Reflecting on Psalm 139:13 - A blog by Deacon Greg Ventura
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."
There are some topics, I will speak boldly on and others that I will speak more quietly on. This is the later. There has been much talk recently about a law passed in New York that affects abortion. This is a very heated topic. People on both sides are quite passionate. There is no value in getting angry with the opposition. There is nothing to be gained by being belligerent. This is not an issue that will go away with petitions.
This is only an issue that will go away when Christians get about the business of making disciples of all nations. I am not going to talk about the people who advocate one way or another on the issue. I want to talk about the people dealing with the issue. Those are the people making the decisions.
How are Christians helping these people?
The people in these circumstances go someplace for help and counseling, where might that be? I would imagine that many go to Planned Parenthood. How many come to church? I am sure that some do, but do many expect to be judged if they were to confess that they or someone they love is pregnant? There are local organizations that can help, but how well do you know them? There are alternatives in almost every county in New Jersey. Some of these are church-affiliated, like Catholic Charities, others like Life Choices Resource Center in Metuchen are Christian, but not by any particular church. These kinds of organizations need help. Parents need diapers, toys, baby food, and do I really need to spell it out for you? You know the drill. They need stuff. LOTS of stuff. Babies grow fast, so they need support for a while, when it comes to clothing. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who might have a passion for this to do some volunteer work.
Do these people know that God formed them in their mother’s womb?
Maybe if this psalm resonated with more Christians, then maybe we could help other people to better understand it themselves? We are more casual about sex as a nation. Go out into your backyard and get some dirt, rocks, sticks, and vegetable matter. Go the drug store and get some medical supplies. Go to the hardware store and get some metal, wood, nuts, bolts, and piping. Now go home and try to build a human being. You can’t do it with all that stuff, but God gave us a gift of life. When a man and woman are intimate life can be created. It is so simple that we take it for granted, but life is miracle. Pregnancy is the miracle of life. Yes, it has been going on for quite a long time and maybe it has lost its luster. Maybe you need to spend a few minutes sitting with a couple that cannot get pregnant. I know of two couples that could not get pregnant the normal one. One went to many extremes and ending up adopting not one child, but three, those children are now all young adults. Another friend could not conceive and so tried various in vitro fertilization methods and they are finally pregnant. Spend some time with these people and you will hear about the frustration about trying to do it normally when you cannot. Maybe we all need to read a little more of the Bible and see what that says about this?
Did the writers of the Bible care about children?
People will say yes and no on this issue. In one respect, people needed to have lots of children, because the likelihood that they would reach adulthood was low. It was also important in the culture to have an heir. Still this verse from Psalms I believe is an indication that God cares about us at every moment of our life. There are those who will say that life does not really start until you are actually born. If that is the case, then why would we have this verse? Why are there so many stories about how difficult it was even back then to always get pregnant. People might have thought it must have been very easy, but then why are there so many bible stories about barren women? The stories that we have are just the famous ones that went to do great things, but we need to look on these stories to better understand what God thinks about life and how God care about us in our desire to have children.
Genesis 11:30 English Standard Version (ESV)
Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Remember the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they were barren and old? God promised that they would have many descendants and so they had Isaac. Genesis 25:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Isaac and Rebekah have two sons, Esau and Jacob.
Judges 13:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son."
Judges tells the story of the birth of Samson.
Luke 1:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
This Gospel chapter tells of the birth of John the Baptist. Numerous stories of couples who could not have children. Did their husbands dump their wives for someone more fertile? No. We have something to share. Jesus knows about suffering. He is ready to walk with people who are suffering. We need to be his arms and legs.
How do you feel about not being aborted?
It’s a fair question. If you are reading this, then you would not aborted. How do you feel about that. It makes me pause. What if circumstances in my life had been different. My parents suggested that my brother, Mark, three years younger than I, was not planned. They talked about aborting him, but thank God, they did not. What if life had just been a little harder on your parents? What if you were not planned? What if your parents had no church family that would support them? How DO you feel about not being aborted.
I am VERY thankful. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without Mark. He is a blessing to me. Yes, there were times when he was a young goofy kid that he drove me crazy, but then he grew to be the coolest brother I could have. He’s an engineer. He builds cool stuff. He is a business man. I give thanks that my parents made the right decision. It may have been the most difficult decision they ever made.
Do YOU know that God formed YOU in YOUR mother’s womb?