Psalm 139 – A Pro-life Psalm


(A Jewish Perspective on Pro-Life)

“The pro-life issue is the most important moral issue of our day. Since the Supreme Court made killing children in the womb legal (although not legal in God’s sight), 53 million human beings have been murdered. That evil decree must be opposed because 3,000 years ago, God’s divinely inspired and authoritative Word made it clear that God is on the side of pro-life! King David, the divine poet, starts this pro-life poem by declaring that Adonai, the eternal God who is the Source Of Being, knows us completely. O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. He knows all of our physical activities. You know when I sit and when I rise. He knows all of our mental activities. You perceive my thoughts from afar. He is All-Knowing (omniscient). He knows us inside and out. He knows everything we are doing and everything we are thinking. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.

This All-Knowing God is also All-Present and All-Powerful. He uses His All-Presentness (omnipresence) and His All-Powerfulness (omnipotence) to surround each human being and control us, just as an enemy that is besieging a city surrounds it, preventing the people from doing anything they may want to do. You hem me in – behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. A human being can’t do anything if God, who has the power to restrain his actions, does not give him the freedom to act (Keil and Delitzsch). We can only accomplish the things the Lord allows us to. And, it is a good thing that the Lord surrounds us and controls us, since fallen and all-too-foolish human beings need to be controlled! If the Lord didn’t limit what we could do, we might do great harm to ourselves and to others and inflict much damage on the creation.

God’s infinite understanding of each of the millions of human beings and His ability to control each one of us in order to restrain us and help us and benefit us is amazing to contemplate. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

The Creator is not only All-Knowing and All-In-Control, but He is also All-Present God. Where can I go from Your Spirit? The Spirit is the non-material, not-limited-to-a-place aspect of God. Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there. God will be found at the farthest ends of the universe – and beyond. If I make my bed in the depths, You are there. The Creator’s presence is found at the deepest places – at the bottom of the oceans and the core of the Earth. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea – even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. From the highest heights to the lowest depths, from the farthest east to the farthest west, God is present and in control of everything that is there! Distance or location can’t hide us from the All-Knowingness and the All-Presence and the All-In-Controlness of God. Neither can the absence of light. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. The eternal God is All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Present and All-In-Control. Does that reality frighten you or comfort you? If you are not in a right relationship with Him, it should frighten you. If you are in a right relationship with Him, it should comfort you. If you know that He is also all-concerned about us and has a plan to do good for those who come to Him on His terms, that should comfort you.

Just as the Lord is all-present, and we can’t escape Him regarding distance, so we can’t avoid Him in time. He was with each one of us from our very beginning, at the moment of our creation and before, and He will be with us at our end and beyond! Not just human mother and father are involved in the creation of a new human life. God Himself is very much involved in our life! For You created my inmost parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Human mothers and fathers are essential for the creation of a new human life, but God is also very much involved in the creation of each human being from our earliest moments. He is part of the formation process of each human being. That means that no human being is a mistake. That means that each human being, from the moment of conception, is a divine creation. That means that neither mother nor father nor all of society has the right to end that life, since they are not the only ones involved in the creation of a human life – God is! No woman has the right to choose the death of that God-created child. It does not only belong to her.

Every human being is an amazing work of God’s creation! I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that very well! David understood that the Creator is a great designer. Everything that God makes is done with amazing workmanship. The Earth and everything on it, its diverse ecosystems, the hundreds of thousands of plants and animals, the rivers and ocean and atmosphere, the sun, moon and stars, reveal amazing design. David understood that human beings are the highest of creation! We are made in the very image of God. David knew that he was one of God’s wonderful works! The divine poet understood that the great Creator of the universe designed him for a good purpose, and that made David’s life rich and meaningful. How poor, how sad and ultimately meaningless are the lives of people who are far from their Creator, who don’t know that with great thought He has designed each one of them! No wonder they are so often so confused and depressed, even suicidal!

Again, the All-Knowing Lord is very much aware of the creation of every human being. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the Earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. God knows about every human being from the moment of conception, and is watching over him and caring for him. The Lord wants that new human being – even if his parents don’t.

And, God has a unique plan for the life of every human being – even before birth! All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. The All-Knowing Creator has a plan for each one of us before we are born. He knows how long we will live and the day our life will be over. He knows what we will do with the opportunities presented to us and what we will accomplish. He knows who will respond to Him and who will continue in their rebellion against Him. God has a plan for each one of us! This means that the life of every human being is pregnant with divine purpose. This means that no human being is a mistake. This means that no human being has the right to end the life of a child who is being formed in the womb. Anyone who is involved in abortion is ending a God-ordained, God-created, God-planned life. No human being has the right to do that!

The Creator is constantly thinking about us and protecting us and limiting our actions and moving us in the right direction so that we will fulfill the purposes He has for us! How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You. It’s nice when those who love you direct their thoughts to make your life safer and more enjoyable. How much better it is to have the All-Knowing and All-Loving and All-Sufficient God direct His infinite thoughts toward you!

A human being who has come to know the Three-In-One God has been created by God from his earliest moments. He is loved by God, protected by God, given a plan by God for his life in this world followed by eternal life in the World-To-Come! But those who stubbornly refuse to come to the Creator on His terms, who will not bow their knees before the Most High and end their wicked rebellion against Him nor yield their evil wills to His good will – fallen human beings who reject the Creator and benefit themselves by harming others – they will find that the Eternal, All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Present and All-In-Control God will become their enemy.

A time will come when He will finally have enough of them and He will end the life that He gave them. The divinely inspired prophet, who shares the Lord’s dislike for the unrepentant and the God-ignorers and God-defiers, prays: If only You would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against You? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. The unrepentant and the God-ignorers and God-defiers will not experience eternal life. David does not want to be one of those unrepentant God-defiers and he does not want to share their final destiny, and so he prays: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the “derech olam” – the everlasting way. There are two ways, and only two ways, through life; and each way leads to a very different destination. There is the everlasting way, and there is the way that leads to death. Only those who take the way of turning from their wicked ways and thoughts and coming to their Maker on His terms and trying to live a God-honoring life will be rewarded with eternal life. They alone are the ones on the eternal way. Everyone else, no matter his religion or lack of religion or level of morality, is on the way that leads to death. He is not headed to everlasting life and peace and joy, but to the first death, physical death, followed by the Second Death, everlasting death.

Which way are you taking? Which path are you on? Do you know that the eternal God is All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Present and All-In-Control? That He knows us? That He created us? That He protects us? That He has a plan for our lives that spans eternity from the moment of our creation in our mothers’ wombs, and even before, to eternity future? If you know this and you respond to Your Creator, the Three-In-One God, by coming to Him on His terms and removing the spiritual and moral filth from your life, turning away from everything that He does not like, and consistently doing the things that are pleasing to Him, then you are walking on the “derech olam” – the everlasting way. You will live forever! If that is not you, I urge you to turn to Him today and start walking down that good and eternal path. Choose the everlasting way, the way of life! You are crazy not to! You have everything to lose and nothing to gain!


Rabbi Loren Jacobs”

Loren Jacobs is the senior rabbi and founder of “Congregation Shema Yisrael” (which means “Hear O Israel”).

For more information on pro-life issues, click on

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