What can compare with the miracle of a new baby? Holding your child for the first time creates an incomparable bond. I remember being surprised by the fierce protective love I felt for this little person I hardly knew.
Imagine holding your new son knowing that your king had commanded the destruction of all baby boys from your race. The Hebrews in ancient Egypt faced this when Pharaoh commanded the Egyptians to toss the Hebrew male infants to the crocodiles (Exodus 1:22 NIV). I wonder if he remembered all the baby boys he had ordered killed when the tenth plague took his own son? Did a child’s life suddenly become precious?
How valuable is human life? Does your answer change according to whose life we mean?
Two of my daughter’s friends were told while they were pregnant that their babies would be born with Down Syndrome. In spite of this, both moms chose to carry their babies to term and were blessed with healthy children. The alarming predictions were wrong.
Sadly, another friend’s sister aborted her baby girl when given a similar forecast. How many babies are carelessly destroyed because they may not be perfect? Yet once the child is born, what great lengths parents will go to protect their son or daughter, even if the child suffers irreversible damage from genes, accidents or illness.
Do we think that a child is less valuable while she is hidden in the womb? The psalmist reminds us that God sees her even then. “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 that 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, your eyes saw my unformed body” (Psalm 13913-14 NIV).
What about the child who is born with a disability? Does a handicap erase his value? Look at God’s words to Moses, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD (Exodus 4:11 NIV)? God has a purpose for each life, even those that we consider flawed.
We toss around phrases like “quality of life” or a “woman’s right to choose.” If a life may be less than perfect or if that life is an inconvenience, then its devalued in society’s eyes and forfeits its right to life. Yet, how many of those who espouse such positions, when diagnosed with cancer or heart disease, would gladly spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the mere hope of extending their own lives a few years—even though the quality of their lives have been compromised by disease and inconvenienced many. Suddenly the preciousness of life—no matter how imperfect—is realized.
Created by God in His image every human life, whether old or young, healthy or ill, is of immeasurable value. It was wrong when Pharaoh forced the killing of babies centuries ago. It is still treacherous to extinguish innocent lives today. Human life, yours included, is a gift from God to be treasured and protected.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.