But this question, I believe, doesn’t imply that the writer wants to flee from God. The answer he gives at the end gives the indication that his conclusion about God’s presence is comforting to him!

God is in heaven (verse 8)

Yes, we know God is in heaven! Heaven is his home. That is where his glory is manifested in a magnificent way! He is heaven, but he is also in Hades!

God is in hell and the place of the dead (verse 8)

The place of the dead or Hades, we can also say is hell. Hell is not a place where God is not present. Death cannot separate us from God. And even if I find a place of comfort when I die and it not in heaven, God will still be there! Hell is the place where God is present to punish! God’s wrath is unleashed in hell! But the writer tells us here that even if he goes there, God will be present! Then he goes on to say:

“f I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there you will be there” (verse 9) Wings of the morning is where the sun rises. It is the east and the sea was the west for the Israelites. So you could say, even if I go to the Far East or to the far west or even if you go to China or even if you go to live in the ocean, God will be there. So in fact the truth he wants to bring across is that God is everywhere. Because if we follow logically the preceding truth that God knows everything he must be everywhere to know everything.

God is everywhere on earth at the same time (verse 9). God is omnipresent

Because how can He know everything of all people if he wasn’t there to witness it? So God’s omniscience must include is omnipresence. There is not a place where God is not! And that means he is everywhere at the same time. And if God knows the future and what will happen then it means that He is there already! He is outside of time. He is already in the future. We can say He is everywhere present all the time, past, present and future! What a being! It boggles the brain!

God is light (Nothing can be hidden from God) (not the darkness) (verse 11,12)

And then the writer tells us categorically that if God is everywhere present, he is always present, during the day and the night! We can come to the conclusion that because we can’t see each other when it is dark, then God may not be able to see us or know what is happening to us or what we are doing either! But no! God sees in the dark! And again this truth is underlined! We can’t hide anything from God! We have to come out with it! For the rebellious it is frightening! They have to give an account of the things they do in the dark! But for the believer it is comforting! God knows my suffering, my injustices and the evil of my heart and he knows my pain! And he knows the sins in my life! But more comforting is this:

God is there to lead and to hold the believer (verse 10) (e.x. Jonah) with his right hand (Romans 8:38,39)

“even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (verse 10).

Even if we were to be taken captive and sold as slaves to China or abducted and left on a Pacific island or even if all our possessions are taken away and we find ourselves destitute, the Bible tells us that if you are His, his child, then God will lead you, yes, His right hand will hold you! If God is for you who can be against you! Yes, if Chirst died for you and rose from the dead for you and bore God’s judgement on that cross in your place and if He went to heaven and is interceding for You right now, what does it matter what happens to you? Christ is at the right hand of God! He is powerful to save you! Nothing and no-one will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ! That is if you are His! His right hand will uphold me! Is there anything better than that! God is with me! God is for me! God is in me! Halleluja! But this is not all!

  • The greatness of God’s creation and design
  • God created humans in our mothers womb (verse 13,15,16)

 

Verse 13 goes on to say that God is the One who made the writer and us. It is not my father or mother or their fathers or mothers or their parents that were the decisive cause for my existence! It is God who formed my inward parts. Literally it means: God formed my kidneys, or that he is the One who started the fetus, the very beginning of you and I. The Bible says here that it is He that knitted me together in my mothers womb! So God was the One there at work. Yes, my mother looked after me, she fed me, but God is the active one here. And if we look at the human body and all it’s parts and how everything must work together at the same time, the heartbeat that starts after about three weeks and the brainwave that can be detected by doctors after six weeks and the bones and all the cells in the body with the immune system and lungs that are formed all at different stages then we know God was at work in us! These things don’t happen by chance. God is a most magnificent engineer!

 Life begins at conception (heartbeat, brainwave)

Life doesn’t begin when we we come into this world and the embellical cord is cut. When we are born into this world it is just a change of environment for a human being. Life starts at conception! If we say that the death of a human life is when no brainwave can be detected and no heartbeat is present, why do we not conclude that the start of a human being is the start of a heartbeat and a brainwave! In fact, at conception, a human being is genetically, physiologically and organically a distinct person! So if we look at the complexity of life we should cry out with the writer!

 We are magnificently created, in God’s image (verse 14)

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”

And why is the writer filled with praise? Not only that God started his work in his mother’s womb, and that God made him with such care and precision, but the fact that a person is amazingly and wonderfully made is because he or she was made in the image of God! We were made with reason, with consciousness, with intellect and emotions and the ability to reflect and communicate and to love and hate and enjoy, not only God’s creation, but each other and God! That is why we are fearfully and wonderfully made! We were made with souls, that will never cease to exist! We were created in God’s likeness!

 God determines when we will live and die (verse 16).

Then in verse 16 the writer tells us that our days, every one of them, were written in God’s book before they began!

“…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Now although some translators say that the “every one of them” refer to the different members of the body, surely the context in this text dictates that if God knows the future, present and past then he knows when we are going to be born and die. And God doesn’t only knows it he determines it. He is in control of it. He not only makes and creates, He determines how long each of us will live. When our lives will begin and when we will die is determined by Him!

 God hates the shedding of innocent blood (verse 19),

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,” (Proverbs 6:16-18 ESV).

This psalm talks about those who murder, those who take God’s Name in vain, those who despise the image of God (verse 19-22). And then we see the psalmist reaction towards those who hate God.

1, 4 million babies have been murdered in South Africa that we know of since the legalization of abortion in 1997. More babies have been murdered by humans through abortion than in the Islamic and Atlantic slave trade combined. Abortion is far worse than the slave trade! More human beings have been slaughtered by abortion around the world than in World War 2 and communism combined! More than 100 million!

If God is so wonderful and so magnificent and if we are so wonderfully created in His image and intricately woven in our mothers’s womb by God, who is man to decide to murder what God has created! Abortion is the curse of humanism and atheism, where man decides when and how people should die. We find indignation from the psalmist in this psalm against the arrogance of wicked men. Dear listener, when you hear of hundreds of babies being butchered, smothered and murdered in the mothers womb here in Gauteng, at hospitals and in clinics with tax payer’s money, by doctors and nurses and educated people, how should we react? Should be remain silent? Should we turn the other way and make as if nothing is wrong? No, holy dissatisfaction with the status quo should be our reaction! Holy anger!

  • Unfitting (sinful) and fitting (godly) responses to God

 

  1. Hatred towards God’s enemies (verse 21,22)

“Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.” (Verse 21,22)

Now we can say this is an unfitting response and an unholy one. Yes, we should hate sin, but as Jesus said, we must love our enemies. This might be difficult. When people persecute you and blaspheme God and kill a family member, it is not easy to love your enemies. No one ever said it is easy. But that is why Jesus commanded us to be different.

2. Hatred for sin (verse 19-22)

In verse 19-22 we see that the writer pleads with God to slay the wicked. The reasons are given: because they take the Name of God in vain because they murder and are men of blood. We find in this writer a hatred for sin and that is commendable. We should hate the fact that murderers get away with murder. We should be indiganant about the fact that people take God’s Name in vain etc. In other words, hatred for sin is good and necessary, but it should be separated from hatred towards the sinner.

3. Awe and wonder and praise (verse 6, 14,17,18)

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (Verse 17,18)

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (verse 14)

Let’s be honest: when you think of God’s attributes, his omniscience, his omnipresence, his creation in general and of you, do end up praising God, do you bow down before Him in awe and worship?

4. A plea for God’s Spirit to reveal sin and guidance unto eternal life (verse 23,24);

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (verse 23,24)

Why does the writer ask for God to show him his sin, if there be any grievous way in him? Is it not so that he can confess it to God, so that he can repent of it, and so that he may please God more? He is pleading for God to search his heart so that he may please God and not grieve God. He pleads with God so that his idolatrous ways may be destroyed. That is what the word grievous in the Hebrew literally means. So in this petition the writer not only asks for an awareness of his own sin, but for guidance and a repentant heart, to do what God wants him to do and so to please Him. May God lead us all into the everlasting way! Remember grievous and idolatrous ways are not only offenses against the law of God, but sins also sins of omissions: things I haven’t done to the glory of God.

Proverbs 24:11-12 “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12 ESV)

So to come back to the beginning. What can and should be done about the Abortion Holocast happening in South Africa and around the world?

What can be done in connection to abortion?

  • The Christian Action Network urges everyone to scrape off illegal abortion posters whenever possible. You could potentially be saving the lives of two people – both the pre-born baby and the mother (as many women die from these backstreet abortions).
  • The Christian Action Network also urge you to lay charges against illegal abortionists at your local police station. A form detailing how illegal abortions violate both the Termination of Pregnancy Act and Medicines Act has been drafted for this purpose and can be downloaded from the Christian Action website.
  • Consider giving your time at a crises pregnancy centre to counsel, pray and support women with unwanted pregnancies. Make these centers known to young people. There is a way out! They shouldn’t feel force or trapped and see abortion as the only way out.
  • Consider adopting a child or encouraging woman who can’t have children and who want children to adopt a child. We know as Christians we were not by nature God’s children, we were adopted into God’s family.
  • Teach young people and children about the evil of abortion and the sanctity of life since conception. Do Bible studies on abortion! Teach young people to not engage in behavior (sex before marriage) that lead to unwanted pregnancies. Promote sexual purity and abstinence until marriage.
  • Participate in a Life-Chain in your area or protest in front of a Hospital or clinic that practices abortion. Hand out tracts! Inform the public.
  • Use social media to make people aware of what actually happens at an abortion. You can literally save a life! There are short films of abortion on YouTube you can share! Living Waters made a good film about abortion called: “180” Movie
  • Vote for political parties that are pro-life and anti-abortion. Support candidates that hold to the Biblical view on when life starts. Have a clear conscience when you vote.
  • Pray that God would intervene in the lives of those involved in practicing abortion and bring them to repentance unto life.
  • Pray that our constitution will protect the most helpless of all and that doctors and nurses will be convicted of their sins.

Proverbs 24:11-12 “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12 ESV)

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