Confronting the giants of abortion

27 July 2020

Paul Huxley, Christian Concern’s Communications Manager, reflects on Psalm 73 and how we can face the giants of abortion when we feel overwhelmed by evil.

The reality of abortion so often paralyses us.

When we think of all those little people, helpless. When we think of mothers led down the conveyor belt to abortion. When we think of the institutional power of the abortion industry.

What can we actually do in the face of such giants?

So we distract ourselves. We listen to some worship music, read something that’s more uplifting or get carried away with less important controversies. But is avoidance the best policy?

Asaph, writing Psalm 73 felt something similar. The first half of his psalm captures his observations about evil people going about their everyday lives without difficulty:

“For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

In his day, Asaph seems to be thinking about those who oppress others for their gain. Verse 8 says:

“They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.”

These oppressors are described twice as fat – not body-shaming but pointing out that, unlike the poor, they’re well-fed, proud and do violence. Asaph goes on to link these behaviours to their disregard for God (vv.9, 11):

“They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth…

And they say, ‘How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’”

In 2020, the psalm feels as relevant as ever. And one of the groups that comes to my mind as I read these descriptions is one that promotes death within our institutions – abortion providers, medical bodies, civil servants, judges and politicians.

Their lives seem comfortable. They are well-funded, often by taxpayers. They have all the time in the world to find new and inventive ways to make the death of unborn children more convenient.

It’s so disheartening – wanting to give up is understandable. Does God not hear us?

And yet, as Asaph said (v1):

“Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.”

He struggled to reconcile this truth with his experience (v. 17)

“until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.”

Going into the sanctuary, Asaph realises what the future holds for these oppressors (vv. 18-19):

“Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!”

Asaph is reminded that the wicked will one day face judgment. And we can be sure that will take place at Jesus’ return if not before.

So we love and pray for our enemies – trusting that the God of justice will surely do what is right. We are empowered to overcome evil with good.

That doesn’t mean capitulation – it means confident, faithful love, seeking justice. It means genuine care for even the most ardent, pro-abortion campaigners – shown both through how we love the sinner, even while hating the sin.

What gives us the power to love in such a radical way? Asaph points us to the source of our endurance:

“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Let’s make sure we rest in God as we continue to face these giants.

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