The Foundation for Cherishing and Defending Life

A couple weeks ago I asserted that the foremost reason we cherish and defend life is that God does.  This week I’d like to explore that topic a bit more, with the aid again of John Ensor’s book, Answering the Call: Saving Innocent Lives, One Woman at a Time.  (The line of argument in the following paragraph comes directly from this book in the chapter entitled “The Foundation for Cherishing and Defending Life.)

Ensor writes, “God is Life, and in giving us Himself, He gives us life itself.”  He spoke into being a creation teeming with life, but the among all those living, created things in which he delights, he especially cherishes human life.  It is on humanity that he stamped his image, as I wrote about last week.  Among all human life, God especially cherishes innocent human life.  Because God is just, he calls on us to defend the innocent.  Ensor brings up these references, “Do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Ex. 23:7), “When men have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty”  (Deut. 25:1), “It is not good to punish an innocent man” (Prov. 17:26), “Woe to those who. . .deny justice to the innocent” (Isaiah 55:22-23).  Many times the prophets’ indictments against Israel were precisely because they had not cared for the innocent.  Among all forms of innocent human life God especially cherishes children.  Think to when Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).  This is one of the sternest warnings from our Lord – surely it shows his deep love for children.  Finally, Ensor says, “Among all the innocent children, God sees the preborn child as his unique work of fashioning personhood.”  In this final section of the chapter, he touches on several different passages where scripture makes it clear that “our lives as persons begin in the womb.”  One example that I had not considered before is found in Job 3:3 when he says, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.'”  Job considered that his personhood began at conception – when a boy was conceived, not just the potential for a boy.  To consider the pre-born anything but an innocent life cherished by God is utterly unbiblical and ungodly.

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