Summary: Sermon on the Sixth Commandment
“Do not murder.” Exodus 20:13
One American is shot, stabbed, beaten, or strangled to death every minute. It seems that no matter where you turn in our society, or even our world, there are murders. It’s on the television and movies as fiction. It’s on the streets and next door as a brutal reality. With a murder rate of 10 in every 100,000, your chances of being murdered are far greater than your chances of dying in an airplane or automobile crash. Murder is a crime against God and against one’s fellow man.
The 6th Commandment says, "Do not murder." While all murder is killing, not all killing in murder. Murder is more than just taking a life! Murder can be defined as the premeditated and intentional taking of another human life.
Accidental killing would not be classified as murder. Take an example from the Bible. In Numbers 35:11-28, God gave Israel regulations for "Cities of Refuge." These were cities to which someone who had unintentionally killed another human could flee to avoid the "avenger of blood." If you were involved in an automobile accident and accidentally killed another human, then you would not be a murderer.
Capital punishment would not be considered murder. God, in his Word lays down the principle that for certain offences, man has the right to terminate another human life, Gen. 9:6; Num. 35:16-18, Lev. 24:17. Whether or not you personally agree with capital punishment or not, it is plain to see that the Bible authorizes it in cases of murder.
Killings that take place in the exercise of "just war" would not be classified as murder. Throughout the history of the world, nations have had to defend their borders or other weaker nations against aggressive enemies. Even God, at various times, has ordered His people onto the field of battle. Those who kill in "just war" are not murderers.
I spent a little time this week talking with a veteran who faithfully fought in a war that brought no glory but I gained some real insights into the struggles of those who fight so bravely to defend freedom and oppose evil.
Most of us will never know the struggle of veteran’s who responded to the call of duty, and did what they were asked to do to defend our country or the freedom and rights of others. For some of them the memories and the haunting nagging questions are worse than being there in the first place. We should raise our awareness to this.
Killings that are the product of self-defense cannot be classified as murder. Often, police officers must kill in the line of duty. Homeowners may have to kill an intruder to protect home and family. These people are not murderers. Sometimes, people are attacked and must defend themselves. When they kill the attacker in the process, they are not classified as a murderer. We live in a world where for some people murder is a way of life. Current cultural trends have even embraced murder as a form of entertainment. Grand Theft Auto and other games like it have made taking a life insignificant. Movies like Kill Bill glorify and even wrap humor around the taking of another’s life. The Dixie Chicks did the same with their controversial song, Earl’s gotta die.