Abortion and the Psalms

Abortion has been part of our nation's culture for the last 46 years. In this period of time, the lives of human infants in the womb that have been eliminated is close to 62 million, a tragic and wanton destruction of human life. That the child in the womb is alive, and is human, is an inconvenient fact for many, but true nonetheless. At the time of conception, everyone possesses forty-six chromosomes, a carrier of similar DNA to his or her parents, and the same genetic makeup inside the womb that he or she will have outside the womb (Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th ed., Philadelphia: Saunders, 2003, pp. 2, 16). Apart from environment and development, we are the same now as we are when we began in the womb.

Not only is this so from a scientific perspective, but from God's perspective as well. Scripture clearly and unmistakably reveals life comes from God, and God sustains life. The book of Psalms speaks often of the theme. For example, David by inspiration states, "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well" (Psalms 139:13-14). He goes on, "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 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" (Psalms 139:15-16).

What David reveals through these verses is not that God Created Adam and Eve, and then allowed life to continue through natural causes alone. God is providentially involved in our existence, and His knowledge of us is infinite. "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture" (Psalms 100:3). God's foreknowledge of us is integral to our being, and testifies to our value and worth to Him. Solomon expressed this truth as well. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalms 127:3).

"By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee" (Psalms 71:6). How integral is God to our existence? Without Him, we could not exist. Abortion is not just putting to death an innocent life, as horrendous as that thought is. It is rejecting the role of God in the child's being, in the life He desired the child to live. The book of Psalms speaks authoritatively as to our existence, to the life God desires us to have, to our purpose for life today and life eternal. What a sad commentary abortion is on a society that has turned its back on God, on His will for life, on life itself, and the void in one's conscience about those capable of advocating such. This influence also produces a void in our national psyche. May we rethink what Scripture reveals to us about the sacredness of life, and offer God the reverence He is due as our Creator and Sustainer.

Robert Johnson, Longview, TX