Proverbs 24:10-12 has always been a grim challenge to Christians:
If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.
Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
We chose the NASB for our 2020 Sanctity of Human Life Sunday bulletin insert because of that plaintive "Oh, hold them back." And we look at what exactly the passage requires of us.
How do we "hold back"? Who is "staggering to slaughter" and what does it mean to rescue them? Is this passage even for us?
The verses conceal as much as they reveal, but what they reveal is significant. They tell us that a life-saver is someone who...
- Doesn't want to be considered weak or cowardly in his times' "day of distress"
- Thinks less of his own problems and more of the distress of others
- Doesn't make excuses
- Is aware that God is watching him and knows the condition of his heart
- Desires to be rewarded by God
- Is confident that God is caring for him so he can take care of others
This passage has always had a clear application to abortion. Yes, other people suffer injustice as well, but those on the way to being aborted truly cannot wait for us to act.
The context for this passage is Solomon's instructions to a son who will be king, but the Bible tells us about many ordinary people who did extraordinary things to rescue others. Some risked their lives to help people, while others worked stealthily behind the scenes. They are examples to us all.
Our new Bible study/Sunday School lesson Profiles in Courage examines who they were, what they did, how and why they did it. It's available in our annual Pastor's Handbook update.
Profiles in Courage from Life Matters Worldwide on Vimeo.
Our Profiles in Courage video corresponds to both the bulletin insert and Bible study/SS lesson. It's available for free download through Vimeo and on our Slideshow DVD.
Please share these and other resources with your congregation.