Sanctity of Human Life
A pile of lovely research books came in the mail for me this week, and I've been diving into the study of ancient Mesopotamia, which will coincide with the next three books I'm working on in The Wives of the Patriarchs series. I love research books, especially those with pictures! (Perhaps I'm still a kid at heart.) But in truth I'm a visual learner, and pictures of places, geography, archeology, and artifacts of the era do a lot to help me see a story. So do books on culture and daily life - things such as marriage and funeral customs and what kinds of gods did they serve? In searching through one of the books, I looked up death and funerary practices. (Not intended to be morbid, simply part of understanding the people of the time.) Archeologists have found cemeteries in Mesopotamia with male and female adults and children. Young children were sometimes buried in the same graves as adults, and in some cases there is evidence that the adults and children were related by blood. "Babies, however, were normally not buried in cemeteries but either under the floors of private houses, often in cooking pots (sometimes with a hint of human sacrifice), or simply tossed onto rubbish dumps as if they were regarded as sub-human. Adults were also buried beneath the floors of houses, but only rarely on rubbish tips." An Illustrated Dictionary Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia pg. 59-60. Emphasis mine
Abortion and infanticide are not new to our culture or our day. As Solomon so wisely said, "There is nothing new under the sun." And in truth, apart from the grace of God, human nature does not change.
Isaiah 49:15-16 says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;"
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16 ESV
This Sunday, January 24, 2010, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, the day set aside to honor human life, and to remind us of how many lives abortion has cost us.
God, in His timelessness, sees the babies who were tossed on those rubbish heaps or sacrificed in cooking pots in ancient Mesopotamia, and He sees the unformed body of every child's unborn life today. Their names, which He knows even if they've gone unnamed by human parents, are engraved on the palms of His hands.
May we learn to value human life as much as He does. And may archeologists in future generations find a better story of our era than we have discovered from ages past.