JOB 3:20-22: “Why give light to one in misery and life to those who find it so bitter, to those who long for death but it never comes— though they dig for it more than for buried treasure? They are ecstatic, delighted to find the grave.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What is the Bible’s position on euthanasia? There seems to be a growing movement in our culture to embrace the concept of mercy killing. Almost all cultures have universally rejected this idea, but the lines of traditional morality are quickly moving, and the practice of euthanasia is right in line.
What is euthanasia? It can be defined as the painless killing of a patient that is suffering from a painful and incurable disease, or that is in a prolonged coma. As we read the book of Job, and as we hear the words of Job in the midst of his suffering, one can understand the sentiment behind the concept of euthanasia. Job himself was lamenting the day that he was born. He was in such intense and constant pain that he longed for death to come. This is a common experience of those in intense and prolonged pain, but it is not a justification for euthanasia.
I personally have gone through several prolonged periods of recovery from surgeries where it seemed like I would never recover. I have faced setbacks and death, and there were times when I felt the despair of the pain and had the same feelings that Job had, although I would not compare what I have gone through with what Job endured. Many have faced much worse than I, and they too understand these feelings and emotions. Yet, like me, they are here today to proclaim how happy they are that their life did not end at their moment of despair. God had so much more in store for them.
As you read the book of Job it grows progressively worse. Not only did Job loathe his own life, his friends loathed it too. In fact, his wife and friends were encouraging Job’s death. They were telling him to give up. If euthanasia would have been something acceptable in their culture they would have been their to help Job die. Yet, this concept of taking his own life did not enter into the heart of Job. It is true that Job wanted to die, but death eluded him, and he did not take his own life, nor did he ask someone else to take it for him. And, if anyone’s suffering could have been an argument for euthanasia – it would have been Job’s!
You have to jump to the end of the book of Job to see the impact and gross error or euthanasia. Job was healed and restored. His friends were forgiven and reconciled. He received a heritage of children and grandchildren that outnumbered those whom he had lost. All of this would not have happened if he was able to take his own life prematurely. Job knew that the only one who has the right to make this call is God himself. Human life remains sacred, and God’s, until the last breath. This is the teaching of the Bible from cover to cover.
It is not merciful to act in the place of God, it is mere presumption.
There are countless testimonies of those who have recovered from medically diagnosed incurable diseases, risen from years of coma, or even come back to life after being dead. This should give us pause and recognize the wonder of life and the power of God. In a culture that does not respect the sanctity of an unborn child, and with a growing population of aging baby boomers and a medical insurance system on the brink of collapse, this will become more and more a growing and relevant issue.
For the Christian, the Bible stands as the beacon of truth and the call to our culture. We must proclaim on all levels the sanctity of human life, and resist the misguided calls of what is touted as mercy, that are at work to diminish the wonder and sanctity of all life!
Lord, give us strength and wisdom to take a stand for Your truth. Help us to walk in the fullness of Your love as we do. May we defend the sanctity of ALL human life.
In Jesus Name!