Reading a recent article on Webmd.com, author Denise Mann along with Laura Martin, M.D. pointed out that babies in the womb can hear voices, loud sounds and begin to learn by age 10 weeks. What an amazing discovery and yet, the Bible tells us a story of the interaction between two as yet unborn children.
In Luke's Gospel account. he tells the story of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Upon her greeting, the child that Elizabeth carried jumped within her womb: "In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a town in Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb...( Elizabeth speaks these words to Mary) 'For behold when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped with joy.'" (Luke 1:38-40;44). Even in the womb, John the Baptist knew his Savior and Lord. Yet, our current culture of "death" often refers to babies in the womb as a clump of cells or a fetus in an effort to depersonalize this tiny life which God has created. By doing this, society devalues human life making it easier to kill a baby in the womb. Nevertheless, God clearly points out through the pages of His inspired Word that even unborn babies are capable of so much more interaction than some care to admit.
There are several other places in God's Word where He declares the purpose of those who serve Him before they are born. The book of Isaiah proclaims in Chapter 49:1: "Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name." Isaiah spoke this about the long awaited Messiah. Not to be overlooked, the prophet Jeremiah recorded these words (chapter 1:4-5): "Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'" Isn't it amazing how the God of all creation has a plan for each life He calls into being even in the womb?
When we look at Psalm 139, we again see how God knows us as He knits us together in verses 14-16: "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 was written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." From beginning to end, our lives matter to God. Yet the enemy still seeks to destroy life today even as he attempted to take the life of Jesus when He was a small child. Satan used Herod as an instrument to strike the Messiah by having the king put to the sword all two year old males in Bethlehem. Today, we use abortion to strike at God's creation before a child is born.
What we must remember each day is that God has a plan for each one of us just as He did for John the Baptist and His Son Jesus Christ. Even in the womb, these tiny lives recognized that calling as Elizabeth stated in Luke's Gospel. We also have a unique purpose which we find when we come to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. By examining the Word, prayer and fellowship, we come to grow in the Lord and find His direction for our lives. It is a journey we should embrace with joy.
No life is unimportant from the special needs child to the elderly adult suffering with dementia. God gives life and when He chooses, He calls a person home. It is not our prerogative to make this decision. Therefore, let us rejoice in the life which we have glorifying God daily and enjoying Him forever. May our view of the sanctity of human life be changed as we remember Elizabeth's baby jumping at the sound of Mary's voice. John the Baptist knew Jesus Christ even in the womb! Selah!