I must have sung the hymn "All People That On Earth Do Dwell", dozens of times. It is number one in the Trinity Hymnal and since the sixteenth century has been strong in the Church of Jesus Christ. The poet William Kethe took Psalm 100 as his inspiration and then declared God's truth as it was set to music. Yes, it's an old favorite, but it was a hymn I had not fully understood until in recent years I pondered its meaning:
The Lord ye know is God indeed,
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His flock , He doth us feed
And for His sheep He doth us take.
The hymn establishes the most cogent fact about the sanctity of human life -- God purposed it from before the foundation of the world, God brought it into being in the womb of a woman, and it was God who determined the length of the life of that which He had made. "Without our aid He did us make" the hymn says. Conception could never have occurred had it not been the will of the Father, the Creator of all life, and although we understand the context in which the baby is conceived, we must also understand that the fruit of the union would never occur if it were not the will of God.
When we consider the jealous nature of God as He declares Himself to be, we catch a glimpse of what that means when we consider the work of the artist or the artificer in wood or metal. He is jealous for his creation. How much more therefore is the jealousy of the Lord of the Universe for His creation. So distinctive in design and intent and so destined to fulfill the plan and purposes of God!
Then man decides to take that life and do with it as he pleases! His decision is made circumstantially and often without much thought. While some may take abortion in their stride others will fret for years over the loss of life. Who can measure the psychological consequences of such a heinous act? And who can measure the sorrow that the Creator experiences when the little one that He called forth into being is removed from the earth?
So how are we to treat this aberration in our society? In Africa, a place where I lived for several years, in the tribe where I worked there was no word in the language for abortion. If such occurred naturally the description was always:"she suffered loss." And how great a loss that is! God has given to the Church the responsibility for the defense of His great Name. We are called upon to "love God and enjoy Him for ever." Our enjoyment is rooted in obedience to His command: "Thou shalt do no murder."
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is January 18, 2015. For the glory of God and for the sake of His creation, the myriad children who are under the threat of disposition, and for the parents who will bear the responsibility for this disaster for years to come, may we remember whom we are as the Children of the Kingdom, and once again commit ourselves to live as Kingdom people, not driven the expediencies of the world, but faithful to the One to Whom we belong.
Wilfred A. Bellamy, Ph.D.