The Value of Life
After reading articles in recent Updates about the atrocities and scandals surrounding abortion, I become increasingly aghast at the dismissive treatment of human life. This is of course nothing new, but it seems that the rhetoric is becoming more brazen and unapologetic. In the misappropriated name of mercy and freedom of choice, unborn infants are consciously and systematically murdered. Even when circumstances in the life of the mother are difficult, the fact remains that only one party has a voice in the choice to kill. The life of the murdered is valued only for the salvaged body to be bought and sold on the market for scientific and medical purposes. To God, the society that allows this to happen is shamefully condemned. And that is putting it lightly.
Infanticide is clearly an evil deed in the eyes of God (compare 2 Kings 8:12, Amos 1:13, Matthew 2:13-18). To draw any other conclusion that justifies abortion is plainly insulting to Him. God gives us some very clear commandments to love one another. To make a conscious choice to kill an innocent, helpless child is an impudent rejection of God that demonstrates the very opposite of love. The choice to kill shows a sharp contrast between the value that God has for our human lives and the attitude of man that counts life so cheap.
The ever-increasing spending on the military also shows an irony in the hearts of man and their governments. In the name of protecting peace and safety, the accumulation of war machines capable of wiping out entire populations proliferates. How the act of killing in war can fulfill a mission of peace boggles the mind. Yet, this is the claim that militaries and governments make. The hostility that makes a system of defense seem necessary begins in the misguided, selfish hearts of men.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). The value of life from the perspective of mankind is not the same as God’s. To the carnal man, the “other” side is a threat, which affects an escalation of increasingly violent responses, killing people who are valuable to God.
What is the value of life? To mankind, one would think that the value of our own lives would be paramount. But from the ways in which man behaves, the evidence shows the opposite to be true. Sadly, life is cheap to man. The killing that we hear about in the news, the laws of the land, and the investments of man prove it. To God, this attitude to life contrasts His undying love for us. In a perfect expression of love, God the Father offered His Son as the ultimate Sacrifice to cover man’s sin which was necessary so that all could live eternally (compare John 3:16). Then, in further proof of God’s love for life, He resurrected Jesus Christ to live in glory forever. To God, the value of life is infinitely greater than the evaluation made by man. God values our lives so greatly that His entire plan involves bringing as many to eternal life as possible so we can all live together in love and everlasting peace. The value of life will finally meet an equilibrium where death itself is destroyed.
We should be encouraged by the value that God places on our lives individually as well. He is intimately involved in the details of our lives. He knows our struggles. He knows our hearts. He knows our needs. Beyond merely knowing us, He loves us and values us individually. “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31). Even if our lives are cheap to man, we are valuable in the eyes of God.
Seeing that God values our life infinitely more than the world does, how should we conform our minds, hearts, and behavior? Quite simply, we follow God’s lead and demonstrate love through obedience. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3). When we obey God, His love for us grows and our life fulfills the value He holds for us. In addition, we express the same value of life towards our fellow man through obedience to God’s commandment to love one another. If we want to understand the value of life, we need to do nothing more than look to God and learn from Him.