The Nature Of Procreation

Q. In Does God Have A Plan for All Of Us? you said that God delegated the procreation process to Adam and Eve so He isn’t directly involved (if I understood you correctly). Does that mean that life is a lottery and every person ever existed is conceived by chance? I always believed that every person was uniquely planned by God. I know testimonies where people found solace in the fact that they aren’t unplanned mistakes (as their parents made them feel in many cases) because God planned and wanted them (not just foreknew them!) before creation.

A. I think the Bible describes the nature of procreation when it contrasts the natural birth with the spiritual birth in John 1:12-13.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

In these verses John gave us the circumstances under which children are born. It could be the result of natural descent, since producing offspring is a basic instinct in all species. It could be the result of human decision, as when married couple decides to have a child. Or it could be the result of a husband asserting his right to sexual intercourse with his wife as part of the marriage covenant. Notice that John did not mention God’s involvement beyond the fact that He has instilled in all species the drive toward propagation.

Of course God knows the end from the beginning so no child is born apart from His awareness. And He does have a plan for our lives that includes coming to Him for redemption and living a life that brings honor and glory to Him. But according to the passage above that doesn’t include deciding who will be born and when it will happen.

There are exceptions to this. John the Baptist is an obvious one, and so is Jesus. But as a general principle, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 51:5, and Psalm 139:16 indicate that His involvement with us begins as early as the time of our conception, but not before.

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