What Is Human Life Worth?

What is a human life worth? One preacher foolishly said he did not want to live if he couldn’t teach class and preach sermons. Human life itself should be valued because it is created in God’s image while everything else we are given is “icing on the cake.” The way we think about the value of life can lead us to accept evil and impose suffering on innocent people.

Innocent people may suffer through no fault of their own:
- Children molested or killed by a sex offender;
- Innocent people killed or hurt in car accidents;
- Thoughtless or careless doctors wanting to experiment;
- Careless attitude about hospital equipment or sanitation resulting in critical illness or death;
- Accident or stroke victims lying helpless in the hospital wards.

I have wondered if hundreds of thousands died by the Tsunami so that millions could get the attention they needed. Who knows why innocents suffer? Could it be so others might learn from the experience or perhaps so that the ones left could learn compassion?

God has many reasons for people’s suffering that do not involve punishment. There was a man in Jerusalem who was born blind (John 9:2, 3). Keep in mind that this man endured blindness from the day he was born! “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:2, 3).

Job suffered through no fault of his own. “My face is foul with weeping, and my eyelids are the shadow of death; not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure” (Job 16:16-17).

For generations, mankind has asked the same questions.

“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).

Wise prophets of God testified concerning the child who dies.

“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun” (Eccl 4:1-3).

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come . He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness” (Isa 57:1-2).

Our Heavenly father sees the whole picture, which we cannot see and acts according to the picture before Him. For example: read the account of Abijah the son of Jeroboam when he fell sick and died (1 Kings 14:1-18). Abijah was but a child, and even though his father and mother were very wicked, they were deeply concerned about him. Jeroboam and his wife knew that Ahijah, the prophet of God, would not deal with them because of their sins, so Jeroboam’s wife disguised herself and went to see Ahijah requesting directive from God concerning the child. God inspired the prophet to tell her that the little boy would die, but notice what He said about him in verse 13.

“And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 14:13).

“Something good” was in the child that caused God to take his life. God could see the whole picture, and therefore knew it was best for Abijah to die.

Beth Johnson

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.

Published in The Old Paths Archive