(Exodus 20:13), “Thou shalt not kill.”
The primary theme throughout the Word of God is “right relationships.” When God created man in the Garden of Eden, He created him that He might have a relationship with him. When man fell in the Garden of Eden, God immediately took steps to restore a right relationship between man and Himself. As you study the Word of God in the Old Testament, God in, requiring men to make certain sacrifices, observe certain ordinances, and presenting themselves to Him in a certain manner, were all steps designed to keep God and man’s relationship right with each other. When you come to the New Testament, the central theme of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the plan of reconciliation of man back to God, so that man and God can have a right relationship. Salvation through faith in Christ puts us back into a right relationship with God, but it doesn’t stop there, salvation also makes it possible for us to have a right relationship to our fellow man. Let me say again the primary theme throughout the Word of God is “right relationships.” God wants us to have a right relationship to Himself and to one another. This is the theme of the Ten Commandments.
The first four commandments emphasize a right relationship to God.
(1.) 1st Commandment – to worship God only.
(2.) 2nd Commandment – to worship God correctly.
(3.) 3rd Commandment – to worship God sincerely.
(4.) 4th Commandment – to worship God regularly.
The fifth commandment emphasizes a right relationship with our parents.
The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, commandments emphasize a right relationship to our fellow man.The sixth commandment concern’s the “sanctity of our neighbor’s person.” Thou shalt not kill (murder).
- DEFINITION OF MURDER
Murder means “to take the life of another person unlawfully, maliciously, or premeditated.” It is important that we understand what the word “murder” means so that we can understand what this commandment does not forbid as well as what it does forbid. Firstly, this commandment does not forbid the killing of animals for food, clothing, or other useful purposes, for we read in (Genesis 9:3), “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you…” Secondly, it does not forbid the killing of a thief who breaks into your home for we read in (Exodus 22:2), “If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.” Thirdly, it does not forbid killing in a war for we read in the Old Testament that God commanded the children of Israel to fight the nations of Canaan. And lastly, it does not forbid capital punishment because we read in (Genesis 9:6), “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Leviticus 24:17), “And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.” (Romans 13:3-4), “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” We have seen what this commandment does not forbid and now let’s see what this commandment does forbid. “Thou shalt not kill” (murder). This commandment forbids the taking of another person’s life unlawfully, maliciously, and premeditated.
- DIFFERENT TYPES OF MURDER
We understand that God forbids us to murder and take the life of another person unlawfully, maliciously, and premeditated. I want to look at some ways people commit murder. Firstly, there is Physical Murder – “the act of one individual taking the life of another.” This kind of murder is done through abortion (taking the life of the unborn), suicide (taking one’s own life), and killing another person unlawfully. Then there is Heart Murder – “the act of hating someone.” (I. John 3:15), “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer…” Hate means “to dislike or detest so strongly that it demands action and this action is manifested in many different ways such as anger, hostility, avoidance, slander, backbiting, revenge, malice, bitterness, unforgiveness, ruthlessness, and so on.
- DEALING WITH MURDER
Understanding there are several ways in which murder can be committed and after reading this you have realized that you have committed murder. The question is, how do you deal with the sin of murder? Firstly, if you have murdered someone physically, you need to turn yourself in to the law. Secondly, if you have committed abortion, you need to confess it as sin to God. Thirdly, if you have had thoughts of suicide, you need to confess it as sin to God. And fourthly, if you hate someone, you need to go and ask them to forgive you, and then confess your sin to God.
Pastor Allen Jackson