************ Sermon on Ecclesiastes 11:5 ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This sermon was preached on January 21, 2007

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
Ecclesiastes 11:5
"You Do Not Know How the Body is Formed"

I Pro-Life View is Being Confirmed
A Abortion is the most divisive social issue of our time. It is so divisive that violent conflicts can arise over this issue. This emotion is understandable when you consider that one's view on abortion is a reflection on how people view life, sex, privacy, politics, religion, stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, and many other issues.

B Whether it is from the viewpoint of science, medicine, morals, ethics, theology, or technology we know that the pro-life view is the correct one and we know that the pro-abortion view is wrong. Just about everyone recognizes that the January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decision allowing abortions was based on wrong conclusions and obsolete knowledge. At that time prenatal research technology was basically in its infancy. As this technology has grown and expanded, it has become more and more difficult to argue that what is in the womb is not a life. In fact, I will be so bold as to say that in terms of science, medicine, morals, ethics, theology, and technology the pro-life viewpoint has won the battle. The pro-abortion side really doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Consider, for a moment, some of the things I said to the girls and boys. A lot of this was not known in 1973:
-The heart begins beating about 18 days after conception.
-After around 40 days, brain waves can be detected.
-By two months, all body systems are functioning, and ultrasounds have shown babies sucking their thumbs.
-The child is capable of hearing at three months, and by five months, can kick hard enough for the mother to feel it.
When we consider all of this in light of what the Bible says, we know that what is in the womb is precious human life.

When I did some research on Pro-Life websites I came across this note about supermodel Kathy Ireland:
While appearing on the TV show "Politically Incorrect," supermodel Kathy Ireland participated in a debate about abortion "rights" and whether or not Florida should approve "Choose Life" license plates. Kathy is against abortion and she defended babies in the womb by saying: "I was once pro-choice and the thing that changed my mind was, I read my husband's biology books, medical books, and what I learned . . . At the moment of conception, a life starts. And this life has its own unique set of DNA, which contains a blueprint for the whole genetic makeup. The sex is determined. We know there's a life because it's growing and changing."

C Now, the purpose of this message is not to throw stones. If you have had an abortion, there is forgiveness in Jesus just like there is forgiveness for every sinner who repents and believes. And, there is compassion and help available from The IRMA Network (there is a note in our bulletin on how to contact IRMA). If you, or someone you love, is facing an unwanted pregnancy, there are plenty of compassionate options available. I want to tell you this morning that we will always stand ready to show the mercy of Jesus to those in need; yet, at the same time we will never compromise the pro-life message of the Bible.

II Ignorance
A If every indication of science, medicine, morals, ethics, theology, and technology points us to a pro-life viewpoint, why is it that some people are still in favor of abortion?

An abortion advocate on a radio talk show was asked, "Does God make mistakes?" The pro-abortionist quickly responded, "Well, I don't know about God, because that is a matter of your own religion. But I do know that people make mistakes, and when people make mistakes, they need a way to fix the mistakes."

This answer reveals the major difference between the pro-life and the pro-abortion views. The pro-abortionist, in his humanistic view, cannot see the working of the invisible God behind the birth of a baby. He or she believes that babies only come from fallible people, and therefore a human life can be a mistake.

The Christian believes that regardless of the human actions and the circumstances surrounding the conception of a child, every new baby comes from the perfect God and is fashioned in His image and therefore is sacred. There are no mistakes and no unwanted pregnancies from God's point-of-view. Every child is a gift from Him.

B Consider the words of our text for this morning. It reminds us that man is woefully ignorant.
(Eccl 11:5) As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

We know so little. Yet, in our ignorance we think we know it all. We can't even predict the wind and the weather with any real degree of accuracy. Who knew ahead of time that Malibu would have snow this past week? Who knew ahead of time that it would get so cold that our citrus crops would get wiped out?

When it comes right down to it, we don't understand how the union of two cells can produce a baby. Every time a baby is born, we have to stand in awe of God's creative power. Two cells join together and then the one cell splits and becomes two cells, the two cells become four cells, the four cells become eight cells. At just the right time and in just the right place there appears a cell that becomes an eye, an arm, a leg, an ear, the heart, the brain; if just one cell does not form we would be missing something major. Do you see what a miracle human life is? Do you see how this cannot be an accident of nature? Do you see how mysterious this is?

We don't understand how life is formed. But God knows. He is the Maker of all things including the baby in the womb.

We don't understand how or even when the soul comes into the body. We believe it happens at conception but we have no idea of how or when it happens in the process we know as conception. But God knows because God puts it there.

We don't know how or why or when we become the image of God. We believe this also happens at conception but we have no idea of how or why or when it happens in the process we know as conception. But God knows because he has made us in His image.

We don't know and understand the work of God. We don't know how sinners are regenerated. We do not know how the Spirit of God works upon the mind of a person and turns a sinner into a saint. We do not know why the Spirit of God works upon one person and not another. We don't know why some are cold and indifferent to the Gospel of Christ and the preaching of the Word while others are changed and excited. We do not know. But God knows.

C In his or her ignorance, the pro-abortionist wants to imagine that human existence lies in the hands of a fallible mankind. The pro-abortionist wants to imagine that mankind determines the time and season for every activity under the sun. They want to believe that mankind is in charge of
(Eccl 3:2-4) a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, (3) a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, (4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance ...

When you don't know or when you don't want to admit that all things are in God's hands rather than our hands than you try to fix human mistakes with solutions like abortion, population control, infanticide, euthanasia, and even genocide. The book of Proverbs hits the nail on the head here:
(Prov 14:12) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Abortion is promoted as the solution to poverty, overpopulation, and teenage pregnancy, but it is a deadly solution.

D Life is uncertain from our frail, limited, finite, human point-of-view. It is uncertain because it is not in our hands. That is the point of our entire passage.

"Cast your bread upon the waters," says verse 1, "for after many days you will find it again." This is a call to take chances in order to get a return on investment. Risk is involved and reward may come but you don't know for sure.

The theme of uncertainty continues in verse 2 of our Bible reading:
(Eccl 11:2) Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
We don't know what will happen in the future, so we had best not have all our eggs in one basket.

Verses 3 and 4 reminds us that we humans do not control what is happening around us. When clouds are full of water, it will rain. When a tree falls, it stays where it falls no matter what direction it takes when it falls. We control neither the wind nor the rain nor the falling of a tree.

What it comes down to is this: God is in control, God is in charge, God is the King of the universe. Life is the work of God. It is His choice. You know, we don't hear much about God's choice in all of this. We hear about a mother's right to choose. But God is the Maker of all things. God is the Ruler of all things. God is the King of the universe. God, and God alone, has the right to choose life and death. Just because our current technology gives us the power to do something, this does not mean we have the right to do it.

The lines have been blurred by medicine and science and technology so that man is now capable of doing god-like things in the area of birth and death. We need to keep in mind that medicine and science and technology does not take the place of God's infinite wisdom, nor His position as commander in chief of the universe.

III Voice for Life
A In terms of science, medicine, morals, ethics, theology, and technology the pro-life viewpoint has won the battle, yet the war continues. So, Christians need to "Be A Voice For Life." There is a leaflet in your mail-slots from "Care Pregnancy Center". They are looking for volunteers. Will you be a voice for life? Do you have an hour to spare a life?

We can be a voice for life when we support the work of "Bethany Christian Services". We can be a voice for life when we support the work of "Tulare Kings Right to Life". We can be a voice for life when we contact our members of congress on pro-life issues. We can be a voice for life whenever we choose life and love over death and destruction.

B We need to be a voice for life. That is not an option if you are a Christian.
(Prov 31:8) Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

We need to speak up. We need to speak out. We cannot remain silent. Especially about the most helpless the unborn.

God's work is so amazing, so magnificent, so mysterious. God's work in making new life whether we are talking physically or spiritually is absolutely awesome.
(Eccl 11:5) As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

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