II Kings 8:12-13; 15:16
And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?’ He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.” So Hazael said, “But what is your servant – a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
Then from Tirzah, Menahem attacked Tiphsah, all who were there, and its territory. Because they did not surrender, therefore he attacked it. All the women there who were with child he ripped open.
There are several reasons we have hunting and fishing seasons but the one that seems to stand out the most is providing game animals the time they need to procreate. In most cases, we don’t hunt animals out of season because they’re likely giving birth, caring for babies or eggs, or teaching their young how to survive. More lenient seasons are provided for those animals that need to be controlled because they are destructive, inconvenient, or exceeding the carrying capacity of the land.
Theodore Roosevelt recognized this principle. In what he called “the strenuous life,” that is, living from what the wilderness provided, he practiced not killing fawns and female game animals at certain times of the year. We see glimpses of his developing conservationist philosophy from his comments like, “we…do not kill does until a month later – and then only when short of meat;” and, “there was no necessity to harm the (doe and fawn);” and, “the shes and young of any game should only be killed when there is a real necessity.” Most notably he stated, “…I hate to shoot a cow (elk) even when forced by necessity. Maternity must always appeal to anyone.”* In his context, Roosevelt understood in all ways what was necessary for the preservation of the species, especially the human species.
The killing of an animal is not murder, nor is the killing of its unborn baby. They’re just animals. But by and large, hunting and fishing seasons help us protect or control the reproductive cycles of practically all game animals. That calls for ethical and humane killing. We should remember that we have a Biblical mandate for this type of animal husbandry. Otherwise, we don’t eat (Genesis 1:28-29; 9:2-3).
It’s an ugly business killing an animal that is carrying an unborn little one in the womb. I’ve seen the remains of road killed victims in this condition. This gross thing is, well, it’s gross. It’s bad enough looking upon a mangled carcass… oozing guts, protruding bones, splattered brains, bulging eyeballs, torn flesh, seeping mammary glands. But the most unpleasant sight is that of a little baby animal aborted as a result of an accident, ripped or ruptured from the womb by fender or bumper, some still flinching, still clinging to life as they lay alongside mama. What did I tell you? It’s gross.
A good hunter chooses not to kill an animal he knows might be pregnant. It’s not right and as I inferred already, laws protect the unborn baby or the un-laid egg. Ethical hunters have demanded and fought for these laws long before any conservation movement. You just don’t kill a baby animal inside or outside its mother’s womb. You don’t knowingly kill a mother caring for her little one, seen or unseen.
And you just don’t kill a baby boy or a baby girl who is still in a human mother’s womb.
This is not a political statement. It’s a statement for life. It’s all about that which defines goodness and honor. It’s a God-given principle that drives good people to do the right thing, not the gross thing.
In my opinion, there’s no greater place in the Bible that addresses the terror of abortion than right here in II Kings. Elisha called it evil for he knew the horrors that Hazael would commit, among which would be to violently abort babies, killing their mothers in the process. Hazael couldn’t believe his ears. “Am I a dog that I would do this gross thing?” he questioned. Yes, he was, for when he became king of Syria, he did this gross thing in the land – ordering and allowing pregnant women to be ripped open, their babies spilt onto the dirty ground, leaving wounded mothers to die beside their children. Yes, Hazael was a dog. Realize that in the Old Testament days, dogs were not your chummy hunting pal. Calling someone a dog was comparable to calling someone a son-of-a-bitch today.
And so was Menahem, king of Israel, who also carried out this gross thing a few generations later. Make no mistake, the killing of an unborn baby was, and is, a vile, evil, dastardly act. I don’t think enough adverbs can really describe it. Abortion is, in fact, doggish, for even dogs will destroy their own young.
So here we are today in our 21st century society, in our refined culture, saving animals but killing baby boys and girls. It’s not like wombs are being ripped open and mothers are left to perish. Oh, wait a minute, it is just like that, and not just by terrorists of third world nations. But by terrorists in the procedure room using sterile techniques and anesthesia. Making it pretty and politically correct. Hiding their acts behind cowardly causes. Caring not for human life. In kinder words than I referred to above, those who support or commit abortion are fleabags. Nothing against fleas, mind you.
The evil of abortion challenges one’s character. Some courageous men speak out and act against it, many times alone. They are warriors of the faith. Some men say little and do even less because they’ve lost the manly wherewithal that’s needed to protect the life of a child and to preserve the honor of a woman. They are dogs who commit this gross thing. We would do well to heed Roosevelt’s words, “Maternity must always appeal to anyone,” whether or not one is a believer or non-believer.
I’ve said my piece peacefully yet admittedly with heavy words. I intend to obey the laws of the land with regard to wildlife conservation. I will not knowingly or unjustly kill an animal that is pregnant or caring for its young. And as you will rightly suspect, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure children all the way down to minus 9 months of age will get a chance to live and to hear about Jesus.
It is the duty of Godly men to help the little children come to Jesus and not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14).
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed,
but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
* Roosevelt, Theodore. (1893). The wilderness hunter. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
Study guide available at: Study guide – on abortion