6th Commandment: Do not Murder
This command seems really straightforward. So what is murder? It is one person killing another in cold blood—usually for selfish reasons (so not as a soldier in war, etc.). In our (American) society, it is a crime often punishable by death—especially when it is intentional. What was meant in ancient times? In Jesus’ time? And what does that mean for us today?
OT: Exodus 21:12 and Leviticus 24:17…point out the seriousness of the offense. Genesis 4:3-13…the first murder. Look at God’s mercy! He knew what Cain was about to do and instructed him how to overcome his selfish desire to kill his brother. God gave Cain a way out and still showed mercy after he failed. It is not as though God’s character has changed. Exodus 21:28-29…Not working to prevent harm to someone is the same as murder.
Every person is without excuse because we have God’s law and His attributes have been clearly seen from the beginning (Romans 1:18-20).
Jesus’ teaching: Matthew 5:21-26; Matthew 6:14-15
1 John 3:13-17…here, John is not only talking about emotions/feeling of hatred, but also an apathy towards others’ needs. If we are not going to help them when it is in our ability, it is the same as murder—just letting them die!
James 1:19-20…be slow to speak and quick to hear. Don’t let anger get any hold on you. In other words, be proactive and seek to be a better doer of God’s word (vs 21-22), the “word of truth.” (vs 18). In the broader context, James is speaking of trials and suffering which we as Christians have to face. We will be hated by some people, but don’t let how this world treats us anger us.
This is the blog of Tyler Shepard, the Associate Pastor for Centre Union Church in Yeagertown, PA.
I hope you are encouraged and challenged to walk more closely with Jesus Christ!