Answer by John Mackay and Diane Eager
When God created human beings he instructed them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. (Genesis 1:28) Therefore it is completely logical to argue that if they did not sin they would have never died, and they (and presumably their offspring) as obedient servants of the Creator God would have gone on reproducing until the earth was full. As God is the creator of the earth and all its resources He would have been well aware of what ‘full’ meant in terms of human numbers vs resources, etc. When that point was reached God’s instruction would have been obeyed to the full, and there would have been no further need for reproduction. That brings us to the first important point: When the earth was full God could put an end to human reproduction, so what is His role in human reproduction? The following illustrations from scripture illustrate this point:
We live in a world where most are trained to think babies are the result of purely mechanistic sex. But there is more to human reproduction that just “doing what comes naturally”. Eve, the mother of all living, expressed this after the birth of Cain, when she said: “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:1) T
he “help of the Lord” is clearly seen in a number of other births described in the Bible. Here are some examples of God’s control over human reproduction: After many years of barrenness Sarah, the wife of Abraham, gave birth to a son when God decreed she would. (Genesis 18:10, 21:1-2, Hebrews 11:11) God’s ability to stop human reproduction was seen earlier, when Abimelech took Sarah into his harem. While she was there God “closed up all the wombs in the house of Abimelech.” (Genesis 20:18) In the next generation Rachel, the wife of Abraham’s son Isaac, did not conceive until Isaac prayed for her to have children. (Genesis 25:21)
After Abraham’s descendants migrated to Egypt they “were fruitful and increased greatly,” so much so that Pharaoh tried to put a stop to it by enslaving them and making life harsh. In spite of stress, toil and privation they continued to multiply, and Pharaoh resorted to decreeing baby boys be destroyed. When the midwives of Israel defied Pharaoh and refused to do what was evil in God’s sight, God rewarded them with families of their own. (Exodus 1:1-22)
The most miraculous intervention in human reproduction was when God the Father sent his Son to be born of Mary. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit when Mary was still a virgin and had known no man. (Matthew 1:18-25)
God is not only the Creator of the world and the human race. He is also the sustainer of all things. No biological process, not even human reproduction, is beyond his control. Keep this in mind when you hear the warnings about man overpopulating this world. It is conceivable the human population could become unsustainable one day at the present rate of population growth, but God will know when that is long before we do!
However, it is unlikely we will have to wait for that. God tells us that he will one day bring this earth to an end, and create a New Heavens and Earth. The most important question is: Are you ready to live in the New Heavens and Earth? To be ready you need to put your trust in the Creator and Sustainer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone can save us from the sin that has corrupted the whole human race from Adam and Eve onwards. Don’t know how? Then contact us at Ask John Mackay.
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