God Personally Cares for Children in the Womb and Prescribes Punishment for Aborting Them, Rewards for Protecting Them

Commenting on Exodus 21 and capital offenses, Umberto Cassuto notes thatThe Torah wishes to affirm and establish the principle, in the name of Divine law, that human life is sacred, and whoever assails this sanctity forfeits his own life – measure for measure.”[1]

The civil right of human liberty was emphasized first in this chapter, and is followed by upholding the value of human life.  We must respect and protect all lives;[2] and according to Exodus 21:22-23, this includes the defenseless infant maturing in mother’s womb.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the womans husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

Those who wrongly induced risky premature labor were to cover the consequential costs—what’s more, perpetrators who caused a miscarriage had to be executed![3]  This should not surprise us, for God Himself is mysteriously there in utero, personally forming the baby from his or her earliest existence. 

Psalm 139:14 reads: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.[4]  Verse 13 qualifies this making as God’s intimate molding, For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mothers womb.  And verses 15-16 elaborate: My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

In verse 16 of Psalm 139, the Hebrew for “substance” actually indicates embryo, which is therefore seen by God directly as He works on the child within the mother (so the Spanish Reina-Valera version translates the phrase, “Mi embrión”).  Thus to tear even the littlest limbs away from their mommy’s belly is to rip these poor infants out of God’s own hands while He is in the very process of their development.

Let our nation breath a little easier with the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe Vs. Wade.[5]  For while destroying the unborn puts us under God’s threat, He honors those who protect the birth of babies. 

In Exodus 1:15-21, Pharaoh tried to slow the Israelite population growth by commanding abortion, but their midwives feared God Who saw and blessed their obedience to Him in preserving pregnancies and births by disobeying the law of the land.[6]  In verse 15, God even explicitly honored some of the midwives by name while this shameless Pharaoh remains nameless!  And in verses 20-21, God blessed the midwives with their own households and a fast growing populace—this is something we the people should consider as the more important way of maintaining economic prosperity and national sovereignty.

We also should recognize that an increase of abortion is a sign of moral and sexual decline, per Leviticus 18:21-23,[7] warning how the degradation of sexuality leads to the denigration of society to the point where we exterminate our own progeny.  It can lead to bestiality (verse 23), homosexuality (verse 22), and idolatrous infanticide (verse 21).

May we beware of such an abhorrent affront to God’s own personal handiwork upon each child in vivo by our nation (too often amidst a complacent and thus compliant church) and pray not only for no federal mandate of its toleration, but even more, for a national law enforced against it and upon every state of the union (especially the author’s own where legalized infanticide is up for a vote![8]), so that Psalm 106:37-42 would not be our own epithet:

Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

Grant Van Leuven has been feeding the flock at the Puritan Reformed Presbyterian Church in San Diego, CA, since 2010.  He and his wife, Fernanda, have six covenant children: Rachel, Olivia, Abraham, Isaac, Gabriel, and Gideon.  He earned his M.Div. at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

[1] Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1967) , 269.

[2] To listen to the author’s sermon on this text within its context, entitled “Respect and Protect All Lives,” visit https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=42714164603.

[3] Whether the extent of such a theocratic punishment should continue today after Christ’s fulfillment of the judicial laws will not be discussed here, but it is important to note that no personal vigilante clinic attacks are lawful or right then or now.  Any societal punishment must come from the State informed by the Church and after a fair trial: see how that is implicit in the text even during the theocracy with reference to the “judges”.  Still, these verses should cause us to realize the severity of our nation’s last half century of calling good what God calls evil and the urgency of repenting, repealing, and reforming.

[4] To listen to the author’s sermon on this text, entitled “Praise God for How Wonderfully Made You Are,” visit https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1122202058155144.

[6] To listen to the author’s sermon on this text, entitled “Fear God and be Honored,” visit https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=4151312052.

[7] To listen to the author’s sermon on this text, entitled “Sexual Sins Always Sink Lower,” visit https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=10515159252.


Grant Van Leuven