The Whole of a Matter; the Beginning of Life
By Olivia Reid 2-23-19
Virginia tried. New York succeeded. New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont and four others have no gestational limits for abortion. Perhaps it’s not too late to revisit an old debate that led us to where we are today.
When does life begin?
Imagine being in a delivery room and delivering a woman in labor who part way through decides, “I just can’t do this. I want an abortion.”
So, the doctor must change course and procedure midway. This is no longer a lifesaving mission: that mission is now aborted. The Hippocratic oath is somehow twisted and there is license for a life-saving doctor to become a mechanic of death. All this because of House Bill 2491, now on the table in Virginia.
If we as believers in Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah believe: a) That the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and, b) Believe that the Lord’s prayer is still relevant today, how can believing Christians argue for a woman’s right to choose?
Perhaps it’s not too late to revisit this old discussion. The big debate of 20 or even 40 years ago was, “when does life begin?” Many contended it was at conception, many argued it was at the sign of a heartbeat, others said when brainwaves were present.
But I want to argue that none of those are consistent with the Word of God.
Hear me out.
First off, I am going to take you back to Jerusalem, before the Babylonian invasion. God’s people were acting in complete corruption, worshiping idols in the Temple, oppressing one another and completely abandoning God’s instructions for them as a people. But the Father, in all His compassion and mercy chose a young boy to speak to God’s chosen, beloved people.
His name was Jeremiah.
Now this young man was given the task to go against the priesthood, who was also his family, and speak against the corruption of the priesthood. He too was born a cohen, or the son of a priest.
Now the King of the universe, in all His infinite wisdom, had a few opening words for Jeremiah for the first time. This was essentially God’s first impression to Jeremiah as a deeper relationship was about to progress from this historic milestone.
Yes, Jeremiah knew God before He started speaking to Him one-on-one, but their relationship was going to be changed forever. Jeremiah was going to be so tuned into the Father’s heart that he would become known as “the weeping prophet.”
God chooses to introduce this new level of intimacy with these opening words:
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you came out of the womb, I set you apart” (Jer 1:5).
What a way to get someone’s attention! A mere human being told that he or she isknown by the Master of the universe.
I can imagine those words sinking deep into Jeremiah’s soul and spirit, singling him out of wherever lives are stored before coming to this earth.
What a concept!
Now, I want to visit two scriptures I mentioned above: The Word becoming flesh as Jesus Christ and the Lord’s Prayer. There are two things here that I just can’t seem to shake when it comes to this whole “when does life begin” debate.
Now Christians professing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and our only hope of salvation, must stand on the Gospels for our salvation. John 1:3 says: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3)
All things were made by Him. All things. Jeremiah. You. Me. Everyone.
At one point in the fabric of existence, none of us were apart from Him.
So, somewhere beyond this scope of reality here on earth, there is another reality where souls who were created live.
God is the God of life, correct?
These souls are not dead before they take their first breath. They are living beings. And many people who see in the spirit say that when they see a woman who is pregnant, she has not one angel, but two.
So, now to the Lord’s Prayer. Many would consider this prayer widely acceptable, unassuming and perhaps, even trite.
There isn’t much that is controversial in it. So, when we pray, “Our Father who art in Heaven… Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” what are we really saying when we say, “on earth as it is in heaven?”
Again, this prayer is found in the Gospels, our foundation of hope and we are told to pray that “His Kingdom come…on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Our model for any of us who profess Jesus as our Messiah is “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Going back to Yahweh’s first words to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” begs an even more interesting question. By my assessment of the scriptures, I would argue that not only is there life after death, but there is life before birth.
Now, before going any further on the abortion debate, perhaps we should consider when life begins according to God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Word of God.
He knew our soul before it had flesh. In fact, in Exodus when it talks about the famous law, “a life for a life” that word there is not just “life” in Hebrew. That word in Hebrew is nefesh, which means “soul” which then gets translated into “life” in English.
It seems life begins before He formed us in the womb.
So perhaps, life is not merely what starts and ends on this planet but begins when a person’s soul either: a) Ascends to eternal life or, b) Descends into the second death.
I want to submit to you that this conversation about the beginning of life must start with the end of a matter in mind, the matter of the second death. For without the thought of a second death, how can we really put the beginning of life into Biblical perspective?
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecc 12:13-14.