Every January, near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, pro-life advocates and citizens gather together in our nation’s capital for the annual March for Life—a march and rally in peaceful protest against the legalization of abortion in the United States. This annual event is run by an organization known as the March for Life, whose mission is to protect human life from “conception to natural death,” says the March for Life president Jeanna Mancini (MSNBC , Jan. 27, 2017), and welcomes anyone who shares their beliefs in the dignity of human life. This year’s event received special media attention because vice president Mike Pence appeared as a speaker in their rally—the highest-ranking White House official to ever take part in the main event.
Ever since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there have been numerous debates over who decides what happens to life inside the womb and under what circumstances. There are various risks involved in pregnancy and childbirth, and sadly, not even an innocent child is guaranteed the right to a painless life. The Bible shares a story of a man named Job, who experienced so much physical pain and heartache that at one point in his adult life he wished God had terminated his life in the womb (Job 3:3-11 Job 3:3-11 3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine on it.
5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell on it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 As for that night, let darkness seize on it; let it not be joined to the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.
7 See, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.
9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:
10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from my eyes.
11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
American King James Version×). However, God had a purpose for allowing these bad things to happen to Job, and God showed Job just how valuable the gift of life is.
Even amid this temporary life’s unfair and painful circumstances, we cannot forget the power and goodness of the one true God. He may allow unfortunate events for a time, but we don’t know what God will do with the hardships and disadvantages we face in life.
For much of his life, Job had it all. He was wealthy and respected in the community. He had a large family, whom he loved, and good health. Then Satan began afflicting Job by killing his children, taking his wealth, and cursing his flesh—claiming that Job was only faithful to God because God had given him everything (Job 1-2). So Satan cursed Job, in hopes that Job would curse God.
Job, who was not aware of Satan’s role in his misery, became very confused and bitter towards God for even granting him life. After losing so much, Job cried out: “May the day perish on which I was born [and] conceived … Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:3 Job 3:3Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
American King James Version×; Job 3:11 Job 3:11Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
American King James Version×). He had not lived a sinful life or done anything to deserve such loss of a quality life, so Job wanted to know why God would allow so many horrible things to happen to a man who lived as righteously as he did. What was the purpose of God even giving him life in the first place?
What Job didn’t understand, and which a man named Elihu so graciously pointed out to him, is that even amid this temporary life’s unfair and painful circumstances, we cannot forget the power and goodness of the one true God. He may allow unfortunate events for a time, but we don’t know what God will do with the hardships and disadvantages we face in life. Elihu redirected Job, and reminded him that “God is mighty, but despises no one” (Job 36:5 Job 36:5Behold, God is mighty, and despises not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
American King James Version×). Even though you say you are sinless, “in this you are not righteous” for you have forgotten that “God is greater than man. Why do you contend with Him?” (Job 33:12-13 Job 33:12-13 12 Behold, in this you are not just: I will answer you, that God is greater than man. 13 Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters.
American King James Version×). “You must wait for Him” (Job 35:14 Job 35:14Although you say you shall not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust you in him.
American King James Version×). “God works all these things … and chastens man … that he may be enlightened with the light of life (Job 26:5-7 Job 26:5-7 5 Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. 6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction has no covering. 7 He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth on nothing.
American King James Version×; Job 33:28-29 Job 33:28-29 28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. 29 See, all these things works God oftentimes with man,
American King James Version×).
Then, God dramatically responded to Job, describing all the majestic and wondrous works He has done—in creating the earth and all its beauty, arranging the stars in the universe, keeping the earth and its most fearful creatures and powerful elements—and Job realized just how foolish he had been. He said with a repentant heart, “I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You … I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:2 Job 42:2I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from you.
American King James Version×; Job 42:5-6 Job 42:5-6 5 I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. 6 Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
American King James Version×). So God faithfully restored to Job his health, doubled his family and riches, and Job lived a full life (Job 42:10-17 Job 42:10-17 10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came there to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought on him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. 15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. 17 So Job died, being old and full of days.
American King James Version×).
Life, no matter what comes our way, is a wonderful gift from God. Although from conception to birth and life thereafter does not always go the way that we believe it should, God values life more than any politician, medical professional or any other person ever will. Even if a child is conceived out of incest, rape or has severe birth defects that promise no quality of life, we can rest assured that God has a purpose for the life He created in the womb, just as He had a purpose for Job’s life in the womb. We cannot know what God has in store for each child, therefore we cannot decide whether we have the right to take its life away.
As we stand, march, or pray for life to “win again in America,” let’s remember the power of the One, true God. “For you [God] created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalms 139:13-14 Psalms 139:13-14 13 For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
American King James Version×).