Sanctity of Life Sunday

Title: Sanctity of Life Sunday

Bible Book: Psalms 139 : 13-16

Author: David E. Owen

Subject: Sanctity of Life; Creation; Abortion



Thirty-nine years ago today (January 22, 2012), the United States Supreme Court decided a case known as Roe vs. Wade. On January 22, 1973, the Court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

It is estimated that since that time, over 40 million unborn babies have been aborted in the United States. An estimated 4,000 more are aborted each and every day.

Let’s put this in perspective. In his book, “Sanctity of Life: The Inescapable Issue,” Chuck Swindoll showed these death toll statistics from the major wars that our nation has been involved in…

Revolutionary War 25,324

Civil War 498,332

World War I 116,708

World War II 407,316

Korean War 54,246

Vietnam War 58,655

War On The Unborn 20,000,000 (…since abortion was legalized in 1973 – up to 1990)

By the way, the plaintiff in that court case 39 years ago, (a woman who for anonymity’s sake was known as Jane Roe) was actually named Norma Leah McCorvey. McCorvey was reportedly saved in 1994 and expressed remorse for her part in the Supreme Court decision. She was baptized on August 8, 1995, and two days later she announced that she had become an advocate of Operation Rescue’s campaign to make abortion illegal.

Swindoll said…

Not since the controversial issue of slavery ripped America apart at the seams has one subject troubled our country like abortion. It is virtually impossible to pick up a national periodical or, for that matter, a daily newspaper without seeing an article, a column, a story, or an editorial either directly or indirectly related to abortion. Physicians and politicians, educators and newscasters, radio and television talk show hosts, feminists and lobbyists alike are never far from discussing the subject.

According to the Wikipedia article on the National Sanctity of Human Life Day…

In a January 13, 1984 proclamation, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that first recognized the constitutionally-protected status of abortion in the United States.

Reagan issued the proclamation annually thereafter, designating Sanctity of Human Life Day to be the third Sunday in January, which represents the closest Sunday to the original January 22 date. His successor, George H. W. Bush, continued the annual proclamation throughout his presidency. Bush’s successor, Bill Clinton, discontinued the practice throughout his eight years in office, but Bush’s son and Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, resumed the proclamation, and did so every year of his presidency.


Having said that, let me make it clear that abortion is not merely a legal issue. It is not merely a political issue. It is not even a simple, moral issue.

As John Piper said…

Abortion is a God issue, and I think the first way you see that is in Psalm 139 where it says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (verse 14). And the language that is used is that a baby is knit together in its mother’s womb. Well who’s the knitter? The knitter is not nature. The knitter is God, which means that what’s happening in a woman’s tummy is that God is at work. God is making a human being.

Now, you don’t mess with that. You just don’t get in God’s face and say, “Let me at it! I’m going to take it out! I’m going to chop it into pieces.” You don’t do that.

And you don’t do it for God’s sake. God gives, God takes away, God makes babies. We don’t make babies. We put the pieces together through sexual relations and God causes a being that never was and now is and always will be to come into being.


Chuck Swindoll said…

Let’s understand that medical authorities determine a person to be “alive” if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. With that in mind, it is eye-opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at eighteen days (two and one-half weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity forty days (a little over five and one-half weeks) after conception. What is so shocking is that essentially 100 percent of all abortions occur after the seventh week of pregnancy.

Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states:

· 1 percent are victims of incest or rape

· 1 percent had fetal abnormalities

· 4 percent had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy

· 50 percent said they didn’t want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships

· 66 percent stated they could not afford a child

· 75 percent said the child would interfere with their lives.

There are numerous related statistics I could include, but this is sufficient to help us come to one major conclusion: 95-plus percent of children killed by abortion are killed for reasons of convenience; not incest, not rape, not the physical condition of the unborn, and not the threatened health of the mother.

When are children aborted? Fifty percent of all abortions are performed at eight weeks; 25 percent at nine to ten weeks; 14 percent at eleven to twelve weeks; 5 percent at thirteen to fifteen weeks; 4 percent at sixteen to twenty weeks; and 2 percent after twenty weeks.

How many children are aborted? Worldwide, 55 million unborn children are killed every year. If you are like me, you can’t get your arms around that large a number. To help us do so, let me break it into days, hours and minutes. Around the world, every day 150,685 children are killed by abortion; every hour, 6,278; and every minute, 105. Those are the reported cases.

If you are an American citizen, no doubt your greatest interest is in your own nation, as is mine. Let me break the abortions down to a national statistic: 1,600,000 babies are aborted in these United States every year. Per day, that’s 4,383; per hour, that’s 183; per minute, there are 3. That’s correct, in America alone 3 children are killed every minute.

The president of Southern Seminary, Dr. Al Mohler said on January 20th in a Twitter post…

At the current rate, 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion by age 45. [Source: Guttmacher Institute]


The Bible teaches that…

All human life is sacred.

Life is sacred . . . because God made it.

A. It was created by God.

1. And God created man in His own image. — Genesis 1:27

2. For in Him all things were created. — Colossians 1:16

B. It is protected by God.

1. And Thy care has preserved my spirit. — Job 10:12

2. For He will give His angels charge concerning you. — Psalms 91:11

C. It is valued by God.

1. Behold I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. — Isaiah 49:16

2. I have loved you with an everlasting love. — Jeremiah 31:3

3. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. — Jeremiah 1:5

4. I am come that they might have life and have it to the full. — John 10:10


What does the Bible have to say about the sanctity of human life? What does the Bible say about abortion?

You’ve probably heard the expression “an eye for an eye.” I’m sure you realize that the expression comes directly from the scripture. But did you realize that in the same passage where that expression is found, there is a statement that is especially relevant to abortion? The Bible says in Exodus 21…

(Exodus 21:22-25) 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. {23} And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, {24} Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, {25} Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

I guess one of the big questions for people is “When does life begin?”

God’s view of life starts well before birth.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother’s womb You have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).

Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? (Job 31:15).

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3)

This is what the LORD says—He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you … (Isaiah 44:2).

And now the LORD says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

In these verses it is brought directly to the reader that God’s view of life begins before birth. … God does not look at our lives from birth to death; He views us from conception onward. … God’s view is that life begins before birth.


This morning, I want to look briefly at a section of Psalm 139. In the first four verses of this psalm, we see the Omniscience of God. In verses 5 thru 10, we see the Omnipresence of God.

But I want to look particularly at verses 11 thru 22, and in these verses we see how God loves His children that are in this world. And in this passage, we also see how God loves children that are in the womb.

Warren Wiersbe said…

This is one of the greatest passages in literature about the miracle of human conception and birth. “In the presence of birth,” said Eugene Petersen, “we don’t calculate — we marvel.” David declared that God is present at conception and birth, because we are made in the image of God and God has a special purpose for each person who is born. We live in and with our bodies all our lives, and we know how amazing they are. God formed us as He wants us to be, and we must accept His will no matter how we feel about our genetic structure, our looks, or our abilities. The verb “covered” (v. 13, KJV) means “woven together” (see Isa 32:12), and “intricately wrought” in verse 15 is translated “embroidered” in Exodus. In the mother’s womb, the Lord weaves and embroiders a human being, and abortion interrupts this miracle. What a tragedy!

Notice first that…

I. God Can Reach Us In The Place Of Darkness

(Psalms 139:11-12) If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. {12} Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

darkness – Hebrew 2822. choshek, kho-shek'; from H2821; the dark; hence (lit.) darkness; fig. misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness:--dark (-ness), night, obscurity.

A. Notice The Covering Of This Darkness

1. This Darkness May Seem Oppressive

cover – Hebrew 7779. shuwph, shoof; a prim. root; prop. to gape, i.e. snap at; fig. to overwhelm:--break, bruise, cover.

2. This Darkness May Seem Overwhelming

cover – Hebrew 7779. shuwph, shoof; a prim. root; prop. to gape, i.e. snap at; fig. to overwhelm:--break, bruise, cover.

B. Notice The Conquering Of This Darkness

1. Darkness Is Powerless Against God

(Psalms 139:12) Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

2. Darkness Is Perceptible To God

(Psalms 139:12) Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

The circumstances would conceal us in the night, but God will comprehend us in the light. With God, the darker the night, the brighter the light.

II. God Can Reach Us In The Place Of Development

(Psalms 139:13) For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

God’s knowledge is the ultimate ultrasound!

A. We See God’s Supernatural Care In This Realm

1. He Has Revealed His Ownership

thou hast possessed my reins

Spurgeon said that the “reins signifies the kidneys, which by the Hebrew were supposed to be the seat of the desires and longings. But perhaps here it indicates the most hidden and vital portion of man.”

2. He Has Revealed His Oversight

thou hast covered me

covered – Hebrew 5526. cakak; to entwine as a screen; by implication to fence in, cover over, (fig.) protect:--cover, defence, defend, hedge in, join together, set, shut up.

It’s like he covered us with a uterine blanket. He swaddled us in-utero.

B. We See God’s Superior Craftsmanship In This Realm

(Psalms 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. {15} My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. {16} 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.

1. He Made Something Marvelous

fearfully – Hebrew 3372. yare'; to fear; to revere; to frighten.

wonderfully – Hebrew 6395. palah; to distinguish: --put a difference, show marvellous, separate, set apart, sever, make wonderfully.

His work in our lives is to be revered and distinctive.

2. He Made Something Meticulous

curiously wrought – Hebrew 7551. raqam; to variegate color, i.e. embroider; to fabricate:--embroiderer, needlework.

Spurgeon said, “ ‘Embroidered with great skill’ is an accurate poetical description of the creation of veins, sinews, muscles, nerves, etc.” The “lowest parts of the earth” is a picturesque suggestion of the womb.

I’m reminded of the little story of a boy who was standing in front of the mirror one day admiring himself while he was talking to his Dad.

The boy said to his dad, “Dad, who made me?” He said, “God made you, son.” He said, “Dad, who made you?” He said, “God made me, son.” He said, “Dad, who made granddad?” He said, “God made him, son.” “Why do you ask?” The boy took one look back in the mirror and said, “Well it just seems to me he’s been doing a better job in recent years!”

III. God Can Reach Us In The Place Of Distress

(Psalms 139:19-22) Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. {20} For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. {21} Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? {22} I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

God hears my distress call across enemy lines.

A. The Psalmist Describes The Harmfulness Of These Enemies

1. They Are Bloody Men

bloody (vs. 19) – indicates those that bring death and bloodshed.

2. They Are Blasphemous Men

(Psalms 139:20) For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

wickedly – Hebrew 4209. mezimmah, mez-im-maw'; from H2161; a plan, usually evil (machination), sometimes good (sagacity):--(wicked) device, discretion, intent, witty invention, lewdness, mischievous (device), thought, wickedly.

B. The Psalmist Declares His Hatred For These Enemies

(Psalms 139:21-22) Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? {22} I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

hate – Hebrew 8130. sane'; to hate (personally): --enemy, foe, odious. He was repulsed by them.

1. There Is An Attitude Of Grief

grieved (vs. 21) – Hebrew 6962. quwt; to cut off, i.e. (fig.) detest:--be grieved, lothe self.

2. There Is An Alignment With God

I hate them … that hate thee. I count them mine enemies.


In a blog post dated December 15, 2011, the President Emeritus of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Dr. Gerald B. (Jerry) Kieschnick, wrote this…

In a recent email, I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn’t think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy and we’ll make him a preacher.

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam’s youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines. He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.

The University of Florida’s star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football’s highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His current role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he is being called The Mile-High Messiah.

Tim’s notoriety and the family’s inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women’s centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters. I pray her tribe will increase!

Is abortion wrong? I believe based on God’s perspective of life in His Word that it is. Can God forgive someone who has had an abortion? Absolutely! Life is precious to God. Your life is precious to God. He loves you this morning, and He wants to manifest that love to you as we see in Psalm 139.


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