When Does Human Life Begin?

When Does Human Life Begin?

When Does Human Life Begin?

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A sperm cell entering an ovum. A bright light is emitting from within the ovum. Symbolizing fertilization.

In Exodus 2 we come to one of the most fascinating narrative portions in all of Scripture, the birth of Moses. It was the worst time to have a baby if you were a Hebrew living in Egypt.

Let’s keep in mind Pharaoh’s command for mass infanticide to control the minority population. It was a time of anxiety, panic, sorrow, uncertainty, scarcity, and pressure. Hebrew families were in survival mode. It was not the time for more mouths to feed and diapers to change.

In Exodus 2 we meet an extraordinary couple. Later, Scripture tells us their names were Amram and Jochebed. They already had two kids, Mariam the oldest, and a son named Aaron. Somehow, in this most stressful hour, Jochebed gets pregnant. Aware of Pharaoh’s edict to kill every male infant, I’m sure they began praying each night before dinner, “Oh my God! We had no idea! But now that we’re here, please give us a daughter this time around. Please, God.” But when delivery day came out popped a little boy.

Let’s pause to make an observation. First, God is the giver of life and has a purpose for every child. Pray as they may, fervently with tears, it was God’s purpose to bring a boy into their family at the worst possible time.

The more we understand the process of conception the more we see the hand of God. A healthy egg must be released into the fallopian tube at just the right time. Most of the 200 to 300 million sperm swimming in search for the egg die on the way. Only one survives to fertilize the egg and to do that it must still have enough stamina to break through the protective layers.

If the stars align just right…Boom! The miracle of conception takes place. Scientists have actually captured pictures of the flashes of light that spark the moment the sperm penetrates the egg. The fireworks come from clusters of exploding zinc that’s released from the egg at the moment of conception.

The fertilized egg still must pass down to the uterus and be healthy enough to attach itself to the womb. By this time cells are dividing exponentially. By week 4 and 5, the baby is the size of an apple seed and is already developing the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, and nervous system. Though man and woman lie together, God alone sends the spark to ignite the human soul.

For some, there is a bit of confusion over when human life begins. Many contend the starting point is all about location. Inside the womb, it’s only a fetus, or something subhuman. Only when the fetus is outside the womb does it become a human life. Still, others are not sure when the fetus becomes human but think it hinges on development and viability. Thankfully, God’s Word cuts through the fog and tells us clearly that human life begins at the moment of conception. Psalm 139:13-16 says…

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.
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;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

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