Summary: This 6th command is needed in our world today. You may think, “At least I don’t break this commandment. This is an off week for me.” But don’t be too quick to think you have this one mastered.
Increasing your love for life
Text – Exodus 20:13, p. 56
Series – God’s Top Ten: 10 Timeless Truths for Life
Each week, we’re considering some overall Truths about the Ten. Over the last several weeks, we’ve learned that…
1. The Ten do not restrict our freedom; they restore our freedom.
2. The Ten are not to be isolated from one another; they are to be integrated with one another.
3. The Ten are not as much about rules as they are about relationships.
4. The Ten are not a ladder; they are a mirror. A 5th truth for us to consider today is…
5. The Ten are not merely negative, they are also positive.
We are beginning a consecutive list of 5 “You shall not” commands. Think with me! Every “You shall not” command implies a “You shall” command. “Don’t do this, instead, do that!”
This 6th command is needed in our world today. You may think, “At least I don’t break this commandment. This is an off week for me.” But don’t be too quick to think you have this one mastered.
To increase my love for life…
I. I will do no harm…
“First, do no harm…”
Yet a quick look at the world around us (and even at what comes into our own homes through our TVs) will reveal that the “do no harm” value is at risk.
We need to think through reasons why life seems to be so cheap these days – why we are living in culture of death. The reason is so very simple that we can miss it.
We are living in a world that devalues human life because it does not recognize God as the personal Creator God. Secularism, humanism, pragmatism, materialism, post-modernism – all the “isms” that dominate the worldviews of most Westerners – all have one thing in common. They deny the Creator God. Our society at large has bought into the whole idea of evolution. We are here as a result of chance plus time. Once a person buys that theory, then your worldview is shaped.
You say, “What’s a worldview?” I was listening to Alistair Begg speak on this commandment. What he said about a worldview might be helpful. Your worldview answers these questions:
· Who am I?
· Where did I come from?
· Why am I here?
· Where am I going?
· Does it all matter?
Now a person who believes in evolution has a hard time answering these questions in a way that provides meaning and purpose.
· Who am I? I’m not sure!
· Where did I come from? Time and chance!
· Why am I here? I don’t know!
· Where am I going? Nowhere!
· Does it matter? Not really! Have a nice day!
This is why life is cheap and we live a culture of death.
Remember the prelude to all the commands – the preamble to the Decalogue, as the Ten are sometimes called? God says, “I am the LORD your God.”
We have to start with the existence of a personal Creator God. “I am the LORD your God. You shall do this and not do that…” God is Creator and LORD of life.
We must love life and hate murder because life is God’s gift.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being... The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:7, 22
We must love life and hate murder because life is God’s gift and we are created in God’s image.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
There is a difference between mankind and all other life on earth. We are distinct from all creation. We have personality, morality, and dignity. We create. We verbalize. We think abstractly. We have a soul that will never die. The infinite Creator God made us and distinguished us from the rest of the creation. God established morality, dignity, personality, and value. I will do no harm…
… with my hands…
Before we go further, we need to understand this word “murder” in verse 13. The KJV says, “Thou shalt not kill” – an unfortunate translation. The Hebrew word refers to any unauthorized killing – often intentional, premeditated, and violent. Murder is the best translation. Not all killing is murder.
God wants what remains of His image - what still shines forth in men – to continue. Every murder is a murder of the image of God stamped inside some human being.
But what about…
… killing in self-defense?