It is modernity, maybe post-modernity, but we are not doing a new thing. We are doing a very old thing. Natural life waxed and waned before our noisy arrival, but life, human life, is uniquely God-breathed, and the context of His epic ambition—restoration and wholeness. We dare not, under penalty of death (Matthew 26:52), presume to transgress this sacred ambition, for it is the holy of holies.
The evidence is in the habitation of the eternal soul in a body. Psalm 139:13-16 rejoices, "My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret." Earlier in the chapter, verse 13 marvels, "You formed my inward parts; You knit me in my mother's womb." This word "knit" is also sometimes translated "wove" or "woven."
David sings that his being was woven together secretly by God. Often this section of Scripture is used by anti-abortion activists to emphasize the inherent sacredness of conception and birth, the invisible invasion of created body by God-breathed soul in the protected covering of a mother's person. But more than a wonder, it is the holy preparation of God.
The word translated "knit" in Hebrew is sakak, meaning “covered.” This word is used almost exclusively in the Old Testament to describe the veiling of the presence of God from human eyes in the Holy of Holies. Sometimes it describes the worshiping cherubim on the ark whose wings “covered” the mercy seat. Frequently it refers to the temple veil: "And he [Moses] brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off [covered] the Ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses" (Exodus 40:21, emphasis mine).
Intricate detailing of this woven, embroidered veil was specified by God Himself—down to the pattern, colors, clasps, and hooks. By His directive, it was hung in the tabernacle to divide the holy place, or the sanctuary, from the Holy of Holies. In the Holy of Holies rested the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant. In the mysterious cloud above the mercy seat the LORD's manifested presence would rest (Leviticus 16:2). Thus, a woven veil covered the presence of God.
But even more sacred is that the Psalmist used this word to describe his own flesh, stating in the most delicate poetry that his body, your body, was prepared to veil the presence of God—that one day each one’s anatomy should become the temple of God: "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God . . ." (1 Corinthians 6:19). God personally designed and knit every soul and body with the express intention that it should become a home for Himself.
Woe to the nations that form an unholy alliance with the times and sacrifice their children on the altars of profit, career, vanity, and fear, for the nations who did so in the Scriptures were systematically wiped out. Where are our tears and wailings in the presence of God for these prepared souls, sometimes our own, whose divine vocations fail by apathy, sin, or other abortion? Mary, tender Mother of all, hear our prayers…