The Difference God Makes Through Children - A Bible Study

By Don Richman

Date: August 31, 2005

Category: Abortion

Jesus’ earthly existence began by the Holy Spirit. In the way of all children, He was born and raised under the watchful eye of His parents. Jesus had no biological children of His own, but He claimed special ownership of the children of the world. He taught and demonstrated a special love for children.

See Matthew 19:14 and 18:10.

The examples and teaching of Jesus correlate perfectly with the inner needs of a child’s spirit. Parents who love and follow Jesus according to His Word learn how to love, affirm and correctly discipline their children. They will do their best to raise children who are emotionally and spiritually whole. Christians have left a trail of orphanages, schools and other ministries that care for the children abandoned by the world. William Barclay, in his commentary on Romans, tells how the people of that day would abandon their unwanted children, leaving them to die of exposure or by wild animals. The Christian would search out these children and raise them in the name of Jesus.

INFANTICIDE is the practice of killing infants. Study of the Old Testament reveals that it became a common practice among God’s people. They who had learned that “sons are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3) turned against their children as they turned away from God’s Word.

What is the warning found in Lev. 18:21?

Molech was the Canaanite deity to which they sacrificed their children. (In a bizarre ritual they heated the statue until it was red hot and threw their screaming child into his “waiting arms.”)

What is God’s warning in Leviticus 20:1-5?

What is the seriousness of v. 4?

SECONDLY, we discover that the warnings went unheeded. Israel imitated the practice of the unbelievers around them. Infanticide became a common practice.

What does the prophet ask in Micah 6:7&8?

Contrary to the practice of the pagans, God’s will is not to sacrifice our children to pay for our own failures and placate our own fears—but to act justly, love kindness, walk humbly with God.

In 2 Kings 15:16 we find Menahem seeking to destroy the preborn. In 2 Kings 16:3 Ahaz walked in the way of the Kings of Israel.

To what extreme had Ahaz and his people lowered themselves in 2 Kings 16:3? In 2 Kings 17:17?

THIRDLY, a picture of certain influences seems to emerge that led God’s people to reject the foundational teaching of the sanctity of life and to embrace the pagan custom of infanticide:

1) THE ISRAELITES WANTED TO BECOME LIKE OTHER PEOPLES.

See 1 Samuel 8:19, 20 and Ezekiel 20.

Looking toward the ungodly and being jealous over their licentious living is an age-old problem.

What did Jesus say in John 12:42, 43?

2) THE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THE LEADERS, WERE INFLUENCED BY UNGODLY WOMEN.

How did Solomon’s wives turn away his heart in 1 Kings 11:3?

3) THE WORSHIP OF IDOLS LED THEM TO PRACTICE INFANTICIDE.

Discuss 1 Kings 11:5-8.

4) THEY WERE INFLUENCED BY THE OCCULT. 

What did Manasseh do in 2 Kings 21:6?

Finally, we can make some observations about the practice of infanticide in Israel.

A spiritual vacuum cannot exist. When people turn away from God, whether in the past or in the present, whether in the teaching of the Church, in private life, or public policy, idolatry moves in and cruelty to children quickly follows.

Idolatry, the worship of whatever gods are elevated to the high places of the human heart is, in reality, only an expression of the lower nature. It is a means of giving social sanction and personal approval to the sordid practices of lust, and hatred toward that which interferes with our own plan.

Where idolatry is practiced, the truth of God’s Word is compromised, and children, among others, become targets of infanticide, exploitation, and cruelty of every kind.

Our faithfulness to God’s Word can be measured by the way we treat our children. We live in an age termed by a German writer as “Kinderfiendschaft.” Children are the enemy. The 35 million abortions, unprecedented sexual exploitation of children, the rising tide of child abuse—all are indications that we are becoming like Israel who turned from God, lusting after the practices of the peoples around them.

What happened in Ezekiel 20:25-26? in Romans 1:24,26,28?

The final stage of degeneration occurred when God’s people sank to the level of sacrificing their own children. When God “gave His people up,” would they finally see their sin and repent? Will people today, especially in our churches, see how far we have lowered ourselves? Will people be horrified and turn back to God the LORD?

We grow discouraged as we see our nation and even many churches imitating Israel in its tragic rebellion against God. But, there was hope then, even as there is now. God offered forgiveness and restoration, then, as he does now, even from the horrible practices of infanticide (abortion).

What does Manasseh do in 2 Chronicles 33:12?

What is God’s response in v. 13?

What is the hope in Micah 7:18-19?

He who bore our sins in His body on the tree also bore the sin of infanticide and cruelty to children. The grace that saves the adult sinner can heal a damaged child and cause a nation to see what it has done and turn in repentance. “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

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