“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13
Albert Mohler states in his book Words from the Fire:
“As the Ten Commandments are explained, injury is often done to the final five commandments by suggesting that the simplicity of interpretation comes down to the fact that they pertain to our relationships with fellow human beings. Although that statement is true, the fuller truth is that our responsibility to our fellow human beings is grounded entirely in our relationship with God.”
In reading this quote, it points us to the way we view our relationship with our creator. If we have little regard for God, then how can we expect to have a greater desire to provide, protect, and nourish human life?
The 6th command and the next four remind us how to relate with each other as we are to glorify God, honoring Him and giving Him His due.
Mohler further states:
“we should note that this commandment is not about a generalized or a generic reverence for life. Instead this reverence is for life made in the image of God, with the dignity and the worth of that life grounded in the Creator rather than in the creature. When we try to speak of a reverence for life in terms of a humanistic, secular naturalistic understanding, we quickly end up talking about a reverence for certain kinds of life, for certain kinds of human beings. And we follow a logic that leads to death.”
We are to take care of and preserve life as a whole, from beginning of conception to the life’s final breath. Life is not privileged to a particular age group, skin color, nation, and so on, but life is given to us by our Heavenly Father.
As followers of Christ, we much be careful of groups and organizations that focus on the needs and desires of a particular group of people.
What do you mean murder?
Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:8 – “Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”
Cain killed his brother because he was angry and mad because of the favor God had with Abel’s offering over his own.
The Torah gives many examples…here are a couple.
- Numbers 35:16 (ESV)
- “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.”
- This passage displays the premeditative murder which seeks to destroy another person.
- Deuteronomy 19:4-13
- Gives the instructions for someone who has unintentionally killed another person.
What about War and Capitol Punishment?
Albert Mohler states:
“But capital punishment is not an abstract issue in the Bible. In Romans 13:4 we are told that the governing authority “does not bear the sword in vain.” There is no way around what that text is telling us; capital punishment is part of God’s plan. The Noahic covenant of Genesis 9:6 reads, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Murder is an insult to God. Murder deprives God of one who was made in His image and for His glory. Murder is the arrogant, willful subtraction of God’s glory, and the capacity for the display of God’s glory in the midst of His creation. Although that would be true of ravaging a forest, burning a garden, or desecrating nature, far more when the one who is killed bears the image of God. It is a personal attack upon the dignity of the Creator.”
Another form of manslaughter not recorded in the crime statistics and viewed as women’s right to chose is the aborting of thousands of babies upon conception.
A believer’s desire is for the protection and preservation of all of human life.
As a follower, we should have a love for life at all stages.
The first image is an ultrasound of Ryleigh at 10 weeks. At this stage of life, she is between 1-2 inches and weights about 14 ounces. Her arms and joints are working at this point and her legs will so begin to wiggle.
The second image is Ryleigh and Momma just a few hours after she was born at 12:28pm on March 11th, 2017 at 7 pounds 2 ounces, and was 19 1/4 inches long.
The third image is all our kiddos Alyssa (5 years), Tyson (2 years), and Ryleigh (newborn).
A follower of Christ has the desire to take care of human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
Matthew 5:21–26 (ESV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Thinking is just as bad as doing.
Matthew 5:21 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’”
Be careful of anger toward a brother or sister in Christ.
Matthew 5:22 – “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
Seek reconciliation with each other.
Matthew 5:23-26 – “23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Even stating something as “I hate you!” shows just as much disregard for life as carrying on the act of murdering another individual.
Murder is prevalent in the movies we watch, the video games played, music on our music players, and the list continues.
Death is everywhere and often times we do not think about the pictures we take in on a daily basis.
“There is also murder on the small and large screen. By the age of 18 the average American child has seen more than 80,000 murders depicted on television, film, and in video games. The video games add up the carnage faster than any form of electronic medium.”
The problem with this common perception of murder on the big and small screen is Mohler states on video games: “We are making murder so routine that it is now something that is expected and is no longer taken with great moral seriousness. It is merely the pretext for the drama yet to unfold on the screen or the story to be replayed thousands and thousands of times over with a controller in hand. There is no distance.”
Murder is an insult to God, no matter the reality or depiction of it on the screen.
The Sixth Commandment reminds us of our desperate need, for the grace and mercy of God shown us in Jesus Christ. He bore in Himself the malice and the hatred and the murderous intention of humanity, and gave His life for sinners, shedding His blood for the remission of our sins.
We look to Christ, when we read this commandment. It is addressed to us as believers. Judgment be upon us if we hear it as addressed to someone else.
Remembering it is not addressed only to those who have physically taken the life of another, but it is addressed to all of us even in thought or action.
Ask yourself, “Are my thoughts and actions glorifying God, or are they glorifying and yielding to my own needs and wants in life?”