Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exodus 20:13  "You shall not murder.”     

       The first four commands are all about loving, respecting, and honoring God.  The fifth command is transitional.  By honoring and loving our parents, we then are in training about loving, honoring, and respecting our God.  The next five commands can only be effective in the context of the first four because they are all about loving, honoring, and respecting God’s ultimate creation – humanity.  And if we do not cherish our Creator, it is impossible to cherish His creation.

            Murder is clearly defined to Noah.  It is taking of innocent human life, which was created in the image of God, without cause or in our vernacular, without due process.  Murder is the epitome of selfishness, self-centeredness, and disregard of God.  And murder begins with a wrong heart – a heart that is not focused on God.  Jesus made that clear in the Sermon on the Mount.  He said, “You have heard it said from the prophets long ago that you shall not murder, but I say to you if you harbor anger against your brother, you have already committed murder in your heart.” (my paraphrase)  He goes on to define that anger as name calling, indifference, and even taking a fellow Christian to court.  And Jesus point was clear – if those things are going on without admonition (and they are in great abundance) then don’t be surprised when murder takes place.

            We see murder in our culture resulting from many things.  Murder for robbery, murder for sexual convenience, murder for jealousy, murder from rage, murder from indifference, murder to get our way, murder to increase our wealth, and murder of our unborn.  All of these forms take place where God is not.  People in Texas remember the trails of a couple of decades ago involving a millionaire murdering his wife to claim his mistress.  Honoring God was not part of this man’s equation.  I remember so well an acquaintance who murdered his wife and took his own life because they simply could not get along.  God was not in that relationship.  People take lives because others are inconvenient.  We are witnessing a trial now of a young mother, whose 3 year old was inconvenient.  She couldn’t go partying with her boyfriend because the little girl got in the way.  Certainly honoring God was never part of her agenda.  And the list goes on and on, but you will not find murder where God is King.            Taking human life is a terrible thing.  It carries with it horror, shock, and grief from victims and loved ones of victims.  But the real tragedy is that every murder takes a life that God created in His image to fulfill His purposes.  So that life for which God gave so much is kept from God’s intended purpose.  And God is serious about both His image and His purpose.  He takes human life so seriously, that He told Noah, “If by human hands a man’s blood is spilled, then by human hands must the [the murderer’s] blood be spilled.  For man was created in the image of God.”  This is the passage which we see clearly God’s command for capital punishment.  God is serious about human life from conception to the grave.

            We have a culture of murder in our land.  It begins with murder of our unborn and is daily extending to murder of the inconvenient – the elderly, the disabled, and the unprotected.  And we do this under protection of the law.  So did Hitler.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “No culture which willfully takes the life of the most innocent, weak, and defenseless in its society can stand.”  And there is no one in our culture who is more weak, defenseless, or innocent than our unborn.  And as long as our hearts are set on destruction of those tiny lives, created in the image of God, we must not be surprised when mothers take the lives of those already born.

            Murder begins in the heart.  And whenever hearts are not focused on God – murder will happen.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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