The right to life people always use Ps. 139:16 to support their Pro-life beliefs. My question is simple--since our times are in God's hands --would it be fair to say that the aborted (or miscarried) baby had no days ordained for them? the Pro-life people say that the aborted baby could have had a productive life--but how could that be seeing that -that baby had no days ordained for them?
Dear young person, thanks for your question. There will certainly be others who struggle with similar questions, so it’s good that you’ve asked.
Let me begin by asking a big picture question: what does scripture teach in general about what God has ordained? Or to put it another way, what does scripture teach in general about God’s will? Scripture teaches that there are two aspects to God’s will. First, there is God’s “revealed will” as laid out in His commands (Deuteronomy 29:29). God’s revealed will tells us what God desires and requires of us. It tells us how we ought to live, and how things ought to go in this world. We ought to obey God, and things ought to go very well in this world. Second, there is God’s “hidden will,” which is what God has ordained will happen from the beginning to the end of time (Psalm 33:9-11, Deuteronomy 29:29). And what has happened is this: God created us good, and commanded us to do good, but we have not done good, and so have brought His righteous judgment on ourselves. But the blame for our sin cannot be placed upon the hidden will of God, but rather upon the sinful choices of man. God sovereignly ordained that Adam be given a truly free will. But Adam, with his truly free will, chose to disobey God and so bring destruction on our human race.
Now what does this have to do with your question? Here’s the connection. When Christians argue that no babies should be aborted because those babies could (and should) have a productive life, they are arguing correctly. They are arguing on the basis of God’s revealed will for you and I and all people. According to the revealed will of God, those babies must not be killed, but must rather be given the opportunity to live a God-glorifying life. And so rather than prying into the hidden will of God, they are rightly listening to His revealed will.
Now it is true that there is not one baby aborted outside of the hidden will of God (see as an example of this, Matthew 2:16-18). The ordained days for aborted babies are few. But it is not at all God’s desire or revealed will that this be the case. God has an intense hatred of all murder, and particular of the murder of children (Ezekiel 16:20-21; Leviticus 20:2-3). These realities lead us to a simple principle that applies to all questions about life and salvation: our calling is to humbly trust and obey God’s revealed will, and to leave the hidden things to Him (Deuteronomy 29:29).
Now to bring this all together in a final answer to your question. Yes, it is right to say that there were very few days ordained for that baby in God’s hidden will. Yes, it is right for Christians to argue that all babies can and should have productive lives. And yes, it is right for Christians and all people everywhere to obey the revealed will of God by fleeing from the sin of abortion and striving to save the lives of those babies who may even now be at death’s door. “Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die” (Psalm 79:11).
And as we as Christians do this, let us never forget that the meeting place of God’s hidden and revealed will is in our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-39; 4:27-30). In Jesus Christ, our evil sin of murdering the innocent one resulted in the glorious salvation of innumerable sinners to the unending praise of our amazing God. And so instead of attempting to reconcile God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility in our limited minds, we should trust in Jesus, obey Jesus, and worship the God who works all things together for good to them that love God, the ones who are the called according to His purpose (Acts 17:26-27, Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20).