Summary: The seven things God hates.
Passage: Proverbs 6:16-19
Title: The Hands
Interesting Statement: According to the FBI roughly 45 people are murdered a day (not include suicides (self murder) and abortions (pre-birth murder). That is a staggering statistic considering I’ve never heard a sermon preached on the topic of murder… until now.
Introduction: Proverbs 6:17 says God hates “hands that shed innocent blood”, a reference to murder (meaning those who take away the lives of other humans who have not been guilty of any sin or crime). Those “hands that shed innocent blood” are defiled, deserving to die by the laws of God or men as they destroy God’s image and are like the devil, which was a murderer from the beginning. As Christians we must cling to three things as we unpack this text…
#1: We Must Love (Honor) Life
• Explanation: It is important to know the reason why God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” is because God is the creator of life, not death. God loves life as He is the “living” God (Jeremiah 10:10) who gives life and breath to all…
o “Then the LORD formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
o “This is what God the LORD says-- the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it…” Isaiah 42:5
o “He (God) himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:25
• Illustration: According to Richard Needham there are seven stages of life: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills – All of those started with birth, life, given to us by God the Father.
• Application: Life is sacred, not because man is special, but because God created it and defends it.
o Do we love life like God loves life? Do we defend life because God loves life?
• Contemplate that for a moment…
#2: We Must Obey (Submit to) God’s Word
• Explanation: The creator God and lover of life demands punishment for murder (“hands that shed innocent blood”) because this comes from the devil. Satan was a murderer from the beginning and so are the devils children. Where do we get that?
o Old Testament – After the flood, God established a new covenant with Noah (perhaps because people might believe God didn’t value life). In that covenant there was responsibilities (laws) for man and promises from God. The Noah covenant demonstrated how much God holds life to be sacred, ensured stability and order of the world. People through this covenant would learn human law was necessary for the stability of life and that wickedness should not go unpunished. This is the beginning of human government established by God.
• NOTE: While OT law commanded the death penalty for murder and other crimes we must remember that where there is law, there is grace (enter NT). God shows mercy when the death penalty was due (David committed adultery and murder but God did not demand his life be taken (2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14-17; 2 Samuel 12:13).
o New Testament – After God’s new covenant with us in regards to sending Jesus we see how every sin we commit should result in the death (“the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23) but God demonstrates His love for us in not condemning us (Romans 5:8).
• Illustration: “Wait… so what we are saying is that Jesus is against capital punishment?” Remember the story when the Pharisees caught the woman in adultery asking Jesus if she should be stoned. Jesus replied, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). At that moment, Jesus never rejected capital punishment but instead exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. No!
o The Pharisees tried to trick Jesus into breaking OT law. They could have cared less about the woman (after all, where was the man caught in adultery as well?)
• Application: God instituted capital punishment (death) for those that “shed innocent blood” and Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances but would also stress the importance of mercy and grace when capital punishment (death) was due (John 8:1-11). Paul also recognized the power of God’s law but also stressed the government institutions under God’s Word to institute capital punishment where appropriate. Therefore, two conclusions on obeying God’s Word…
Conclusion #1: Remember God’s Word is Our Ultimate Authority (2 Peter 1:20-21)
God (in the OT) instituted capital punishment. It would be audacious of us to think that we could institute a higher standard. God perfect standard is thee standard, demanding punishment for “hands that shed innocent blood”. However, God, in His infinite love now offers mercy and grace for the transgressions of the law as they are covered and forgiven under the blood of Christ.