Mistreatment of the Truly Innocent

BFLW Devotional
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Many of us have memorized Proverbs 16:7 which tells us that God hates deeply the hands that shed innocent blood. We know that He constantly tells Israel to care for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow (Jeremiah 22:3). Our holy God gets very concerned about the mistreatment of the truly innocent.

God wanted Israel to be different than the nations around them. He gave them laws and customs (Leviticus 20:2-5) protecting the innocent to show the culture around them what a loving God looked like. He made clear His hatred for the horrors of the Ammonites, who practiced child sacrifice to their God, Moloch.

Even Solomon built an altar to this pagan god, whose outstretched arms would receive the sacrifice of a living child in hopes of fertility, prosperity, or health. These children would be burned alive to appease a statue made by the hands of the men offering their own children.

What fear would cause a mother to watch her child be thrown into the fiery arms of an unmoving deity? What deception would teach people that one life is worth more than another? What hopelessness would guide a parent to the conclusion that the death of their child is better than a full and fruitful life?

From the stories of Pharaoh and Herod, child sacrifice in large groups horrifies us, as it should. And yet this choice is made on an almost daily basis.

Cheryl Meyer, a psychologist at Wright State University in Ohio and co-author of several books on the subject, said about infanticide, “it’s probable that a mother kills a child somewhere in the U.S. once every three days.” 1 (Stat does not include abortion numbers)

The American Journal of Psychiatry says:
“Among children under the age of 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents: 30% were killed by their mothers, and 31% by their fathers.” 2

Without even counting abortion, parents are the leading cause of child murder in the United States.

The Bible makes it plain to us that parents represent God to their children. 

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:13).

 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:13).

We have a heavenly Father who has given us His Son. His relationship is loving and unselfish. It is only because God is a Father that His love flows beyond Himself to His Son.

Why then are parents acting the opposite of loving?

I believe it is due to several things:

  1. Not understanding their true role as a parent. A natural man cannot understand what it means to represent God to his children. A mother who does not know the love of God cannot give the love of God. Until a parent has a real relationship with God, they cannot love like they should.
  1. Cultural pressure. In a world of selfishness, freedom from responsibilities, tough financial situations, and a social climate that devalues human life, it becomes easier to understand a parent who does not view their child as a blessing, but instead as a burden to be disposed of.
  1. Mental illness. In many cases, deep mental distress is the reason for the murder of a child. Whether diagnosed or not, these mental illnesses cause parents, often mothers, to have an extremely skewed version of their child’s value and their future.

 Often the reasons for infanticide are the same reasons for an abortion.

So what can we do?

  1. Spread the gospel. The good news of a loving heavenly Father is the only thing that can reach deep enough to change the heart of a man who kills his child, then himself. The example of a God who gives and gives is the best guide for parents who live for their children, not themselves. It is not only our command but our best hope for resolving the issues of abortion and infanticide. (Romans 6:23, Romans 8:32, Romans 10:9, II Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 2:8-9, I John 4:10)
  1. Create the counter-culture. We must live a Christ-like life that is the opposite of selfishness. We must take responsibility for our communities in the form of support for parents, pro-life legislation, and a lifestyle that is opposite of our current immoral culture. It is the Christian’s responsibility to fight the culture, not only with laws and with pregnancy centers, but with a truly Christ-centered life. (Matthew 5:14-15, Ephesians 5:8, I John 2:9-11)
  1. Learning about mental health. Sometimes Christians tend to ignore true mental health issues and lean on “They aren’t reading their Bible or praying enough”. While there is very often true spiritual warfare happening, let’s remember that we are physical beings with physical issues. Anyone in the pro-life fight would benefit from some training and learning about the mental health issues that are facing parents in today’s world.

Just as in the days of Pharaoh and Herod, power, deception, and fear cause parents to commit horrendous acts against their children. And just as in those days, we have a blessed and living Hope in the person of Christ. God the Father declared that child sacrifice is not only against His law, but He declared that it is not needed!

Instead of us having to give our children to an idol, our God gave His Son to us instead. The believer’s eternal destiny is secure because of a God who came to reverse even such an awful thing as infanticide.

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/07/health/filicide-parents-killing-kids-stats-trnd/index.html
  2. (Am J Psychiatry 2005; 162:1578–1587)

Submitted by Pastor Dean Noonan, Sr.
Board Member of Baptist for Life of Wisconsin
Faith Baptist Church
Oak Creek, WI