13 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
In order to enlarge their borders.
14 “So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah
And it will consume her citadels
Amid war cries on the day of battle,
And a storm on the day of tempest.
15 “Their king will go into exile,
He and his princes together,” says the Lord.
We can start to see a pattern here with the things God had against these nations. Their greed for power and money drove their actions and as a result they hurt a lot of people. In verse 13 we read that the pregnant women of Gilead were ripped open. The story comes from a prophecy read in 2 Kings 8 and then is fulfilled in 2 Kings 15:
10 Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.” 11 He fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and the man of God wept. 12 Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” Then he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.”
16 Then Menahem struck Tiphsah and all who were in it and its borders from Tirzah, because they did not open to him; therefore he struck it and ripped up all its women who were with child.
By killing an entire generation before they were born, Ammon was able to gain the upper hand (at least temporarily) because there wouldn’t be as many men to fight and defend themselves. However, our God is just and he redeems those who have been oppressed as He declares in Deuteronomy 32:
35 ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’ 36 “For the Lord will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free. 37 “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge? 38 ‘Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place!
Certainly, we could use this as a passage to proclaim God’s disdain for abortions, but the reality is much deeper than that. It is the revelation that God’s fury burns against our own selfishness and taking of lives for our own power and position. How often do we act selfishly in a day? It is the thinking of ourselves first that drives us away from God and out of His presence because we were created to worship and honor Him, not ourselves. God is both pro-choice and pro-life. He gives us the opportunity to choose but wants us to choose life…with Him! He doesn’t want us to live for ourselves, but live for Him! Too often we get hung up in trying to figure out what the correct answer is but never go to Him for it. We’re to busy proving our own self righteousness that we completely leave God out of the decision process (whatever the decision may be about) and although we have the best of intentions, we miss the most important aspect of it all.
How have you been selfish lately in your relationship with God? How can you better involve Him in your decision making processes? What will it take for you to live more for Him and less for yourself?