Among the many scientific achievements made in the last 100 years, I believe the ultrasound— first used in 1956—is among the most significant. For the first time in human history, doctors and expecting parents were able to look inside the mother’s womb and see their developing child. My wife and I will never forget that ultrasound appointment where the nurse exclaimed, “Oh my, there are two in there!” Fortunately, we had time to prepare for double everything.
Before the ultrasound, there was uncertainty in the scientific and medical communities about what went on during a pregnancy, and a lack of clarity regarding prenatal development through each trimester. The ultrasound unlocked the ability to see human life at each stage of its growth, from a tiny embryo to a developed baby, with hands, feet, nose, heartbeat, and even distinct brainwaves.
We can now see when in the process a baby develops their internal organs, their fingerprints, and even their totally unique retina. We can watch them respond to voices, music, and painful pokes.
Scientists and doctors could have learned these truths thousands of years before the ultrasound was invented if they had considered Psalms 139. God opened a window to King David. The Spirit of God gave David inspired insights into a mother’s womb, where God’s handiwork was embroidering a human life.
Beloved, don’t let doctors, politicians, or activists determine your view on when life begins, and which lives have worth. The revelation of God’s Word stands as the ultimate and final authority. In fact, God’s Word delivers at least three key truths I want to identify when it comes to life inside the womb; truths that should govern our perspective on abortion:
God forms and knows each person in the womb.
David prays these words to God: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
This prayer leads us to reject the definitions and terms used by the secular world to dehumanize the baby that is developing in the womb. Terms as debased as “clump of cells” or “fetal tissue” strip away the truth that the preborn has the same physical atomic makeup as every adult. Are you aware that the cells in the unborn baby are the same cells that grow and develop in our childhood and adult years?
The term “fetus,” while a scientifically correct one, has been used to remove any verbal reference to the unborn baby as a living human being. But David makes it even more clear as he continues, “I praise you (God), for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).
David understood that life begins at fertilization. At that very moment, Creator God begins crafting and molding the cells, tissue, fibers, organs, and bones to make us who we are—a unique creation, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Not only does God create us uniquely from the moment of fertilization, He creates us with a specific plan and purpose in mind. God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5a).
Before Jeremiah was even conceived, God knew him—by name—and knew the purposes and plans that He would have for him.
Beloved, that gives our lives wonderful meaning and purpose; we are designer made for the glory of God.
God gives each person—born and unborn—human value and worth.
Based on the first core truth, we can rightly understand this second truth as well: because God created each unborn person as a person, they have the same God-given value and worth as any person after their birth.
Human value is not determined by what a person does or how much they contribute to society or family, but their God-given status as immortal human beings. The Bible says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
We see this same truth reflected in our legal system today. A person does not receive a lesser sentence if they murder a bad person, nor do they receive a more severe sentence if they murder a good person. The value of a person is based on who they are, not what they do. Who they are is someone made in God’s image, and their personhood—that God-image-bearing status—begins in the womb!
Taking the life of an unborn baby is murder.
The sixth commandment is simple: “Thou shalt not kill.” The taking of a human life is murder and is an abomination in God’s eyes. God places as much value in the unborn person as He does in the born person. Every abortion denies a person, made in God’s image, their God-given right to life and is murder.
As the ambassadors of God here on earth, my prayer is that we place as great a value on human life as God does, protecting and cherishing His ultimate creation.