Thoughts on the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Thoughts on the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ezekiel 33:11 —  ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

Welcome to my therapy session, friends.  Many bits of news don’t hit my heart, but the moment I heard about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my heart was struck with all sorts of thoughts and emotions.  Some right.  Some wrong.  This devotion is my effort to walk through so much of this in light of what God says.  I hope people of every political stripe will read.

I am glad I did not write this immediately.  I care less about the news reaction, but I am fascinated by seeing what family and friends have written.  I have been touched by how many women I know have shared their profound appreciation and admiration for RBG’s pioneering for women’s rights.  I have read more quotes of hers than ever before.  Many of the changes that Ginsburg championed are good changes that have been a blessing.  On top of that, her fierce attitude has taught women not to be afraid to stand strong.  I have to a stronger appreciation of all this.

Yet here is one quote, I must share which I have seen nowhere else:  “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

This quote hurts.  It hurts because it is human reason  fully unhinged from God’s unchanging law.  A human life begins at the moment of conception.  This is a non-debatebal truth that our Creator has stated in His Word to us.  The destruction of a human life in the womb is a murder equal to any other murder.  No human mind or authority should ever be so arrogant as to think they know better than our Creator what life is or when it essentially begins.

This quote hurts because it has taught women to be selfish.  This quote says:  Pregnancy is all about the woman, not the God who made her and loves her.  Pregnancy is all about the woman, not the child being born.  Pregnancy is all about the woman and what she wants, not God’s will or that beautiful, fragile life within her.

This quote hurts because it has paved the way for some staggering numbers: over 60 million surgical abortions have taken place in the United States.  In recent years, almost one out of every six human lives in America are surgically killed in the womb.  And these numbers don’t keep track of “legalized” chemicals in pill form that destroy the beginning life.

I was a mistake.  An accident.  My life began because of a sin committed by two very young people (I believe).  The pregnancy test that showed my existence caused no joy.  It likely terrified my biological mother (and father).  It caused shame, anger, and a desire to escape.  Neither my biological mother (nor my biological father) wanted me to exist.  This is a thought I have often had:  According to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and many others, it would have been better if I was dead.

This quote hurts me personally.  And it hurts to think how many souls have been robbed of being as blessed as I am to be adopted into a wonderful, Christian family.  It hurts to think how many times women (and men) are taught to escape and hide the consequences of their sexual sins instead of confessing, finding forgiveness in Jesus, and looking for a way to move forward glorifying God.

With hurt comes anger.  The first feelings I had when I heard that Justice Ginsburg died were shock, then relief, then joy.  These feelings were visceral reactions to the hurt and anger I have felt over her abortion stance.  As I think about it, the core of those feelings is the thought that RBG can’t hurt people anymore.

Is it right to think of someone who has hurt you standing before God the Judge paying for their sins?

David wrote Psalms asking God to destroy his enemies.  The martyrs in heaven in Revelation 6:10 ask, ” “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

But this is where I must confess that I don’t think all my thoughts are pure.  I listen to the verse from Ezekiel at the beginning of this devotion where God says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn from their ways and live.”  Ought I take pleasure in thinking of someone else’s death and judgment?  Is a mother wanting the baby within her dead and gone and the Christian wanting the “wicked” person dead and in hell really very different?  After all, anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.

This is where the admiration many have shown for Justice Ginsburg reminds me that Ms. Ginsburg has done many civically good things.  Furthermore, she and I are not so different.  We both have sinned.  Finally, I am reminded that all that matters is that sinners take what God says seriously, turn from our evil ways and turn to Jesus our Savior to be our forgiveness, salvation and life.

Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg die in repentant faith in Jesus?  I don’t know her heart.  She was Jewish — of the people of Israel.  But blood doesn’t save; faith in Christ saves.  I read her reported final words.  It had nothing to do with Christ or his cross or rejoicing over eternity with him.  It had to do with her final wish that the things for which she fought for on earth would go on.  Based on all I have read about RBG, she lived for advancing causes in this world.  Many have been blessed through this.  Many have been hurt.  But what good is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

I am no longer struck with anger, but sadness.  Sadness that I have found no outward evidence that this fascinating woman lives with her savior.  Her sins were not worse than mine, but her heart seemed to be turned away from God in unbelief.

One final thought: to view her death simply as a political opportunity is disgraceful.  Isn’t there something much bigger?  Isn’t the political gamesmanship and hatred toward one another far off track from what God wants of us?  More than civil laws changing or judges changing, God wants hearts changing.  Mine.  Yours.  All.  Because God wants all people to be saved through the work of Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 33:11 — ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer


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