Bible Stories for Young Adults

 

Pharoah - Shedding innocent blood

The king of Egypt, the Pharoah, was getting very worried.  The Israelites

were having more babies than his Egyptian subjects were.  In fact, he began

to fear that once all these babies grew up, there would be a rebellion of

the slaves.  They may join forces with Egypt's enemies and leave the

country. 


First he made slaves of them and worked them so hard that he must

have expected they would die under the burden of oppressive labor, but they

became even more prolific.  No matter how ruthless or oppressive the

Egyptian taskmasters became, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread.


He called in the two midwives who were in charge of the deliveries of the

slaves' infants.  The Pharoah said to them, "When you help the Israelite

women in childbirth, if it is a boy, kill him, but let the girls live."  The

midwives, named Shiphrah and Puah, however, feared God and did not do as

they had been ordered.  In obedience to their God-given conscience, they

disobeyed this evil law and let the boys live.


When the king saw that the baby boys were not being killed, he summoned

Shiphrah and Puah  and asked, "Why have you let  the boys live?"

They answered, "The Israelite women are not like the Egyptian women, but

they are more active and vigorous and give birth before the midwives

arrive." 


Though it may have been true that the Israelite women were in

better physical shape than the lazier Egyptians, the midwives were treated

kindly by God for their refusing to kill the male infants, and gave them

families of their own.


In 2 Kings 15:16, we see that the wicked King Menahem sacked the city of

Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.  Can we imagine anything

more cruel?  However, in America, the most unsafe place for a human to be is

in his mother's womb.  To kill a pre-born infant is the shedding of innocent

blood, and the land is desecrated by it.  The Lord hates the hands that shed

innocent blood.  (Proverb 6:17)


Today, we have the medical facilities, instruments, and knowledge to kill a

baby anytime during the nine months of gestation.  In the Old Testament, if

a heathenish woman did not want to be a mother, she could offer her baby as a sacrifice to an idol, called Molech.  God detested this pretense of religious piety

and proclaimed through his prophets that this was a detestable practice.


However, the motives for child sacrifice and abortion are too close to be

considered different.  The child will cause an inconvenience or a burden

that the mother or her lover or her parents do not want to bear.


The "Pill" came on the American market in the 1960's.  Before then,

"going all the way" with or "proving your love" to your boyfriend was

avoided, for fear of getting pregnant out-of-wedlock and being exposed to

the shame that came with that.  During the 1960's I recall an article in

'Teen magazine which taught girls to NOT "prove their love" to their

boyfriend by having sex.  'Teen magazine is quite different today.


When the Pill first came out, teenaged girls did not immediately start

taking it.  It was sold to married women who wanted to space out their

children.  For a single female to start taking the Pill was an admission that

she was immoral and could not control her sexual appetite.  That kind of

stigma no longer exists today.


By the early 70's it was apparent that there needed to be a backup to

slip-ups.  If a girl became pregnant because the birth control pill or

condoms  failed, or because they were misused or not used at all, then it

became a women's issue to get abortion legalized.  Rampant fornication was

the reason abortion had to be legalized, and many were the males amongst those rallying for abortion, for they wanted an "out" if they got a girl

pregnant.  Abortion became legal in every state  in 1973 with the Roe v.

Wade Supreme Court decision.


Surprisingly, the original women's rights advocates, such as Susan B.

Anthony and even the crazed Margaret Sanger who founded Planned Parenthood, were against abortion.  They said it was a way women were brutalized and penalized for being pregnant.  They saw abortion as a way men controlled women.


So, the question to ask is, since men ran the country at the time of

Anthony and Sanger, why was abortion ever illegal? Abortion was illegal

because the Bible speaks of life in the womb in numerous places and  because

God Himself is the creator and author of human life.  God made humankind "in

His own image" according to Genesis 1:27.  However, Marian Banducci, who has

given her life to pro-life activism by distributing literature and talking

to teens as they leave schools near  Modesto, California, says that some

teens, when considering abortion will ask, "What does God have to do with

this?"  They do not understand the division  between the Life-giver and the

"pro-choice" life-taker.


First, to answer the question that was above Barack Obama's "pay grade",

human life begins at conception.  Throughout the Bible when a child is

conceived, it is considered a human life.  We see over and over that a woman

"conceived and bore" a son, or a daughter, or a child. The verses follow.


"Now Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived and bore Cain."  Genesis 4:1

"Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch."  Genesis 4:17

"Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age."  Genesis 21:2

"Leah conceived and bore a son."  Genesis 29:32-35  (Four sons, in sequence)

"Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son."  Genesis 30:5 & 7  (Two sons)

"And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son."

Genesis 30:17

"Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son."  Genesis 30:19

"The God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb, and she conceived and bore a son."  Genesis 30:22-23

Judah's wife "conceived and bore a son" three times in Genesis 38:3-5

Moses' mother "conceived and bore" him.  Exodus 2:2

"If a woman has conceived and borne a male child..."  Leviticus 12:2

"So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the

Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son."  Ruth 4:13

"Hannah conceived and bore a son."  I Samuel 1:20

"She conceived and bore three sons and two daughters."  I Samuel 2:21

"And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, 'I am with child.'" (2 Samuel 11:5) The "product of conception," we see here and in Numbers 5:28, is a child, not a blob of tissue, as the pro-abortion people will tell us.

"The woman conceived and bore a son..."  2 Kings 4:17

"When he went in to his wife, she conceived and bore a son..."  I Chronicles 7:23 "A male child is conceived."  Job 3:3

"She conceived and bore a son."  Isaiah 8:3

"She conceived and bore him a son."  Hosea 1:3

"She conceived again and bore a daughter."  Hosea 1:6

"She conceived and bore a son."  Hosea 1:8

"You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His

name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest,

and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And he will

reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom their will be no

end."  Luke 1: 31-33

"And consider Elizabeth your relative -- even she has conceived a son in her

old age."  Luke 1:36


Note that Elizabeth conceived a son, not a blob of tissue, and at this point

in time the baby was still in her womb.  Not only this, but the baby, who

became known as John the Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet

in his mother's womb.  (Luke 1:15)


Solomon speaks of his mother who conceived him in Song of Solomon 3:4, so we see that the wisest man who lived before Jesus Christ considered his life as

having begun at conception.


After Rebekah conceived, according to Genesis 25:21-24, she was in miserable

pain and the Lord told her that there were twins in her womb who were

struggling together.  The Lord foretold to her their destiny also.


Those whose pay grade isn't high enough to determine whether life begins at

conception may say, "Well, everyone, before he is born, has to be

conceived."  True, all humans living today had to be conceived before they

were born.  We never were "just a blob of tissue."  Psalm 139:13-16 puts it this

way: "You have formed my inward parts;  You have covered me in my mother's

womb.  I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was

not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the

lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed,

and in Your book they all were written , the days fashioned for me, when as

yet there were none of them."


God's Word goes to extra lengths to show that human life begins at

conception ---not at birth, not at a point of viability outside the womb,

not at the point at which the heart of the fetus starts beating -- but at

conception.  That is abundantly clear.


Not only that, the Lord has plans for human lives.  We saw that when the

angel spoke to Mary about Jesus.  Jeremiah 1:5 shows that Jeremiah was

chosen to become a prophet before God formed him in the womb.  Also,

Samson's mother in Judges 13:3-5 was told by the Angel of the Lord that not

only would she conceive and bear a son, but He gave her specific

instructions about his upbringing and his future as a deliverer of Israel

from the Philistines.


So, are there any punishments for abortion?  The civil laws of Israel under

Moses showed that punishment was due, even if one accidentally caused the

death of a pre-born child.  Exodus 21:22-25 speaks of an unlikely event to

point out the value of the life of an infant in the womb.  "If men fight,

and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no

lasting harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's

husband imposes on him and he shall pay as the judges determine."  In other

words, if someone accidentally causes a premature birth but the woman and

child are both unharmed, there shall only be a fine levied.  "But if any

lasting harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth

for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound,

stripe for stripe."  In other words, if the death of the baby or mother

occurs from this accident, then the culprit who caused the death must die.

If there was lesser harm done, then the same harm should be administered to

the guilty one.  Perhaps more than anything, this law would teach us that

special care must be given to see that a pregnant woman is not in harm's way

at all. 


I know that some married couples decide to abort their child.  Perhaps they

do not have the faith that God is giving them this child and that He was

involved in the conception, as the scripture teaches.  They may fear they do

not have the finances, moral support, or ability to raise the child.  Even

radical feminists of yesteryear opposed abortion saying it was a way men

oppressed women, so married women may be pressured by their husbands to

abort. (See appendix at the end of this lesson.)  Perhaps some married women

have been told, as Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow's mother was, that to

have the child would be a grave risk to her life and they acted on that

advice.  Perhaps they were told that their baby would be born deformed or

mentally handicapped, and they acted on that advice.


However, if it weren't for babies being conceived out of wedlock, the

abortion industry would die, since it has been reported that about 75% of

women who get abortions are not married.  So, if people repented of

fornication, the abortion industry would disappear.  For this reason, if as

much money and time and effort and words went into campaigns against

fornication as there are campaigns against abortion, we may see some real

progress on the part of the pro-life movement.  But until churches and

Christians are willing to speak against fornication and lust and all other

things that entice our younger generations into fornication, it is doubtful

God will give the pro-life movement success in getting full protection for

the lives of the unborn.


Some liberals say that if abortion had not been made legal in 1973, then the

forty million children who lost their lives while in their mother's womb

since then would be in our population, and since millions of these would

have been raised by single mothers, the crime rate would be much higher than

it is today. (It is a statistical fact that children of single mothers have

higher school dropout rates and higher crime rates than children with a

father in the home.)  Also, it would have increased the number of children

supported by government welfare.  However, this may not be entirely true,

though this rationale for abortion appeals to the purely pragmatic.


In the 1960's a girl on a date with her boyfriend had a choice to have sex

or not to have sex, though most girls intended not to have sex.  One force

holding back her sexual activity was the chance of getting pregnant out of

wedlock, which was a shame at that time in our culture, and getting pregnant

meant you had to immediately get married, or have rich relatives who could

send you to Aunt Susie's in England to "study" for a year so that you could

secretly have the baby and give it up for adoption.  The third option,

abortion, was rarely considered because it was illegal and murder.  However,

today, since there is that third option, more couples in the heat of passion

may take that chance, because if pregnancy occurs, you don't have to get

married and you don't have to run off to Aunt Susie's, but you can secretly

get an abortion if you don't want the baby. 


So, legalizing abortion has made people less restrained in their sex lives, knowing they can kill the evidence and refuse all responsibility for caring for and raising a child by running to the abortion clinic.  In other words, legalizing abortion has made abortion more acceptable and has caused more babies to be conceived out of wedlock than would otherwise have been conceived.


Legalization of abortion, as well as giving welfare payments to unwed

mothers and teaching an amoral  sex education and distribution of condoms in

schools, has implanted a "free sex" mentality in the younger generations.

It appears that government expects youth to have sex and so government puts

its blessings on such activity as it continues to implicitly encourage

sexual activity outside of marriage.  Though there is some abstinence

education, since the worldly wise believe abstinence will not be accepted by

the youth,  the pragmatists simply say, "Teach them about birth control and

take them to the abortion clinic if that fails."  Never mind the horrible

results. 


According to the US Center for disease control and Prevention, 25% of

American teenaged girls have an STD.  In Russia, abortion is a method of

birth control with 64% of pregnancies ending in abortion and these multiple

abortions have caused 5.5 million couples to be infertile.  Too, the

psychological consequences of abortion on a woman and often the would-be

father are stiff.  Those who shed innocent blood are held accountable by

God.  They must come to God for forgiveness.


Is there life after abortion?


For the aborted child there obviously is no life on this earth in this age

after abortion.  Most Christians probably believe that these innocents will

be shown mercy by God and will appear in heaven and on the New Earth with

Him.  Though there is scriptural evidence that a believer's child who dies

at a young age will live eternally, the scriptural evidence that God has

mercy on all children who die, regardless of parentage, is scant.  Perhaps

Matthew 18:2-3 and 19:l4 should give us some assurance.  Here Jesus declares

that children are of the kingdom of heaven, and that their angels in heaven

are beholding the face of God in heaven.  Christ further cautions anyone as

being worthy of death if he should cause a child who believes in Him to sin.

Since aborted children can't evidence belief, we can assume our merciful God

allows Christ's blood to cover them.  God has His own good reasons for our

not knowing His secrets.  (Deuteronomy 29:29)


The aborted child is not the only one for whom we may ask, "Is there life

after abortion?"  Many women who have gotten an abortion, even those thought

to be the most unlikely to have psychological consequences, may wonder if

their despondency, depression, and guilt will ever leave.  Will the nightmares of babies being tortured or brutally murdered ever go away?  Will I ever really get to live again?


The story of Dayna Curry is one that shows the complete turn-around a girl

who has aborted her child can have. Dayna's parents divorced when she was in sixth grade, and her insecurities weren't helped by being moved to a new school in ninth grade where she only knew one person.  She began to drink and go to parties.  She was the only one in her circle of  friends who remained a virgin.  She thought it would be acceptable to be intimate with the first guy she loved, so one night her boyfriend persuaded her.  She deeply regretted it and did not want to do it again until marriage.


However, once started, sexual involvement is not easily eschewed.  As a high

school junior she once again became sexually involved with a boyfriend.  She

would think, "I feel dirty now.  What's the use in trying to stay pure?" She started worrying about getting pregnant.  She wanted to end the physical relationship with her boyfriend, but could not follow through.  She got pregnant on her 17th birthday.


She became fearful and ashamed.  She did not want to tell her parents.  By

this time she and her boyfriend had broken up.  She could get an abortion in

Tennessee without parental consent. She felt confused in the waiting room.  Her ex-boyfriend came and sat beside her weeping, but Dayna was feeling angry and betrayed.  She prayed, "Lord, let this baby go to heaven and send me to hell."


Dayna said that after the abortion she felt dead inside for months.  Though

she made a promise to herself that she would never again be intimate with a

guy until marriage, within two weeks she got completely drunk and had a

one-night stand with a stranger.


When her parents found out about the abortion, they each saw her separately

and cried.  She then realized her parents would have helped her through the

pregnancy, but she hadn't thought of that.


Eventually, Dayna turned to a wholehearted commitment to Christ and became a

missionary to Afghanistan. Dayna Curry is one of the two young Christian missionary women who were held hostages in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2001.  They were rescued by U.S. Special Forces a couple of months after 9/11.  She has been acclaimed as one of the most courageous Christian women in America.


Yes, there is life after abortion.  Surely, God has answered Dayna's prayer

for her aborted child to be in heaven, and God has shown his abundant mercy

and love toward Dayna as well.


(Prisoners of Hope:  The Story of our Captivity and Freedom in Afghanistan

by Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, with Stacy Mattingly.  Waterbrook Press,

a division of Random House, Colorado Springs, Colo.,  copyright  2002 by Hope Afghanistan Foundation.  Chapter Behind the Veil  pg. 26-39)


Discussion

1.  Why did the Pharoah want to kill Israelite baby boys?

2.  In what ways may medical personnel in our country soon be in the same

position as Shiphrah and Puah?  How were these women both wise and

courageous? 

3.  Why can abortion be considered "shedding innocent blood?"

4.  What do you think the real reason was that people would offer their

babies as a burnt offering to the idols of Canaan?

5.  How did the "Pill" change the American cultural mores?

6.  Why did it become "necessary" to  legalize abortion?

7.  Abortion is legal now.  Why was abortion ever illegal?

8.  What Biblical evidence is there that human life begins at the moment of

conception? 

9.  Name some Bible characters that God had plans for even before they were

born. 

10.  When the civil law under Moses said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth

for a tooth" what was the context?

11.  How has legalizing abortion effectually caused more unwanted

pregnancies?

12.  Will aborted children go to heaven?

13.  How do you think Dayna Curry overcame the guilt and "deadness" she had

after having an abortion?


For deeper study

1.  Read Exodus 1.  What did God allow here to  make His people

uncomfortable in Egypt?  What do God's people tend to do when they get

uncomfortable with a political situation?

2.  Read 2 Kings 15:16 and contrast that with Psalm 139:13-17.

3.  Read all of the following passages, in context with a few verses before

and after,  about the shedding of innocent blood, and tell in what these

passages are concerned with.  Deuteronomy 19:10,13; 21:8-9; 2 Kings 21:16;

24:4Psalm 10:894:21106:38Proverbs 6:16-17Isaiah 59:7Jeremiah 2:347:6; 19:4 ; 22:3,1726:15Joel 3:19

4.  Read Genesis 1:27 and explain the connection between the Life-giver and

mankind.

5.  Certain forms of birth control do not allow the fertilized egg to be

implanted in the mother's womb, thus giving the organism no chance of

survival.  In view of all the verses on the connection between conception

and birth, would this be an acceptable form of birth control?

6.  Read the following passages to determine what God said about certain

humans who had not yet been born.  Also state whether you think this was

said before or after conception.  Luke 1:5-2429-35Genesis 25:21-24;

Judges  13:2-5Jeremiah 1: 4-5

7.  Read Exodus 21: 22-25.  How likely is it that such a scenario of two men

fighting near a pregnant woman would ever occur?  Could this just be an

example of any careless thing  that could happen when a pregnant woman is

nearby?  What does this passage teach us about the value of life in the

womb? 

8.  Read Matthew 18:2-319:142 Samuel  12:18-23.  Does the Bible give

us believers assurance that if our young children die, they will be with the

Lord?  Do you think it gives  the same assurance to non-believers?

9.  Read Deuteronomy 29:29  The eternal destiny of aborted children,

especially those of unbelievers -- and perhaps we could presume that most

aborted children are those of unbelievers-- could be called a "secret" of

God.  Why do you think it is good that this matter remains a secret?

Though many Christians in the past, and perhaps some now,  have considered

"Limbo" a place where unbaptized babies and young children who die go, we

have no scripture to support that belief.

10.  Read Matthew 2:1-18.  Why did it become "government policy" to kill

many innocent infants?  Can you think of any other times in history shedding

innocent blood has been governmental policy?

Few think of abortion as the shedding of innocent blood, but the reasons for abortion differ very little from the reasons given for infanticide as seen under the picture of the idol seen at left.  People choose abortion as a hedge against poverty (they think they cannot afford the child), or because the child will be born with a birth defect, or because the child was conceived during an illicit sex act. Two Egyptian midwives are the heroines of this story.  They dared to disobey the king’s commandment to put newborn males to death.

Pharoah is worried that his country will become over-populated with Israelites, who are his slaves, and they may rise up with his enemies against him.  Exodus 1.

The midwives are ordered by Pharoah to kill every Israelite male infant as it is emerging at birth.

However, Shiphrah and Puah fear God and disobey Pharoah.

King Menahem of Israel attacked a town and ripped open all the pregnant women.

Is this not a human being?  The Bible offers abundant teaching that human life begins at the moment of conception.  See the Bible verses at the left.

It is as if the Bible purposely stressed the moment of conception.

This amazing Christian athlete would have been aborted had his mother not persevered in faith.

The story of Dayna Curry’s abortion is told in the book about her imprisonment in Afghanistan entitled Prisoners of Hope.

Praying to end abortion is not enough.  We must pray that there would be an end to fornication -- and that will happen only if hearts are turned to the Lord!