“Thou shalt not kill.” 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 (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7,21-22; 9:5-6; Psalm 139:13- 16; 1 John 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:15).
Except when punishing wrongdoers and waging righteous wars to protect life and property, God has reserved the right to end or destroy all human life (Gen. 9:5-6; Rom. 13 2:13-14; Ex. 20:13; Deut. 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 any other wrongful taking of human life is murder and a sin.
Most believe they have kept this commandment from the Lord as long as they have not actually killed or murdered another human being. However, as we see in the scriptures, this command goes far beyond the act of murder itself.
Exodus 21:29 and Deuteronomy 22:8 extend this commandment to manslaughter – the taking of human life through recklessness or negligence.
Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, said, “Whoever becomes angry with his brother without cause will be in danger of judgment; and whoever says to his brother, Raca, will be in danger of counsel; but whoever says, You fool, you will be exposed to the fire of hell” (Matt. 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).
Maybe you haven’t actually killed another person, but have you ever hated someone or called them a fool or a fool? If so – and which of us has not done so – you are guilty and condemned by this commandment of the Lord! This is why the Scriptures tell us “there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Eccl. 7:20); and that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This is also why each of us must repent – by acknowledging our sins and failures to keep God’s holy commandments in our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds, and by trusting in holy living. and to the innocent suffering and death of the Messiah Jesus as full payment for our sins. In Jesus crucified and risen, we sinners find mercy, forgiveness and eternal life!
Dear Lord Jesus, true Son of God and true man, because of your blood shed for us on the cross, forgive us for our failures to keep your holy commandments. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] Moll’s other devotional writings can be read freely at https://goodshepherdonline.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.]