God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to reproduce and multiply. They were to spend their nights making babies, and their days bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Genesis 2:28)
When Cain killed his brother, Abel, God did not relish the opportunity to inflict capital punishment. Cain’s life was spared, and a mark was placed upon him warning others not to attack him. (Genesis 4:15-16)
Following the flood, God freshly proclaimed the Cultural Mandate to Noah and his family. They were to be fruitful and multiply. Additionally, they were to understand a clear distinction between taking the life of an animal and that of their fellow man. God said, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Capital punishment was a morally acceptable option, for God and man were to love human life. (Genesis 9:1-7)
The rest of Genesis was centered on God’s covenantal promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God singled out this family from the rest of humanity and determined to bless them. And the divine blessing consisted of land, power, fame, wealth and descendants. (Genesis 12:1-2; 15:1-6; 17:1-8; 18:16-19; 19:15-18; 26:1-5; 28:10-15.) Children were indeed a blessing from the Lord.
So, as one exits Genesis and enters Exodus, one should notice the obedience of God’s people and blessing of the Lord:
Exodus 1:7 But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
Exodus 1:12 … the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.
Then, when Pharaoh sought to murder all the male Israelite infants, and the midwives engaged in godly rebellion, God blessed these courageous God-fearing women:
Exodus 1:17, 20-22 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live … So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
Later, God would legislate his will in stone. Moses would lead God’s people out of Egypt. He would then be invited to ascend God’s holy mountain. And there God would reiterate his love for human life in the sixth great commandment, “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)
Friends, it is the wicked who despise life. Cain killed his brother, and then he birthed descendants even more heartless than himself. Esau was interested in assassinating Jacob. Jacob’s children, for a while, followed the sinful example of their uncle. The Midianites bought and sold individuals like grain (Genesis 37:25-28), and the Egyptians were interested in aborting infants, throwing toddlers in the bottom of the Nile River, and beating the life out of adults. (Exodus 1:15-22)
Satan is a murderer, and has been from the beginning. (John 8:44) He despises God and abhors those created in his image. Therefore Satan applauds abortion, forced sterilization, euthanasia, reckless capital punishment, unjust war, murder, and anything else that sucks the life out of humanity.
Therefore, how ought we to worship and apply this meditational thought? Here are several actions to consider:
- Take care of your own health
- Praise the Lord for your children and grandchildren
- Pray for, financially support and volunteer to serve at your local crisis pregnancy center
- Adopt children, or assist others so they might more easily adopt
- Consider more carefully the extent of your birth-control decisions – have children earlier and more often
- Elect honorable and moral governmental leaders
- Purge society of those “Egypt like vices” that suck the life out of humanity
- Do not murder
- Do not hate
- Evangelize relentlessly — Why focus on temporal life and ignore eternal life
- Do not waste your life — Serve Christ with passion
- And finally … Go sleep with your spouse and bear more children — Make love, not war!
Jesus Christ loved human life so much that he died to free men from eternal death. It should be our act of worship to sanctify life as he did.