“And for your lifeblood, I will require a reckoning. From every beast, I will require it, and from man. From his fellow man, I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. For God made man in His own image.”
So is this God speaking to Noah and his sons after he’s delivered them through the flood. He’s telling them to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth. That’s actually what happens right after what I just read in Genesis chapter nine verse seven. But here in these two verses, God emphasizes the value of a person’s life. As every single person is made in the image of God. And so for one man, one man to take another man or a woman’s life, God says, “I will require a reckoning for that.”
God is saying that to take a human life is to invite serious sober accountability before God, “From his fellow man, I will require a reckoning for the life of man.” So this is a clear foundation. Obviously for the commandment that God will give in Exodus chapter 20 saying, “Do not murder.” And what God is doing is saying that He sets up human representatives to punish people who murder someone else. To murder a person is to murder what is most like God in His image. And in this way, murder is an attack on God Himself.
And He expects other image-bearers in the world to take that seriously and to punish murder when it occurs. So as I read Genesis chapter nine, verse five and six, my heart is heavy in many different ways. But particularly when I think about government-sanctioned murder of children made in the image of God.
Abortion in my country, and in so many countries in the world, take lives being formed. Created wonderfully and beautifully in a mother’s womb in the image of God. And we remove their life. That’s the nicest way to put it. We murder based on what we see in scripture. So I just want to lead us to pray that God would help us to see every single child in a womb as made in the image of God. In such a way that we would do everything we can in our and the countries to the world, as people made in God’s image to protect other people made in God’s image.
God, we pray together today in light of Genesis nine, five and six, we pray for an end to abortion. Please, God. We pray for people today who were considering abortions. God, we pray that today, like right now you might change their minds. You might open their eyes to see the beauty of a child being made in your image. And that you would provide so that, and child would live and thrive.
God, we pray for us as your church, that we would be alongside moms who are making those decisions, and children in the womb. God, offering to help provide for care for those moms and dads. And God, for those children. God, if a mom or dad is unable to care for that child, that we would be there to care for that child. That we would love children and families in need through foster care, through adoption. However, you might lead us. God, we pray you’d help us to value every single life, specifically every single life in the womb. God, we pray for this. We plead for this. Please bring an end to abortion. Please change our hearts and our minds, and our lives, and our practices.
We pray, God. Even as we pray that, God, I pray for those who are listening to this right now who may have had abortions or been involved in abortions, or who have encouraged abortions. God, we pray for your mercy. I think of so many people I know who that is their story. And they have seen how wrong that was. Or maybe they even had that done to them against their wishes.
I think about just some horrible stories along those lines. God, I pray for your mercy. I praise you for your redemption. We praise you for your redemption in our lives. God, we pray that you would help us to live today, tomorrow, every day to value every single person in your image. To see every single person around us as dignified in your image, and to value and love, and care for them accordingly. And God, we pray that you would help us to do that for the most vulnerable among us, for children in the womb. God, please, please, please forgive us all across the world for the way we are aborting babies. And God, please bring it into abortion. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.