“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)
Can you imagine living in Germany during the Nazi regime? It is almost unthinkable. Did ordinary German citizens know what was happening? Could they have believed that Jews were being exterminated by the scores, by the thousands and tens of thousands, and even millions? Or would they have relied on the bogus propaganda produced by Hitler’s government to alleviate their conscience?
Anti-Semitism had become so ingrained in the collective mindset that maybe it was easier to simply brush off what they thought might be happening. Perhaps the Jews were, after all, an inferior race and such a threat to German racial purity that a sort of “Final Solution” to the Jewish question was not out of the question.
It was a time of war, and war is, well, let’s just say that the doctrine of hell unveils horrors too graphic to comprehend. And so does war.
But while many stood by in silence, there were some courageous souls who sought to rescue those who were being taken away to death. Accounts detail the heroic efforts of many, including one Dutch student named Marion Pritchard. Riding her bike to class one day she witnessed Nazi soldiers at the children’s home “picking up the kids by an arm or a leg or by the hair” and throwing them into a truck.
“Well, I stopped my bike and looked. Two other women coming down on the street got so furious, they attacked the German soldiers, and they just picked up the women and threw them in the truck after the kids,” she recalls. “I just stood there. I’m one of those people who sat there and watched it happen.”
However, Mrs. Pritchard was outraged by such injustice, and she went on to help save and shelter some 150 Jews from the hands of the Nazis in the next three years.
There is another holocaust happening, and this time it’s on our watch. The deaths of innocent children in the womb has now claimed over 60 million lives since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. It is not possible for us to say we didn’t know about it. It is foolishness to say these lives are inferior and unworthy of saving. It is callousness and cowardice for us to simply stand in silence and watch it happen.
The Bible clearly describes the handiwork of God in the creation of every single life, starting from Day 1 in the womb. The Psalmist marveled at God’s artistry: “For you 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” (Psalm 139:13-14).
Did you know that at the moment of fertilization all human chromosomes are present, and a unique life begins? Did you know that by day 22 the heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood? Did you know that eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop by the fifth week, and that in the sixth week brain waves are detectable and the mouth and lips are present, and fingers are forming? Did you know that at week 8 every organ is in place, and bones and fingerprints are forming?
Friend, you and I are created in the very image of God, by His intentional and purposeful design, as male and female, carefully and uniquely crafted by the Author of Life. So let us value all life from the moment of conception until the day our Maker calls us home in the sleep of death. And let us courageously rise up to rescue and protect those being led away to the slaughter.
Let me also take a moment to say quickly - in a spirit of compassion and love and grace - that our God readily forgives sin. No matter what you've done or supported or said, it was a demonstration of divine love that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Friend, why not come to Jesus in humility, with whatever burdens you may be bearing, in whatever guilt and shame may be haunting you, and unload them at the foot of the cross.
Jesus "bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24). His forgiveness - in all of its fullness and freedom - awaits those who cry out to Him in repentance from sin and faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.