Summary: Captial punishment

Thou shalt not kill Exodus 20:1-13

A little girl was writing a paper for her English class and she asked her father, "Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?" "It’s mostly a matter of degree" her dad replied. "Let me show you what I mean" and he picked up the phone and dialed a number at random. A man answered the phone and the dad said, "Hello, is Homer there?" The man on the other end answered, "I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number. There’s nobody here by that name." The father said thank you and hung up. Then he immediately hit redial, "Hello, is Homer there?" asked the father. And the guy at the other end said, "Now listen up buddy, there’s nobody here by that name so quit bothering me!" The dad listened as the man slammed the phone down. You see, said the dad, he is starting to get angry. Then he hit redial again and a loud voice comes on the line. "HELLO!" the man yells. "Yes, is Homer there?” asked the father calmly. "Are you crazy?" the man screams, " I told you Homer doesn’t live here so don’t call back again!" and he slammed the phone down again. "Did you hear that?" the father asked the little girl, "Now that is what anger sounds like." "Now you’re going to hear exasperation." He picked the phone up and hit redial again. "HELLO!" boomed the voice on the other end. "Hello" the dad says politely, "This is Homer, have I had any calls?" (Now, this is a guy who would appreciate today’s commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill.”

Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments in Matthew 22:35-40 where it says, “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” And in these verses Jesus summed up the teaching of the entire Old Testament when He said, love God with everything you’ve got and then love everyone else as much as you love yourself.

And it’s interesting that He said, “the second part of the law is like the first” because what He was saying is; what we think about God is demonstrated by how we act toward one another. And this is especially true because we believe man was made in the image of God. We could probably even prove this from the negative by seeing how people who follow something other than God have a tendency to treat their fellow man.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean. A few years ago there was a hijacking and hostage taking in the Middle East. And when negotiations slowed down; one of the terrorists shot and killed two people. One of the eye witnesses said that between killing these two people, the terrorist stopped long enough to tell one of his friends a joke. Now, when you hear that you wonder, how could anyone be so callous? Well, the movement was his god and as far as he was concerned; human life was worthless because the movement was the only thing that mattered.

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