Summary: Murder comes in many different forms. It is misunderstood in our culture. Some religions believe that stepping on a bug or ant is equivalent to murder. What does the Word of God say about it?

Exodus 20:13

Murderer’s Row!

As I prepared this series, I realized how little we actually preach or teach on the Ten Commandments as if they are neither important nor relevant. They are both. It was very enlightening to me to preach through them. I learned a lot! I trust this series will encourage you to also preach through the Ten Commandments!


Three weeks after her wedding day, Joanna called her minister in hysterics. "Pastor," she cried, "John and I had our first fight together! It was awful. What am I going to do?"

"Calm down, Joanna," her pastor answered, leaning back in his chair and shaking his head. "This isn't nearly as bad as you think. Every marriage has to have its first fight. It's natural."

"I know, I know," Joanna said impatiently. "But what am I going to do with the body?"

Man is a unique creation of God. In Genesis 1.26,

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.””

we find that only man was created in God’s image.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1.27;

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

“Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22

We are distinct from all animals. We have morality, dignity and personality. We have something animals do not have…a soul. God created us with His own hands. Notice the following on the soul:

נֶפֶשׁ nephesh

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion

a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man

b) living being

c) living being (with life in the blood)

d) the man himself, self, person or individual

e) seat of the appetites

f) seat of emotions and passions

g) activity of mind

Because we ARE different than the animals (in spite what the eco-religionists and secular humanists may claim) we ought to have a higher value on the creature God has created.

Very simply the scripture emphatically declares:

You shall not murder.

לֹא תִּרְצָֽח׃

No! אלֹ

1) not, no

a) not (with verb - absolute prohibition)

Murder! - ratsach תִּרְצָֽח׃

1) to murder, slay, kill

a) (Qal) to murder, slay

1) premeditated

2) accidental

3) as avenger

4) slayer (intentional) (participle)

Simple Observation 12a

What does the command apply to? Let’s answer what it does NOT apply to first…and let’s support it with scripture!

First, it does not apply to capital punishment.

“Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:6

“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.” Exodus 21:12

“Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 24:17

God is serious about putting to death one who has taken the life of another. God hates sin and murder is the ultimate form of hatred (toward God and man).

Second, it does not apply to self-defense.

“If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.” Exodus 22:2

Protecting your family’s life is paramount. No one has the right to violate this command upon your family.

It does not apply to accidental killing.

“As when a man goes to the woods with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he shall flee to one of these cities and live” Deuteronomy 19:5

Accidents happen. This is an instance where a life is accidently taken.

It certainly does not apply to killing an animal. (or bugs/insects)

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Genesis 9:3

I have a couple of friends (Larry O and Jim G) who kill crawfish with their 22’s. To them, they are protecting their property. The crawfish make a BIG mess in their front yards.

And it does not apply to wars.

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