Does God Approve of Abortion?

I am continuing to answer the atheist flyer I received in San Diego.  They say 2 Kings 8:12 supports the practice of abortion.  I will begin with an overview of 2 Kings 8:7-11 to provide the context for the passage in question.

The prophet Elisha has arrived at Damascus.  Ben-hadad king of Aram is sick and is told Elisha has come to see him.  He tells Hazael to take Elisha a gift and to ask if he will recover from the sickness.  Ben-hadad knows the prophet of God can foretell the future.  Elisha says to Hazael to tell the king he will recover but God has shown him he will not.  Then the prophet begins to cry.  Verse 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.’”  Just as Elisha said, Ben-hadad king of Aram would have recovered from the sickness but Hazael is going prevent it.  He will murder him to become king.  This is why Elisha brought a message of recovery and death.  Following the death of the king of Aram, Hazael will become the new ruler and will do incredibly evil things, as foretold by Elisha.

The atheists’ claim is that since God knew all these things were going to happen He should have acted to prevent them.  He knew pregnant women were going to be ripped open to kill both the woman and the child.  Their conclusion is God obviously approves of abortion.  If God knew about it He could have stopped it.  Is that the logical conclusion?  Or is there something else going on here?  I will provide four reasons to justify God’s actions.

1. God provided humans with a free will.  Where does God draw the line on allowing the free will actions of men?  How can God cause people to freely choose good?  He can’t because it is impossible.  Free will encompasses the free choice to either do good or evil.  It was God’s choice to allow humans to have free will.  These free will actions of men are responsible for the vast majority of evil and suffering in the world.  Hazael is 100% responsible for killing men, women, children, and unborn human persons.  God cannot be held responsible to the evil people do, even if He knows it will happen.  God is omniscient, which means He knows all things actual and possible.   Part 5 of my series on evil called “God’s Plan for Evil and Suffering” gives a more in depth look at the issue.  The post is called God did not Create Evil and Suffering.

2. An example of a judgment of God.  The allowing of these evil deeds was a judgment by God upon the nation of Israel.  God at times used pagan nations as an instrument of punishment for the nation of Israel.  Israel had turned their back on God and sinned against Him.  2 Kings 13:1-3 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them. 3 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.”  The nation of Israel was under the Mosaic Covenant which provided God’s blessings for obedience and His curses for disobedience.

3. God has the prerogative to take a human life.  The creator of life can take life.  We want to judge God by the same standards we are under.  I posted an article that tackles this topic called Is it Moral for God to Kill an Innocent Human Being?

4. A loving God can allow evil.  If we say a loving God should not allow evil, we a judging Him and are saying He cannot have a good reason for allowing bad things to happen.  We can only judge the motives of God if we know the mind of God and completely understand His plan for humanity.  No one knows the mind of God and therefore, no one can judge God for allowing evil.  Therefore, since God by nature is a good and loving God He has good reasons for allowing evil actions of men.  For a more in depth discussion read my article called, God allowing evil isn’t an argument against His power or His love.

God does not approve of abortion.  The anger of the Lord is kindled against all who kill precious unborn human beings.  The Bible clearly speaks out against murder.  Abortion is the unjustified killing or murder of an innocent unborn human being.  I wrote an entire series on this issue called, “Defending the Life of the Unborn.”  The Biblical case can be found in parts 12-14.  In 2 Kings 8:12 the predicted evil was done by the free will choices of an evil king Hazael and God was not responsible.  The allowing of these evil acts (2 kings 8:12) was a judgment by God for the sins of the nation of Israel.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Tom Wright May 25, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Why pray to God if he has no control over the actions of people because they have free will.
    In the next paragraph:

    God at times used pagan nations as an instrument of punishment for the nation of Israel

    Doesn’t this suggest God is controlling the actions of people?


  • Steve May 27, 2013, 7:35 pm

    God is sovereign which means he is control of the entire universe. God can control by either allowing actions to take place or causing them. At the time of Noah, God destroyed all mankind at that time except a handful who were on the ark by causing the rain to fall for 40 days and 40 nights. It was a judgment on the sinful actions of mankind.

    God’s sovereign control was demonstrated during the time of Joshua. He was a great military leader for Israel and God made sure they conquered the Promised Land. Israel was carrying out God’s judgment against the pagan nations that inhabited the Promised Land. However, after the death of Joshua, when Israel was disobedient and worshiping idols, God judged them and removed his protection from the nation of Israel. The pagan nations scored big victories over Israel. Both cases were judgments by God as he sometimes caused the victory for Israel by his direct intervention or he allowed a foreign nation to have victory by simply removing His protection.

    God can allow the free will choices of people and at times he can restrict them. In our country we have free will choices we can make but our government has laws that at times restricts our free will. The same with God.

    This was a fairly simplistic look at the issue of free will. Books have been written on this topic.



  • Tom Wright May 27, 2013, 9:08 pm

    Are you saying then that He has control over evil? Does he only use evil to punish?
    If so, if he exists, then why doesn’t he have control over physical (v. moral) evil? Example: bad things happening to good people.
    By the way; I’m listening to a lecture series on religion, which is sparking a lot of questions….see above.
    Here’s another: are you a believer in a literal bible (translations about days of creation, etc aside)? If so, Quakers, Mennonites, Amish follow the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill”. They must be literal followers. This is pretty straightforward. Do you believe in this one?

  • Steve May 28, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Does government do evil when they punish law breakers? Does government do evil when the put murderers to death? Remember I said these were judgments by God and as the creator of life, has the prerogative to take life. He punished both pagan evil nations or Israel when they turned their backs of Him. As the sovereign God of the universe, when His moral laws are violated time and time again, and people are doing evil, don’t you think God has the right to punish them?

    On the problem of evil see my series on the web site called “God’s Plan for Evil and Suffering.”

    It depends on how you define literal. I will give my definition of literal: We are to interpret the Bible as the author intended. The commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” the Hebrew word for kill means murder. The transliterated word is “ratsach” and it means murder (from the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). That is the intended meaning of the author. The meaning of thou shalt not murder also fits with the context of the rest of the Bible. Scripture interprets scripture. For example the Apostle Paul talking about how Christians need to obey the ruling authorities (government). Romans 13:4 [talking about government] “for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” The words “bear the sword” means government has the right to use the death penalty for heinous crimes such as first degree murder. I have more examples but one will do for now.

    I believe the Bible should be read literally…as the author intended. Jesus said John 10:7 “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.'” If we take Jesus “literally” he is calling himself a door? Does he now become word with a door handle? Or do we take his statement metaphorically, as Jesus intended? What do you think the word “literal” means?




  • Tom Wright May 31, 2013, 4:41 pm

    I didn’t know of the Hebrew definition of kill.
    Literal: Those who can read English probably understand the “door” metaphor.
    Literal interpretation to me means that you believe as fact every part of the bible unless there is a clarification such as this “kill” definition and the length of a Genesis “day”. May be others?
    Would this include 10,000 year old earth and the belief that humans co-existed with dinosaurs, as depicted by a certain Christian museum in Fla. I believe?

  • Steve June 1, 2013, 10:46 am

    As I said literal means as the author intended. It is the job of the interpreter to use the best methods available to determine what the author meant. That means the context of verses above and below, the culture at the time of the writing, the syntax of words and sentences, meaning of the words, and other interpretive tools. Just like in any discipline there can be some disagreement. You solve it the same way science solves disagreement, with evidence for our argument.


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