Summary: A brief look at the last 5 commandments (PowerPoint slides for this talk available on request - email:

The last five commandments

Reading: Exodus chapter 20 verses 13-17


If you think your family has problems,

• Consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London;

• Wed his sweetheart Edna Harvey.

• She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother.

• That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.

• “My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother.

• My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law.

• My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew.

• But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle;

• And my own children are my cousins.”

The Ten Commandments are all about relationships.

• In fact I think the whole Bible can be boiled down to one word;

• Relationships.

• The commandments divide into two sections;

• Not five and five but four and six.

• The first four concern our relationship to God;

• Respect for God (they are upward).

• The next six concern our relationship with other people;

• Respect for others (they are across-wards).

This morning we are looking at commandments numbers 6 to 10:

(1). Respect for life (vs 13).

• N.I.V: “Do not murder”

• K.J.B: “Thou shalt not kill”

• On the surface understanding the Ten Commandments certainly is not rocket science.

• The Ten Commandments are succinct and elegantly simple.

• They make no illusions, they don’t dance around the issues,

• They get right to the point and, really,

• They don’t actually require a lot of interpretation do they?

• Even a four year old clearly understands what most of them means!

And yet in four simple, straightforward words,

• God confronts us with complex ideas;

• That require our best thinking and deepest spiritual concern.

To get to grips with this commandment:

• We need to understand the meaning of the word translated as "kill" or as "murder".

• In the original language of the Old Testament – i.e. Hebrew:

• They have a number of other words that could more accurately be translated "kill."

• This commandment does not aim at prohibiting all killing;

• Rather it is prohibiting an act of murder, i.e. taking human life with forethought

• I would suggest that this commandment means “Murder”;

• And again I want to clarify that it means in this context the taking of human life.

• Note: The context is our relationships with other people;

• And it is not talking about how we treat animals – that is another study in itself!

• Ill: Talking to Hare-Krishna’s and they will quote this verse to us meat eaters.

• But note the context of this verse is all about relationships with other people;

So two things that need to be emphasised:

• First: “Murder” means the premeditated taking of a life.

• Second : The life we are talking about is the taking of HUMAN life!


• Throughout the Old Testament the Jewish people were allowed to defend themselves;

• That is go to war against another country.

• And if you read the O.T.

• You soon notice that there were certainly quite a few wars in the Old Testament.

• But God put clear guidelines for his people when it came to war;

• e.g. Deuteronomy chapter 20 – his people were to be different! Even in warfare!


• That in the Old Testament the Law made concessions for accidental death (Es 22:2);

• But murder (premeditated act of taking a life) was a capital offense (Ex 21:12-14).

• The Bible makes it clear that life is a gift from God:

• Therefore only He has the authority to take life.

That also means we have to do some very deep soul searching;

• When it comes to issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

• Both are the premeditated taking of a life.


• Some medical students were attending a seminar on abortion,

• The lecturer faced them with this case study.

• “The father of the family has syphilis and the mother TB.

• They have four children already.

• The first is blind, the second died, the third deaf and dumb and the fourth has TB.

• The mother is now pregnant with her fifth child;

• And is willing to have an abortion if that is what you suggest.

• What would your advice be?”

• The students voted by a majority that the pregnancy should be terminated.

• The lecturer the replied; “Congratulations, you have just wiped out Beethoven”.

• The Bible makes it clear that life is a gift from God:

• Therefore only He has the authority to take life!

• “Do not murder!”

(2). Respect for marriage (vs 14).

“You shall not commit adultery”


• In 1631 Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, who were the royal printers in London,

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion