Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
The society we live in can be very confusing. We have a great deal of trouble pinning values down. A good example of this is the value of children. We have telethons for the children through which people try to raise millions of dollars for the benefit or the medical treatment of children. Then we have abortion and euthanasia in which we deliberately slaughter children. On the one hand children seem to be so precious our society would do anything for them. On the other hand we see our society condoning and even encouraging the destruction of children for reasons no more significant than personal convenience. This study will examine the true value of children, the value God has assigned to them. We will look at the Scriptural value of children.
1.The first place we will look to discover the value God gives to children is in Genesis 1:28. This is the passage in which God commands man to be “fruitful and multiply”. How does this tell us something about the value of children to God?
Is the bearing of children in accord with the will of God?
Does that suggest a value?
How does Exodus 21:22 suggest that even the unborn child has value?
2.In Job 1:18-22 it is clear that the loss of Job’s children is a great tragedy. Even without this Scriptural example we would know that the loss of children is not a good thing. Compare Job’s reaction to the loss of his children with common reactions you hear today. How are they the same? How are they different?
In what ways is Job’s reaction to the loss of his children different than some common reactions to the same thing today?
Does Job’s more spiritually mature reaction lead us to a possible explanation as to why there is not more general outrage today over abortion?
3.Now read Job 42:10-17. How does God express the fact that children are a blessing here?
How does the text describe the length of time that the children were a blessing to Job?
What additional dimension of that blessing of children is described in verse 17?
How would we state those blessings today?
4.God’s special concern for children is more clearly shown in Luke 18:15-17. Which comments of Jesus clearly show that He does not consider children to be simply “undeveloped adults”?
God has also given other special words about children in Ephesians 6:4. Does this passage mean to say that if your children become angry with you for administering Godly discipline and instruction in the Lord, that you should refrain from doing so?
Is it love to avoid making children angry by allowing them to manipulate adults with anger or temper tantrums?
How is this verse actually a warning and help in preventing that?
It may help to understand this verse by realizing that children who enter their teen years without having had solid discipline and instruction (especially in the Lord) become angry at their parents, society and themselves. Note that the Lord is even concerned about this.
5.The Marriage Blessing in Psalm 128:3-6 also presents us with the fact that children are a blessing. How does verse 3 indicate that children are a blessing?
What additional blessing is alluded to in verse 6?
In what language has the world today attempted to make people with many children feel guilty?
Is the world, in doing this, proclaiming guilt in what God has proclaimed to be a blessing?
Since the world’s view on this matter is the very opposite of God’s, what is clearly the source of the world’s view?
Does the world’s view, so clearly brought out in this issue of having many children, offer an atmosphere which cheapens life?
How has this ethos contributed to the abortion and infanticide problem?
What can be Done?
This background helps us to understand the actions of the early Christians who lived in Roman society where abortion and infanticide was practiced by several methods. One of the most common forms of accomplishing an abortion was through the use of drugs which induced premature delivery. The Greek word for this practice “pharmakeia” was thought to mean “to enchant with drugs” by the people of the middle ages. The use of drugs was not widely understood until centuries after the King James Translation, which translates this word as “sorcerer” or “witchcraft”, was completed. This means that passages such as Galatians 5:20 specifically condemn the practice of inducing abortions. Abortion stands out in the book of Revelation as one sin which is mentioned several times and receives special condemnation.
Extra-biblical writings from the first and second century inform us that Christians were deeply involved in saving the lives of would-be victims of infanticide. Roman law declared that a newborn was not a human being under law until officially accepted by the father. Newborns which were not accepted by the father were actually thrown, alive, in the city’s garbage dump. In some cities Christians would man around-the-clock watches and rescue all living infants placed in the dump, once the would-be killers had left. The refusal to accept the recognized code of death was one of the main reasons Christians were so hated in the Roman Empire.
6.It is clear that the early Christians persistently reflected the very same respect for children that their heavenly Father had. They found constructive ways to meet the problem where it happened by spending spare time in the garbage dumps and sacrificing their own means for those totally without defense. In return they received the additional blessing of the Lord by being able to raise the unwanted children of Roman pagans as redeemed children of God.
How was Roman society similar to ours today in its policies toward the unborn and young children?
Are you aware of any Christian groups engaged in positive activities which are similar to, or the same as, the activities of the early Christians?
Do you have a responsibility before God to aid such efforts today?
What, specifically, can you do?
Discuss: The unloved and the unwanted need people as much as they need dollars.
What blessings might be expected from such involvement?
Keeping Luke 18:16-17 in mind it might be good to close this devotion with a prayer for the unborn and the newborn, as well as those who give of themselves to love the unborn and the newborn who are rejected by society today.
1986 Bible Science Newsletter.
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