Exodus 20:13 – “You must not murder”
As we continue in our series “Relationship not Rules” we come to the sixth commandment “You must not murder” This is the second command that revolves around our relationship with others. Remember the first 4 commands revolve around our relationship with God and how we respond to God will determine how we respond to others. If we don’t respect the Lord, we won’t respect life. This command is a call to cherish life because murder is the ultimate robber of relationship. Sadly, today we have cultivated a culture of killing. Every year in this country we kill over 1 million unborn babies mostly for the sake of convenience. Our movies glorify killing, while our video games promote “shooting people” for points. Our secular society no longer sees life as a sacred thing, but rather a dispensable thing. It is not surprising that the further our society moves away from God’s commandments the less sacred society considers those things God cherishes. The sixth commandment was given to Israel to teach them to love life, to consider it so valuable that the taking of life would result in the loss of your own life. As we look at cherishing life, we will see that murder involves more than our actions but also our attitudes. But in order to fully understand this verse we need to first look at what it does not mean, and then look at the literal interpretation and the many practical applications for us today. This commandment certainly forbids some things, but some today have twisted it to mean things God never intended, so we need to look at what this commandment does not forbid:
- The killing of animals.
Activists quote this verse and say that it’s wrong to kill an animal for any reason. But in this same chapter, verse 24 God gave instructions concerning the sacrifice of animals.
- Capital punishment.
The execution of criminals for the crime of murder is Biblical, and not a sin. The very next chapter in Exodus 21:12 says “Anyone who assaults and kills another person must be put to death.”In fact this command was given before the Mosaic law was given, Genesis 9:6 ”If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image.” Notice the reason given, we were created in God’s image. Do you view people as precious and valuable because they are created in God’s image? Or are you basing peoples worth on your preferences? This is not just an Old Testament idea throughout the Word of God it has never been revoked. The New Testament book of Romans says legitimate government can carry out executions under the right circumstances.
Some say it is wrong to defend yourself if you end up killing the one who attacked you. Yet Exodus 22:2 says, “If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder.”
- Declaration of war
War is a terrible thing, and no one in their right mind wants to go to war. But there are things much worse than war, like losing your freedom. The Bible permits going to war. King David killed many people who attacked Israel, and God was with him as he did so. But when he killed one single innocent man, Uriah, God held him accountable. So, what is the Bible talking about when it says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’?
- Intentional Killing
Tens of thousands are killed in America every year in cold blood. That’s about 2-3 people every hour of every day.
Every year in America 400,000 attempt to take their own life, and 30,000 succeed…and 5,000 of those are teenagers. The ‘right to die’ movement keeps pushing for ‘physician assisted suicide’, but the Bible says this is wrong. No one has the right to take their own life, because your life is not your own…you belong to God. He is the One who gave you your life, and He will take it when it is time. John 10:10 tells us that “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Satan is a stealer not just of joy but of life, his goal is to kill and destroy. Sadly, some listen to His lies and believe that their life is not worth living. Let me ask you what voice are you listening to, is it the lies of Lucifer or the love of the Lord? Right now, some of you are hurting and desperate and you think that the solution to your pain is death but that’s a lie. You are precious to God. So how do you get through the dark times, God’s grace, by holding onto His hope. One of the questions I get asked a lot is it possible for a Christian to commit suicide? It is, but it is never God’s will. Some people say they just want to ‘end it all.’ But suicide doesn’t end it all. Not for your family. There’s no way to bring them more pain or grief. As a Christian, how ashamed will you be as you face the Savior and answer for your last sin on earth. You trusted Him to save your soul, but not to get you thru this life, or to help you with your burdens. Now, in some cases depression or mental illness cloud someone’s thinking and I’m sensitive to that. If you have a dark cloud hanging over you, talk to somebody, because there is hope and help! It’s time for us to stop shaming people who struggle with mental health issues. When something is broken, we need help. You wouldn’t tell a person with a broken leg to just walk. Look we would never think it wrong for someone with a broken leg to get a cast and use crutches to get around. Don’t be afraid or ashamed reach out and tell someone.
In 1973 our nation made it ok for a mother to take the life of her unborn baby, and tens of millions have done so since, around a million each year, about 3,000 every day. The mother isn’t the only killer, the doctor who has sworn to preserve life takes it. Life begins at conception. Here is what God says in Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart”The Greek word for infant is ‘brephos’ and it is used 8 times in Scripture. 6 times it is used for a child already born, and 2 times for a child still in the womb. The point? There’s no difference! For those who have been involved in abortion you need to know that there is forgiveness. Most abortions are based on convenience, why because we have become a culture based on convenience instead of conscience and conviction. But we are not called to live for what’s convenient we are called to live for Christ. The solution to our dilemma is not death its life. The solution is not abortion its adoption, because adoption values life. What about you are you valuing life the way God does?