Thoughts On Abortion And The Will of God

////Thoughts On Abortion And The Will of God

“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)

I. God’s ‘Default Setting’ (Life-if we would simply not interfere!)

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you… and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing… (Job 12:7-10)

Whenever you buy a computer or a television or some kind of electronic device, it comes out of the box with factory pre-settings which govern how your unit will function if you don’t make any changes manually. We call those ‘default settings’. When it comes to computers, our own rabbi-in-training, Jerry, really knows his stuff; he knows what to keep and what to get rid of, and he can adjust the settings so that the computer operates at peak efficiency.

When it comes to us human beings, we also have ‘default settings’ but these need no ‘tweaking’ whatsoever. When a woman becomes pregnant, other than a little more attention given to her diet, and additional rest, there’s nothing more she needs to do. Once that life is set in motion, the genetic encoding already there will function on its own, according to God’s design, and approximately nine months later, her baby boy or girl will be born. That’s God’s ‘default setting’ – human life growing and developing.

It takes an act of willful and forceful intervention to stop that process. We must be clear about this: abortion does not fall under the category of remedial surgery. Pregnancy isn’t a sickness from which one needs a remedy. Abortion isn’t therapeutic. It doesn’t increase anyone’s health. It is anti-therapeutic. It ends one life and reduces the well-being of another.

In fact, abortion is violent interference in the process of human life, and deep down everyone knows it. That’s why abortion activists resort to dishonesty in the words they use to speak about it. They have to. The truth about the nature of human life is so powerful and compelling, that in order to convince ourselves otherwise requires highly specialized misuse of grammar and, apparently, years of academic indoctrination.

II. How Did We Get to this Place? (The high cost of spiritual attrition)

The wicked will be turned back to Sheol, even all the nations who forget God (Psalm 9:17).

We would be mistaken to think that everything was fine before January 22, 1973. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, there’s history we have to reckon with. There were broken treaties with the first nations. There was human slavery. And though extraordinary and rare, there were abortions. So how did we become a nation that shrugs indifferently at the killing of over 1,000,000 babies each year? One thing is certain: our moral decline didn’t happen overnight. It was gradual, incremental, and all but imperceptible to the masses who weren’t paying attention; who didn’t understand the times.

As a nation we made the same mistake Israel made. No sooner did my people enter the Promised Land and begin to enjoy prosperity than we let our guard down. We put ourselves on ‘spiritual auto-pilot’, and before long lapsed into idolatry, sexual promiscuity, wickedness and violence.

The United States has enjoyed generations of prosperity, but we also let our guard down. The early signs of it was when schools like Princeton, Yale and Harvard, which began as divinity schools, embraced the so-called ‘enlightenment’ and became bastions of liberal arts. At its inauguration in 1636, Harvard’s motto was Veritas pro Christo et Ecclesiae – “Truth for Christ and Church”. It has since been reduced to Veritas (“truth”).

Many historians agree that the steep decline began in the late 1950’s and accelerated in the 1960’s, when many young people rejected their parents’ moral principles. The older generation had come to accept certain moral values as a given, but couldn’t articulate the reasons, which were rooted in Scripture. The ‘sexual revolution’ of the 60’s and 70’s, despite its promises of purer love and peace enshrined in songs some of us still listen to, left people just as empty and aimless as they were before, only now emotionally scarred, carrying new and devastating diseases, and unplanned pregnancies. The Ten Commandments were systematically removed from school rooms and houses of justice.

About the same time moral restraints were thrown off, so was respect for the Bible and the fear of the Lord. Teaching or even reading the Bible was outlawed in public schools. And with growing disregard for God and His Word came disregard for the sanctity of human life. And that’s what happens whenever a people abandon their reverence for Adonai. Rabbi Paul put it this way:

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools… And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice… (Romans 1:21-22, 28-29)

Rabbi Loren often reminds us that, “Things go with things.” When human life was redefined to exclude the baby in the womb, other societal evils also proliferated. Murder rates skyrocketed. Riots ensued around the country. Activist judges with agendas like so-called ‘euthanasia’ ordered the withholding of food and water from Terry Schiavo, who wanted to live, but was unable to speak in her own defense, leading to her agonizing and painful death.

Politeness in political discourse has all but vanished; wisdom and discernment have been replaced by political correctness, and certain unpopular views evoke violent outrage on college campuses, which were once celebrated as havens for the free exchange of ideas. And no issue evokes as much anger, even violent opposition, as that of abortion.

How did we get to this place? We abandoned the God of Israel.

III. Pharaoh, Herod, Haman, Hitler and Kermit (Gosnell) – Profiles in depravity

Adonai saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5).

God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 53:2-3).

What causes people to become murderers? The short answer is sin. Some resort to murder out of paranoia; others out of unrestrained hatred, and still others from nothing more complicated than just plain greed. Pharaoh and Herod each ordered the killing of newborn Israeli baby boys out of paranoia. Pharaoh feared that the Jewish people, who had grown numerous, might eventually turn against him.

Satan, who knew that the Messiah must come through the Jewish people, put it in Pharaoh’s heart to kill their sons, but he failed to prevent the birth of Moses, the one who would eventually lead Israel out of Egypt. And we should remember the courage of the midwives who, despite orders from Pharaoh, spared the lives of the baby boys.

Herod, hearing the report of the wise men who came to Jerusalem, feared that the newly-born Messiah posed a threat to his kingship. His paranoid response was the same as that of Pharaoh: he ordered the massacre of all Israeli baby boys two years of age and under. Once again, a powerful human leader acting as a pawn for Satan. However, once again Satan missed his intended target, and Messiah Yeshua was kept safe, and will eventually redeem mankind and destroy the devil.

But consider the human toll.

In the fifth century BC, Haman set out to destroy every Jew in Persia. For him it was mindless hatred, triggered ostensibly by the refusal of one Jewish man, Mordecai, to bow down and show him honor. But for Haman it was more likely the desire for retribution, since he was descended from Agag, king of the Amalekites. You may recall that God instructed Israel in the Torah to destroy the Amalekites – the reason for which we will consider in a few minutes. King Saul and King David were the ones commissioned to see it through. Gratefully, Haman’s truly diabolical plan was thwarted by a series of God-ordained “coincidences” and our people survived and even flourished in Persia.

Fast forward to the middle of the Twentieth Century. Hitler’s ambitions were of a different sort. By eradicating every people group he deemed genetically inferior, Hitler believed that he could engineer a master race of humanity (largely German), and usher in a utopia on earth. And so he targeted Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, Poles, Russian and Slavic prisoners, and those with birth defects or other disabilities. Young or old, it didn’t matter; of the six million Jewish people he had murdered, one million were children.

Hitler was a eugenicist. He believed mankind could realize its ultimate potential if genetically “inferior” groups could be stopped from reproducing. The same belief was held by one Ms. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and also an avowed eugenicist. Planned Parenthood is, of course, the leading abortion provider in the United States.

And that brings us to Kermit – not the frog, but the convicted murderer and former abortionist doctor from Pennsylvania. Kermit Gosnell is currently serving a life sentence in prison without possibility of parole, having been convicted on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter and a host of lesser but still horrific charges. There were literally hundreds of state reports filed against him, but only enough physical evidence to convict him on four counts.

For this guy, it was all about money. Gosnell routinely performed illegal late-term abortions, and it was well known that he was willing to perform abortions at almost any stage of pregnancy, so he made a ton of money. Because of government ineptitude he was able to operate in a clandestine fashion for a number of years, and in fact, when his ‘clinic’ (so-called) was finally raided by the FBI, it was a drug raid. Only then did they discover the appalling conditions in his offices. I dare not describe what was found, but a column in the April 12, 2013 edition of The Atlantic quotes extensively from the Grand Jury Report, and it is sickening.

[1]

Regardless the motive; whether borne of paranoia, mindless hatred, twisted notions of a genetic utopia or just plain greed, the net effect is the same, and it is atrocious. We are talking about the murders of multiplied millions of innocent human beings; often the weakest, most vulnerable and without a voice in their own defense.

IV. Abortion and the Amalekites – What God thinks about the targeting of the weak and the defenseless

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4)

I mentioned that God directed Israel to destroy the Amalekites. Why? What did they do differently from all the other “ites” that we read about in the Torah? The answer is found in Deuteronomy chapter 25.

Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. Therefore, when the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land He is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget! (Deut. 25:17-19)

Israel was confronted by several different enemies as they made their way into the Promised Land, and we faced even more enemies once we settled there. But only this one group was singled out by God for destruction. You see, ordinarily those military encounters were army-to-army. But we’re told that when our people had just come out of Egypt, desperately weary and traveling through the wilderness, the Amalekites ambushed us, attacking at the rear. That means they targeted the elderly, the sick and injured, and mothers with young children – the very people struggling to keep up. It was cowardly and despicable and it earned the Amalekites a curse from Adonai in perpetuity.

Justice and protection on behalf of the weak and vulnerable is a prevalent a theme in the Torah and the Prophets, and it really shines through in the Gospel. It gives us a glimpse into the heart of God – the love He has for human beings, and the high value He places on our lives, however brief they are on this earth.

There have always been those in society who were weak and vulnerable, and there have always been ruthless opportunists lying in wait to profit from it. We are not to stand idly by and let it happen. The psalmist charges us with their defense and rescue. Remember, too, these words were written to the people of God, not to the heathen. We have a higher calling. We need to fulfill it.

We also need to reject the idea that it’s an “either-or” proposition – that we must choose between preaching the Good News or speaking out and acting on the pressing moral issues of our day. John the Baptist managed to both preach the Kingdom and also decry immorality in high places. The Jewish midwives in Egypt are remembered eternally with honor for acting on their conscience, rescuing life – even when it meant defying the king.

I am convinced that we will be held accountable if we remain silent in the face of the systematic slaughter of millions of the most defenseless “neighbors” of ours, the unborn. They are most certainly our “neighbors”. They are the most vulnerable members of the human family, and they are unable to speak in their own defense.

Now I need to stress something very important here: there is forgiveness available in Messiah Yeshua for those who have had abortions, or had some participation in the process, whether men or women. When God tells us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” He means all sins – including abortion. So if you are struggling with this, you need to know that He welcomes you in repentance, if you’ll just confess it.

I realize that in sharing these thoughts on this Sanctity of Human Life Weekend, I am ‘preaching to the choir’. That is, I know that most of you feel as strongly as I do about the need to protect human life in all its stages – the unborn and the elderly, the handicapped and the sick – those who are most vulnerable and most likely to be targeted for elimination.

But let me simply recap what we have heard.

First, we need to respect God’s design, and not interfere with a life developing according to His will.

Second, we need to remember where we have come from, and how spiritual malaise led us down the path to the present crisis of morality.

Third, we need to recognize that there is a cosmic battle afoot, and that Satan seeks only to steal, kill and destroy, and he frequently uses human agents to do his bidding. We need both discernment and courage if we hope to see an end to the wanton slaughter.

And finally, we need to embrace our role as those who see the plight of the weak and defenseless and speak out on their behalf. It is the very least we can do if our hearts are beating in concert with the heart of God.

May Adonai, the God of Israel, give all of us in 2016 both opportunity and courage to speak and to act in the interests of Life, and in so doing honor Him and walk in the way of the great cloud of witnesses, those who have gone before us, and who watch us even at this very hour.

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/why-dr-kermit-gosnells-trial-should-be-a-front-page-story/274944/

By | 2017-01-30T21:41:40+00:00 January 16th, 2016|Categories: Sermons by Rabbi Glenn|Tags: |Comments Off on Thoughts On Abortion And The Will of God

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