Summary: A brief look at the last 5 commandments (PowerPoint slides for this talk available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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;
• 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!