August 23

2 Chronicles 35-36, Psalm 81

Approximately 10 years ago, we had a patient with twins who conceived by IVF who unfortunately was found to have a very short cervix, also known as an incompetent cervix, at 19 weeks. What this means is that she was at very high risk of losing her pregnancy. She was admitted to the hospital and the next day her cervix was even shorter. I recommended to one of my partners and to the patient that a stitch (cerclage) be placed to try to save the pregnancy. My partner called in the "expert" specialist who made the blanket statement that he does not recommend placing a stitch because there is no proof that it benefits twins. Without getting too detailed there is very little data to support either position. But I and our group differ from this particular specialist in that he will not advocate for something unless there is irrefutable proof that the procedure or treatment will benefit the patient. On the other hand, I and our group will do the procedure or treatment unless there is irrefutable proof that we will hurt the patient, believing the portion of the Hippocratic Oath stating, "first, do no harm." Needless to say, the "expert" placed his recommendation in writing. I was not back in the hospital for 5 days (I had office hours the other days). Not realizing that the decision was made not to stitch her, I arrived in the hospital and immediately was told that she felt pressure. She unfortunately delivered both twins at that moment at 20 weeks, being pre-viable, both dying immediately. I was devastated because I felt that we lost both twins without even putting up a fight. The "expert" felt completely justified in his recommendation. This same patient conceived by IVF that next year. She went to that same "expert" to see if she needed a stitch in her cervix this time, since she was only having one baby this time. He recommended against the stitch. She told me his recommendation and I politely told her that if she did not get the stitch she was making a grave mistake. She ultimately agreed to the stitch and delivered that baby at 37 weeks along with a second child where another stitch was placed. Was it the stitch that resulted in the 37 week deliveries? I don't know nor do I really care. What I care is that she has two children.

Though Josiah was a very good king, we see him make a fatal error in 2 Chronicles 35:20-22, "After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. But he sent messengers to him, saying, "What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you." Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and he did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God...". Because he did not listen, Josiah was killed in battle. It is not described why Josiah went after King Necho, but understand that King Josiah represented the country of God and was blessed by God during his reign. Necho in his eyes was a godless Gentile. He probably thought, I'm the Jew and therefore the "expert" on God, and He speaks through me and not you, a godless, Egyptian Gentile.

This is the mistake when we believe that God only speaks through "experts" or certain people. When Jesus taught in Nazareth, His hometown, in Mark 6:2-3, we read, "...He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, "Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? So they were offended at Him." Believing that the only experts were the Pharisees and the religious leaders, they largely rejected their own Messiah and missed who He was. The members of the Sanhedrin when they brought Peter and John before them in Acts 4:13, said, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." They were surprised, but unmoved, because though they saw something special about these two men, they were the "experts" while they were only uneducated fisherman. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:27, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;". We who are children of God and have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Which means that if we abide in Him, He can speak through any of us, not just the experts. We make a mistake when we believe believe that God only speaks to those who went to seminary or who hold leadership positions. We are His church, and are all vital members of the body of Christ. There are no true "experts" in this body, only willing vessels who are ready to be used in His service.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster