“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13
Every human life is a creation of God, and every human life is precious to God. Why? Because God created man in His own image and Jesus Christ died for all people (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7,21-22; 9:5-6; Psalm 139:13-16; 1 John 2:1,2; 2 Corinthians 5:15).
Except in cases of punishing evildoers and waging just wars to protect life and property, God has reserved for Himself the right to end or destroy any human life (Genesis 9:5-6; Romans 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:14; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Psalm 31:15; 39:4-5; 90:1-3; Job 14:1-12; Acts 17:24-28). The Bible teaches that the practice of euthanasia, abortion, self inflicted death (suicide) and all other unjustified taking of human life is murder and sin.
Most feel they have kept this commandment of the LORD, as long as they have not actually killed or murdered another human being. However, as we see from the Scriptures, this commandment is far more reaching than the act of murder itself.
Exodus 21:29 and Deuteronomy 22:8 expand this commandment to manslaughter, or the taking of human life through carelessness or negligence.
Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, says: “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22). The Apostle John also writes: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
Perhaps we have not actually killed another person, but have we ever hated someone or called him a fool or empty-headed? If so — and which of us has not — we are guilty and condemned by this commandment of the LORD! This is why the Scriptures tell us that “there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20), and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
It is also the reason why each of us needs to repent – acknowledging our sins and failure to keep God’s holy commandments in our thoughts, desires, words and actions, and trusting in the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of Messiah Jesus as full payment for our sins. In the crucified and risen Jesus, we sinners find forgiveness and life everlasting!
Dear Lord Jesus, true Son of God and true man, for the sake of Your blood, shed for us upon the cross, forgive us for our failures to keep Your holy commandments. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]