What If?

Exodus 1:8-10, 15-17; 2:1-6


Exodus 1:8-10KJV

8Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

Exodus 1:15-17KJV

15And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

Exodus 2:1-6KJV

1And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

As we re-look at these verses in the first two chapters of Exodus, I want us to consider the following question: “What if? What if Moses had been aborted or killed just after his birth?”

I believe God would still have seen to it that the Israelites were led out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land, but I believe the story would have taken a far different twist.

Why? Because the personality and character of Moses is so intertwined with the story itself that no one else would have handled the situations facing the Israelites the way Moses handled them.

And, don’t forget that Moses was the human instrument that God used to pen the first five books of the Bible! Had Moses never been born, Genesis through Deuteronomy would have been dramatically altered (and since these books are quoted throughout the Bible and by Jesus Himself, the whole Bible would have had a totally different flavor)!

Well, what if the nearly 50 million babies that have been aborted in this nation since the Roe v. Wade decision made by the Supreme Court in 1973 had lived? How different would our nation, our world, and our lives be today?!
One of my favorite movies of all time was the 1946 Frank Capra movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Most of you have seen that movie.
George Bailey makes the statement, “I wish I had never been born!”
In response, Clarence the angel grants his wish and George Bailey gets to see what life would have been like if he had never been born.
[IF AVAILABLE, SHOW CLIP FROM, It’s a Wonderful Life WHERE GEORGE DISCOVERS THAT HE’S NEVER BEEN BORN AS HE VISITS THE LOCAL CEMETERY.] Copyright Issue: You must have permission from the copyrght owner.
Maybe it’s time that someone produced a movie that would show what the life of an aborted baby would have been like had he/she been allowed to live!
What does God’s Word have to say about the sanctity of human life?

1. Life is a gift from God

Genesis 1:26-27KJV 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 2:7KJV 7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
According to Genesis 9:6, to not value human life and thus to take it (to kill or commit murder) is punishable by death…
Genesis 9:6KJV 6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Even one of the Ten Commandments reads…
Exodus 20:13KJV13Thou shalt not kill.
 
Jesus, also, taught in the New Testament that human life is valuable.
The First Century society in which Jesus lived had little regard for human life. In the Roman Empire, 60,000,000 people lived as slaves to other men.
Thousands flocked to the Roman Coliseum to see gladiators fight one another to the death as a form of entertainment.
Infants were commonly killed or abandoned at birth (what we would call “infanticide”), and abortion was widespread.
It was to this society that Jesus taught and demonstrated that God “so loved the world (all the inhabitants of it) that He gave His only begotten Son!”—the best that heaven had to offer—to save the world!
He taught that every human being in the world should have the opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved…
Mark 16:15KJV 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
And, Jesus taught that little children were precious and not to be kept from coming to Him…
Matthew 19:14KJV 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible teaches that life is a gift from God.

2.  Life is given at conception

There is no distinction in either the Old Testament or the New Testament between babies in the womb and those outside the womb.
In Jeremiah 1:5 God, speaking to Jeremiah the Prophet, said…
Jeremiah 1:5KJV 5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
In Luke 1:41 Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) felt her baby leap for joy within her womb at the news that her cousin, Mary, was pregnant with the Son of God…
Luke 1:41KJV  41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
The word translated “babe” in this verse (referring to the baby IN Elizabeth’s womb) is the Greek word “brephos,” and it is the same word used in…
Luke 2:12KJV 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Here the word babe is used to speak of a baby that has already been born—same word in both cases!
If you still question whether or not life begins at conception (a fact that the pro-abortionists, a.k.a. “pro-choicers” want to deny), then ask yourself this question, “Was it the Christ-child in Mary’s womb, or a lifeless blob of fetal tissue?”
The Bible teaches that life is a gift from God and that it is given at conception.

3. Life is to be respected

Selfishness is at the heart of most abortions.
Unmarried couples selfishly indulge in sexual pleasure and then when pregnancy occurs, they snuff out the life that would embarrass them!
Or the married professional woman chooses to abort rather than accept the responsibilities of motherhood (responsibilities that would hinder her from achieving her selfish ambitions)!
Jesus taught in…
Matthew 7:12KJV 12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
If people would follow that command (not do to an unborn baby what they would not want done to themselves), abortion clinics would shut down for good!
The Bible clearly teaches that we are to respect and protect our brother/sister (we are, indeed, our “brother’s keeper”) whether that person is our born brother or our unborn brother!
So, these are the Biblical principles concerning life:
  • Life is a gift from God
  • Life is given at conception
  • Life is to be respected
But…

4. What we can do to hold up the sanctity of human life in our society?

We must take positive and practical steps in dealing with this issue of the sanctity of human life that is confronting our culture.
1) Pray
  • One of the weapons used to defeat a “right to die” bill that came up in Washington State a few years ago was prayer.
  • It was reported that, along with tons of money, time, energy, and planning, a network of Christians prayed for forty days prior to the vote on the statewide proposition.
  • Though the pro-death legislation led in the polls before voting day by as much as thirty percent, it was handily defeated by eight percentage points!
  • Nothing we do will succeed without being bathed in prayer and often prayer will accomplish things that plans, programs, and politics will never accomplish!
2) Change the mindset of people
  • People think that you can have morality in a nation without God! We must help them to see that what you think determines how you behave!
  • If you do not believe there is a God Who will hold you accountable in life, then you are not going to be motivated to live a moral lifestyle!
  • A few years ago a popular talk show host on the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles asked a caller to imagine walking alone in a dark alley at night and being confronted by ten hulking men.
  • The host went on to pose this question, “Would it or would it not ease your mind to know that the ten men had just come from a Bible study?”
  • People in our society are preoccupied with death. In the aftermath of the high school shootings in Colorado several years ago it was discovered that courses on death and dying had been taught at Columbine High for several years prior to that shooting spree. (And we wonder why kids are killing each other?!)
  • Why not start offering courses on how to live?! Why not offer courses on the value and the sanctity of human life?!
  • “Well, it’s not politically correct!” you say.
  • Well then, we need to be salt and light in our world in order to change the mindset of people!
  • A recent article found that the TV-viewing habits of teenagers have a profound impact on their actions and choices in life. Listen to this article:
(CBS/ AP) Groundbreaking research suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior than among those who have tamer viewing tastes.
“Sex and the City,” anyone? That was one of the shows used in the research.
The new study is the first to link those viewing habits with teen pregnancy, said lead author Anita Chandra, a Rand Corp. behavioral scientist. Teens who watched the raciest shows were twice as likely to become pregnant over the next three years as those who watched few such programs.
Previous research by some of the same scientists had already found that watching lots of sex on TV can influence teens to have sex at earlier ages.
Shows that highlight only the positive aspects of sexual behavior without the risks can lead teens to have unprotected sex “before they’re ready to make responsible and informed decisions,” Chandra said.
The study was released Monday in the November issue of Pediatrics. It involved 2,003 12- to 17-year-old girls and boys nationwide questioned by telephone about their TV viewing habits in 2001. Teens were re-interviewed twice, the last time in 2004, and asked about pregnancy. Among girls, 58 became pregnant during the follow-up, and among boys, 33 said they had gotten a girl pregnant.
Participants were asked how often they watched any of more than 20 TV shows popular among teens at the time or which were found to have lots of sexual content. The programs included “Sex and the City,” “That ’70s Show” and “Friends.”
Pregnancies were twice as common among those who said they watched such shows regularly, compared with teens who said they hardly ever saw them. There were more pregnancies among the oldest teens interviewed, but the rate of pregnancy remained consistent across all age groups among those who watched the racy programs.
Chandra said TV-watching was strongly connected with teen pregnancy even when other factors were considered, including grades, family structure and parents’ education level.
  • Listen, if Christians will be the salt and light that Jesus commands us to be, then the truth will impact people’s lives and we can change the way they think! We can move them in the opposite direction from the rest of the culture around us!
  • We must change the mindset of people, and the best way to do that is to convince them that Jesus is the only hope they have in life!
  • [PRESENT THE PLAN OF SALVATION]
  • Well, we must pray and we must change the mindset of people.
3) Support candidates and legislation that show respect for human life
  • A few years ago, during the Senate confirmation hearings of John Ashcroft for Attorney General of the United States, Ashcroft was attacked as being too religious!
  • What has happened to the people of America that has caused us to be “afraid” of someone who is godly in character and who stands for the right of the unborn, the born, the disabled and the elderly to live while we lift up as heroes movie stars, athletes and politicians who seem to have no moral character at all?!
  • We must not be fooled by the media spin when we are called on to vote at election time!
  • We must pray, we must change the mindset of people, and we must support candidates and legislation that show respect for human life.
4) Support pro-life ministries
  • Crisis pregnancy centers and Bible-based adoption agencies that provide an alternative to abortion deserve our spiritual, financial, and active support.
5) Serve as foster parents
  • Some of you are in a position to serve as foster parents to children who need a home, who need the love and who need the Christian influence that you can give them.

Conclusion:

As you go home and as you continue to contemplate our initial question this morning (“What if?”), I want to offer two important appeals:
  1. If you are contemplating abortion, suicide or violence toward other people, I want to plead with you to reconsider. Talk to someone (a pastor, a counselor or a trusted Christian friend). There is help available and there are better ways to deal with the hurt and the negative emotions that you may be feeling.
  2. I want to remind you of God’s forgiveness. He offers you complete cleansing of your sin if you will humble yourself before Him, confess your sin and repent (turn your back on your sin and follow Jesus)!
Joe Godfrey
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