Exodus: New Direction, New Life
The Sanctity of Life
Text: Exodus 1:15-21
Introduction: This is Sanctity f life Sunday a day when we focus on God’s gift of Life and our nation’s disregarding this truth by legalizing abortion. Some try to justify abortion with Situational Ethics. Here are some examples that ask would you consider abortion in the following 4 situations ?
1. There's a preacher and wife who are very, very poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she's pregnant with15th. They're living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion?
2. The father is sick with syphilis, the mother has TB. They have 4 children. 1st is blind, 2nd is dead, 3rd is deaf, 4th has TB. She finds she’s pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you consider recommending abortion?
3. A white man raped a 13 year old black girl and she got pregnant. If you
were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?
4. A young girl is pregnant, though engaged, she's not married yet. Her fiancé though is not the father of the baby. Would you consider recommending abortion?
In the first case of the poor preacher and his wife with 14 children, the 15th child was John Wesley. One of the great evangelists in the 19th century.
In the second case of the father with a deadly disease and a mother with Tuberculosis and all the children born so sick, the child she has is Ludwig Von Beethoven and with his birth comes all his music that filled the world.
In the third case of rape, the child born was Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer.
And in the final scenario of the child born from a teenager girl pregnant with a baby that was not her fiancé’s, you may have realized we were talking about Mary, Joseph and of course Jesus Christ.
Today is National Sanctity of Life Day first declared as a national observance by Ronald Reagan in 1984 on the 11th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade that made abortion legal and accepted in our nation. Today it is more than just accepted, it is celebrated by those on the far left and the Democratic party. Some say you shouldn’t deal with politics from the pulpit and I would agree with that until such a restriction means that you will not speak out on those issues that God and the prophets of the Old Testament spoke out about even reprimanding the Kings of Israel, Samaria and the nations that surrounded them. This sermon isn’t about politics its about life, especially the life of the weakest members of our society infants and the unborn. We find a parallel to our nation and its acceptance of abortion in the story of Pharaoh and the Midwives. It is a story of heroism, bravery and goodness in the face of evil, a story of God’s blessing and protection in the face of governmental laws that were evil.
The Stopping of Life Exodus 1:15-16
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live
The Supreme ruler of Egypt orders the Hebrew boys killed.
These women, Shiphrah and Puah were Egyptian midwives to the Hebrew people. They were ordered to stop the life of the child, to murder it as the helpless little boys were being born on the birthing stools. This terrible act of genocide upon the most helpless of all, strictly for the sake of convenience and with the authority of the government of Egypt. But God in his providence made sure that Shiphrah and Puah were the midwives to the Hebrews and they were brave women who disobeyed the horrific order of the king of Egypt.
Now, let’s draw a parallel between ancient Egypt and our country today.
The Supreme Court in 1973 allowed babies to be killed.
Just as a Supreme power in Egypt commanded babies to be killed, another Supreme this time the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 to let babies of both genders be killed.
And the slaughter of the innocents by Egypt was nothing compared to the genocide of the innocents in our country.
Abortion Statistics of Shame in the United States.
Number of procedures per year: the highest was 1.6 Million in 1990, is now down to 926,000 in 2107. That means that 2,500 abortions are done per day in the US. That makes it by far the single highest cause of death in our nation, much, much higher than cancer, heart disease or even car accidents which claimed 37,000 lives in all of 2016.
Since 1973 almost 60 million babies have been legally killed.
And lest you think this is someone else who is having the procedure. Understand that…
Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all the procedures. 18% of all the procedures are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".
93% of all abortions occur because the child is simply unwanted or inconvenient.
As of 2017, 1 in 4 women will have the procedure by the time they are 30.
In New York City in 2013 the procedure rate was 60% of the birth rate. That means 6 out of 10 babies that could have been born to live and breathe in this world instead had their tiny hearts stopped.
We rightly think that Pharaoh was a monster for trying to kill the Hebrew boys but he was an amateur in comparison to those who provide the procedure in our nation today.
It should not be this way.
Illustration: Refusing to abort God’s gift
I have a friend that I went to college with, Jess Colgrove. After college, he went to Portugal as a missionary and later pastor a church in Big Spring, Texas. We used to go to summer camp together and one summer as we were talking Jess and his wife Thelma asked LeeOra and I to pray. Their only daughter was pregnant and at the same time had been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told the family that they could not treat the cancer without killing the baby in the womb. I wonder what one of us would have said. I know what Jess’s daughter said, “She said no treatment until after the baby is born.” They told here it would be too late and they recommended taking the child to save the mother. She refused, and God was good that baby was born healthy and strong and the mother received chemo therapy and was also healed. But she was willing to give her life for her child because that is how God made mothers.
Transition: Now let’s go back to Exodus vs 17 and see others who refused, the heroes of this story, the midwives.
The Sanctity of Life Exodus 1:17-19
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
The Midwives refused to murder the Hebrew boys
These women, who had given themselves to the service of birthing children, refused to be turned into the murderers of children. They believed that life was sacred and that every child whether Egyptian or Hebrew, male or female, free or slave was a precious gift. The Bible says the feared God, that means they honored His person, respected his commands and feared His judgment. Their fear of God was much greater than their fear of Pharaoh.
They told the King that the Hebrew women were very quick in their delivery and before the midwives could arrive the baby was already born.
Now if you think that is a flimsy excuse, remind me sometime to tell you about the birth of our children. LeeOra just didn’t mess around. I don’t think we were in the delivery room for more than an hour for any of our four and one almost came while on the way to the hospital. We would have had to named her Ford or maybe Taurus.
Is the life of the unborn sacred? Is human life sacred? Is there really a sanctity of life?
What makes an unborn child or any human life sacred? It is sacred because life was created by God and human kind was created in the image of God Himself.
God created man and gave him life.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
God’s declared that human life was sacred because we are in His image and anyone who takes that life must pay with their own life. This and this alone is the only fitting punishment.
Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
The Bible is emphatic in telling us that children are the gift of God.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a gift from the Lord.
Genesis 17:16, I will bless her Sarah and give you a son from her, and she shall be the mother of nations.
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
Boaz, took Ruth as his wife, "And when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception." What a statement! "The Lord gave her conception." We should understand that no conception occurs ever, anywhere on the face of the earth, through all of human history, that is not a result of God's creative and providential purpose.
The Bible says very plainly that God made us.
Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
That word "together" literally in the Hebrew means "together all around," comprehensively, in every sense, You made me.
God knew us as a person, before we were born.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
"I knew you," (Hebrew, yaddah), as a rational creature.
Psalm 139:14-16 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 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.
Illustration: John the Baptist
We see the undeniable truth of an unborn baby, in God’s eyes, being a fully functioning, viable human being in the story of John the Baptist. The Bible tells us that he was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb in Luke 1:15. And it says, "the baby leaped in her womb." It means that somehow that child in Elizabeth’s womb responded to being in the presence of Jesus, his cousin and the messiah, who was in Mary’s womb. The Holy Spirit moved that little life inside Elizabeth and he jumped for joy in the presence of his savior.
The Surety of God Exodus 1:20-21
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
God blessed the midwives in Egypt
It says He dealt well with them. He blessed them in multiple and countless ways because they honored Him and the sanctity of the lives He created.
As time went on for the midwives, the Bible say that because they honored God, He made them houses. Now isn’t that interesting blessing. It doesn’t mean he turned them into houses, it means he blessed them with their own household, their own husbands and children. Barnes commentary says, “They married Hebrews and became mothers in Israel.”
If that is the case it means that when God struck Egypt with the plagues and millions died, these women’s families were spared because they who had been faithful to God and the sanctity of life. It also means that when Israel left for the promised land, their children and grandchildren went with them to reap the blessings of God that sprang from the seeds of obedience planted by their grandmothers.
Isn’t that a precious thought to all of us who are parents and grandparents. That what we do today in following God will be a seed planted in the lives of our descendants. We may never see it, but we can believe it.
God Blesses those who cherish Life today
Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
This is one of the most foundational verses in the Bible for God’s people in this present world. “We will reap if we faint not!” The scripture promises blessings to those who refuse to accept the death of innocent babies and blessings to those who trust God to provide for themselves and their children.
You can have the blessing of God or we as a nation can suffer the removal of those blessing. And for those poor women who have made the wrong decision the consequences can be terrible.
Somewhere between 400% and 800% of suicide rates increase in women who have had abortions.
Hypochondria, depression, withdrawal, guilt, shame, drugs, alcohol dependency, serious emotional trauma—all of these come from abortions.
Six to seven times more women die each year from legal than illegal abortions.
Miscarriages are almost twice as common for women who have aborted.
A study of 26,000 births indicated a more than threefold increase in the number of stillborn babies and deaths of newborns among mothers who have had an abortion.
There is about twice the risk of breast cancer when abortions were performed in the first trimester, before completing a full-term pregnancy.
After an abortion a woman is far more likely to break up with her partner, whether she is married or not. Abortion just destroys everybody.
Please also never forget that in all of this, God is a God of forgiveness and love and that no matter what has happened in the past there is hope and healing with our Lord. There can be still be blessings. Oh I pray for those blessing upon our nation, for the remnant of people who still is refuse to accept the death of the most innocent among us as a right. To those who pray and give and march and preach. Those who refuse abort the future.
Several years ago, a fragile young woman came to my (a doctor's) office, expecting her first baby. One month before she was due, the baby was in a breech position. The death rate of breech babies is high because of the difficulty in delivering the after-coming head and the imperative need of delivering it quickly after the body is born.
During the delivery, I waited as patiently as I could for the natural forces of expulsion to thoroughly dilate the firm maternal structures. At last the time had come, and I gently drew down one little foot. I grasped the other, but it would not come beside the first one. To my consternation, I saw the other little foot would never be beside the first one. The entire thigh from the hip to the knee was missing.
I knew what a dreadful effect this would have upon the unstable nervous system of the mother. The family would almost certainly impoverish itself in taking the child to every famous orthopedist in the world. I saw this little girl sitting sadly by herself, while the other girls danced and ran and played.
I could slow my hand; I could delay those few short moments. No one in this world would ever know. The mother, after the first shock of grief, would be glad she had lost a child so handicapped.
The little pink foot on the good side bobbed out from its protecting towel and pressed firmly against my slowly moving hand into whose keeping the safety of the mother and baby had been entrusted.
I couldn't do it. I delivered the baby with her pitiful little leg. Every foreboding came true. The mother was in the hospital several months-she looked like a wraith of her former self. As the years went on, I blamed myself bitterly for not having had the strength to yield to my temptation.
Our hospital stages an elaborate Christmas party each year for the staff. This past year, three lovely young musicians on the stage played softly in unison with the organ. I was especially fascinated by the young harpist. She played extraordinarily well, as if she loved it. Her slender fingers flicked across the strings, and her face was upturned as if the world that moment were a wonderful and holy place.
When the short program was over, there came running down the aisle a woman I did not know. "Oh, you saw her," she cried. "You must have recognized your baby. That was my daughter who played the harp-the little girl who was born with only one good leg 17 years ago. We tried everything at first, but now she has a whole artificial leg on that side. Best of all, through all those years, she learned to use her hands so wonderfully. She is going to be one of the world's greatest harpists. She is my whole life and now she is so happy . . . And here she is!" The sweet young girl had quietly approached us, her eyes glowing.
Impulsively, I took the child in my arms. Across her warm young shoulder I saw the creeping clock of the delivery room 17 years before. I lived again those awful moments when her life was in my hand. As the last the last strains of "Silent Night" faded, I found comfort I had waited for so long.
-(Adapted from "Family News From Dr. James Dobson," December 1993, as condensed from the book, Christmas in My Heart, by Joe Wheeler, Review & Herald Publishing Co., 1993.)
This is not an easy sermon to preach or to hear but it is an important one, a necessary one. For if God’s preachers won’t stand in the pulpit and plead for the innocents then who will? If God’s people won’t hear the truth and act upon it, who will? And if we don’t go to God for forgiveness both for our nation and our selves then where can we find forgiveness.
Many times in the Old Testament the prophets of Israel called for their nation to pray and to repent that God would once withdraw His judgment and restore their nation.
Ezekiel 18:27-32 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.