God at Work in Every Womb (1)

January 21, 2007 / No. 3342

Dear radio friends,

     Today and next time I would like to call your attention to Job 31:13-15:   “If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer?  Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

     I am speaking today on the evil of abortion—from the Word of God.  That means from the cross of Jesus Christ especially.  Perhaps there might be an uneasiness about that.  Ought there to be a sermon on a social issue?  Is it proper for a minister of the gospel to address such a topic from the pulpit?  Is it not the task of the pulpit either to feed the flock of Jesus Christ or to preach the gospel to the unconverted?

     Our answer is that abortion is not a social issue.  It is not a constitutional issue.  It is not a woman’s issue.  It is not a health issue.  It is God’s issue.  The abortion of a life that God has created within the womb, a human person made by God, is to sin against God.  He said, “Thou shalt not kill.”  And God must be known as sovereign, for He alone rules over all nations to determine right and wrong.  He will teach the nations justice.  And He will teach us today from His Word what is our calling.  It is proper and it is important that we as God’s people on this day that is called the “Sanctity of Life Remembrance,” that we hear the Word of God on abortion.

     The apostle Paul, in Philippians 2:15, 16, gives this purpose for the ministry:  “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.”  There is nothing that shows that we are living in a crooked and perverse nation as does the evil of abortion.  We are called, according to that Word of God, to hold forth the word of life as we stand in this present world.  We must hold forth the cross of Jesus Christ.

     There are specifically three reasons why it is upon my heart that I would preach on this truth.  The first is that we be not conformed.  The second is that we be not deceived.  And the third is that we be not silent.

     We must not be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2).  A generation now has grown up when the unthinkable has become a reality.  Forty-four million abortions since Roe vs. Wade.  The question is:  Have you and I become accustomed to this?  Do we possess a horror over this?  Or have we now become conditioned, not only through the abortion, but also through the television and through all of the violence, that we think that human life is cheap?  Do we say with the psalmist of Psalm 119:136, “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law”?  We must not be conformed to this world.

     We must not be deceived.  For, as in all things, the Scriptures tells us that the devil, our adversary, plots against the church of Jesus Christ.  He goes forth to make war against the remnant of the seed of the church of Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:17).   We must understand that behind all of this is also the devil in his assault against the church.  We must understand that the sexual sins so prevalent in our society, which are the roots of this sin (that lie at the heart of abortion), are aimed at us and are aimed at our confession and are aimed at you as young women and you as young men.  We must not be deceived.

     And we must not be silent.  We read in the Scriptures that Enoch witnessed against the ungodly deeds that were committed in his society.  We are a confessing church before the world.  Our confession is not democratic.  It is not republican.  It is not pro-choice.  Our confession is this:  The most important, vital thing is the grace of God—to be justified before Him alone in Jesus Christ, through the cross, and then to live the life of love and sacrifice in His name.

     This text will be looked at under the theme:  God at Work in Every Womb.  We will see Him at work as the creator.  We will see Him at work as the avenger.  We will see Him and love Him as the sovereign.

     We read in verse 15 of Job 31, “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”  And the answer is:  Yes.  For Job, by the question, means to confess that God is the creator of life within every womb.

     In this chapter, which is Job’s last words before his three friends, Job is saying to his three friends that he is finished with the discussion with them and that he now seeks to expose himself to the scrutiny of God.  His friends have been telling him that the grievous woes that have come upon him are due to his unconfessed sin.  And Job, rather, has sought to explain to them that it was due to God’s own secret will.  But no longer will Job present himself to the approval of man’s opinions or the eyes of men.  He says in verse 4 of this chapter:  “Does not God see my ways.  And does not God count my steps?”  He will ask his Maker to be his judge.

     Beginning in verse 5 he mentions different sins, sins that you could not really tell if a person were walking in them, that God alone must know them.  He says, “If I have walked with vanity; if I have been proud, or my foot hasted to deceit; if I lied and connived—will not God know that?  If my step hath turned out of the way and my heart walked after my eyes (he goes on in verse 9); if mine heart have been deceived by a woman; or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door (if I coveted my neighbor’s wife and tried to take her from him)—will not God know this?”

     Then in verse 13 of our text he says, “If I did despise the cause of my manservant (that is his slave) or my maidservant, when they contended with me.”  If I did that—that is, if I despised the grievance of one of my servants or of one of my employees who had reason to complain how I had dealt with him.  I simply thought I was better than that slave, than that servant—that I had the right because I was the employer, I was the owner and the boss, and I could simply do what I wanted and could treat him unfairly—will not God know this, says Job?  Did not He who made me make also him, my servant?  Did not one God fashion us?  Are we not alike answerable to God?

     Job is then saying that God is at work in every womb.  He is creating, He is fashioning a human person, a human person who stands answerable unto God as his creator.  Job is saying that that is the case—whether one be a slave or a free man.  Did not one God fashion us in the womb, he asks?  Whether the mother expecting a child is in the hut of a slave family of Job, or is in Job’s own house, did not God alike create that human life?  Is that not a life created by God?  That is the Word of God.  God is at work in every human womb—white or black, Chinese or Indian, high income or poverty-stricken.  Even in slum areas of cities where agencies use government money for funding abortions because, they say, we must not allow those who are on welfare or those who are in the lower classes of society to have more children because this would simply perpetuate the problems of our society.  And thus our country becomes guilty of sins of genocide and infanticide.  In other countries, in China and India, girl babies are aborted because they are not wanted, and there is forced sterilization.  God says, “I am at work in every womb.”  In the elect and in the reprobate, in every womb, it is God who works the life of a human person.

     Notice that Job does not pay any attention to what his parents contributed to his conception, or, for that matter, what the slave’s parents contributed to his conception.  He does not say, “I came from parents who were landowners, and he came from parents who were slaves.”  He does not look to the parents.  He does not say, even from that point of view, that the parents determine the destiny of the child.  He does not look at the parents as decisive.  He says, “Did not God make us?”  God did this in the womb.

     Yes, in the beginning ( Gen. 1), God said that He made them male and female.  And He said to the man and to the woman, “Be fruitful and multiply.”  Yes, according to God’s Word conception is the result of the female egg and the male sperm being united.  But God says, nevertheless, “This is My work, My work alone.”  Did not God make me in the womb, just as He made him?  Did not one God fashion us?  God is at work in every womb.

     This is staggering.  This is awesome.  This is what happens in conception whenever conception takes place.  God is at work!  God is at work in the creation of our human life.  He remains the creator and the owner of that life.

     We may document now, through science, the various processes that God uses, the zygotes and the embryos, and we take pictures and we marvel at the stages of pregnancy and the development.  But if that is all we see, we do not see what is happening in the womb, in every womb—God is creating a human person.  God made me, not it.  God made him.

     Let us be very clear, as we stand before the Word of God, that God is at work in every womb.  And as the One who giveth, He alone is the One who may take away.  In the beginning of the book, Job confessed concerning the death of his children:  “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  When you are pregnant, the Lord gave.  A great creator!  When you miscarry, and the baby dies through what we call “natural courses,” the Lord took away.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.  But a woman, a boyfriend, a man, a government may not play God over the life.

     There is sometimes an appeal made to the Scriptures to say that the Scriptures say at times that life in the womb is not necessarily to be considered a human life.  Open your Bibles to Exodus 21:22, 23.   As is so often the case, when we study the Scriptures we find that the very text that is being used against the truth is a text that is proclaiming the truth that it seeks to deny.  Perhaps this will be helpful for us also to understand our King James Version.  In verses 22, 23 of Exodus 21 we read:  “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow:  he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.  And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.”

     “And yet no mischief follow” has been falsely interpreted to mean: if she (that is, the mother) does not die.  And then in verse 23:  “And if mischief follows [that is, if she, the mother, dies], then it shall be life for life.”  But that is not the meaning of the Scriptures here.  When verse 22 says that they contend, they strive, and hurt a woman with child so that her fruit depart from her, it is not a reference to a miscarriage.  It literally says, “And her child come out.”  The child is born prematurely, and “no mischief follow”—that is, the child lives.  Born early, but the child lives.  The child is fine.  Then the husband and the judge shall determine the penalty for the fight that resulted in the risk of an early delivery.  But “if mischief follow,” that is, if the child is born and the child dies.  That is the point.  The child, not the mother, dies.  Then thou shalt give life for life.

     God counts the life in the womb as the life of a human being.

     God is at work in every human womb.  In this work, as the creator, His work is mysterious and wonderful.  Yesterday morning we were greeted, when we woke up, by the snow and by the clear sky and the brilliant sun.  And in our back yards, as the snow was upon the trees and began to melt, each drop of water caught and became a prism of the sun’s light, and our back yards became a theater of praise to God.  But God’s theater of praise is not only in the brilliance of the sun.  It is also in those places where no eye can see.  In secret, says the psalmist, in the womb.  Job said, “He made me.”  That word “made” means to create, or to cut after a pattern.  That is, God did something according to a predetermined plan.  And then that word “fashion” refers to what is done with skill, with the skill of a great artist or the skill of a great worker.  He fashioned me.  He fashioned me in a marvelous way.  He created us.  He created our human life.  That is marvelous and beyond the ability of man to comprehend.  For the Scriptures say, “Thou knowest not how the bones are formed in the womb of her that is with child.”  The marvel that God has created in the bloodstream and in the lungs and in our minds and all the rest—the great marvel of God at work in conception in the life in the womb.

     Let us pray.

     Almighty God and Father, we pray for Thy Word and Thy Word alone to be our light.  Send forth Thy Word and humble us before it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.