According to the United Nations, this past Monday (October 31st) was the day the population of the world hit 7 billion. After taking thousands of years to cross the 1 billion plateau (reached in the early 1800’s) it took just 12 years for the world to grow from 6 billion to 7 billion people.
I have to admit I was a bit irked by some of the commentary I read suggesting that this many people on the planet is a problem. It’s as though these articles were saying we should really think through whether or not life is truly precious and that women need to be better educated when it comes to their reproductive health. If we don’t act fast (or so we are told) the world will face a population crisis. In fact, some say we are already in the midst of such a crisis.
As far as I could tell, none of these writers were coming at this issue from a biblical perspective. They, like much of the world, fail to realize that life is a gift from God and something to be celebrated, not feared. The bible tells us, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
There is no question that there is a poverty problem in this world. Millions of people go hungry every day and poverty is a significant problem. But the world’s poverty problem is not a result of a resource shortage. Two hundred years ago, when the world first hit a billion people, I don’t think anyone would have imagined a day when 7 billion people shared this planet, but that is where we are at today and there remains an abundance of resources to sustain the population. It is next to impossible to know how many people this planet can support, but we do know that it is more than 7 billion.
Unfortunately, there is another side to this story. Amid the rapid population growth, especially since 1960 when the world only had 3 billion people, murder has been rampant. Of course, I am referring to abortion. In the United States alone, 50 million babied have been aborted since 1973. A culture of death has emerged with little or no value on human life. In countries such as Japan and Russia, population growth has completely stalled, and abortion is a big reason for this.
This past Sunday, we had a baby dedication in our church. To say the least, this was a celebration. It was a time to recall the faithfulness of God and the miracle that is life. The last thing on our minds was that our piece of the pie continues to shrink with the birth of each new baby.
Make no mistake about it, life is something to be celebrated, not feared. Every human life is a miracle and a testimony to the power and faithfulness of God. King David writes, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:13-15)
Today, there are 7 billion reasons to celebrate and praise God for His life giving power. He is the Creator and sustainer of all life, to the glory of His great name.