Summary: A message on the reason God gave the 6th Commandment as well as the difference between killing and murder
You Shall Not Murder
CCCAG July 2nd, 2017
Today we will be delving into the 6th Commandment.
There are some general rules of homiletics (The art of sermon preparation and delivery) and one of the most important is to craft an introduction that draws your audience into the subject matter.
Today’s topic is too heavy to treat with a formulaic way of presenting a topic.
The word murder immediately gives even most atheists a visceral reaction. You just feel that sinking feeling in your gut.
It’s that sense of dread and foreboding, and evil that stabs at our consciousness and shoots fear into our hearts.
So I’m going to begin todays message with a pop quiz. Call out the names if you know them-
From the years 1900 to 1999, which 3 world leaders were responsible for the most deaths, and arguably the most murders?
Note- these numbers are from killing their own people or people they conquered
1. Mao- 75 Million
2. Joseph Stalin- 62 Million (1 death a tragedy, a million a statistic)
3. Adolf Hitler- 20 Million
Three world leaders are respond for 157 Million deaths or murder in the 20th Century.
That pales however to the greatest cause of murder of the 20th century into modern day.
Elective Abortion, which is defined as using abortion as birth control. This does not count danger to the mother, rape, or incest (By the way, those three reasons make up less than 5% of all abortions worldwide)
Elective abortion worldwide has murdered 1-2 Billion people since the 1960’s. Over 1 Billion is a hard fact but the number is so variable because in the 3rd world they don’t track health statistics very reliably.
God’s command is very simple. Only 4 words, with little ambiguity-
13 “You shall not murder.
Today we begin to study the “Shall Nots” that apply to how we treat each other, and how civilized society is to act.
The shall nots become even more powerful when you consider the truth that they are trying to protect, and in the case of the 6th commandment- it is the right to life.
The 6th commandment is meant to give us the freedom to exist without fear of someone harming you or yours for selfish reasons.
Today we are going to dive in and explore this idea from it’s biblical, moral, and philosophical standpoints, and why it’s so important that God put this command in His Big Ten commands for us.
First lets look at the biblical or theological truths connected with this idea of “You shall not murder”
A. Define terms-Killing Versus Murder
Many of you here learned the bible in the King James translation. The King James was written in 1611, and is a beautiful and pretty accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures.
However, the English Language has changed significantly in the last 406 years. The KJV translates this verse as “Thou Shalt Not Kill”.
So what does the bible really mean in this commandment? Does that mean all killing is forbidden?
The Hebrew word used for the termination of life in this verse is “ratsach”. Ratsach is rarely used in the bible, and was always intended to convey a premediated, hate filled termination of life- in other words, Murder.
The Hebrew language also has other words for the termination of life that convey the idea of simply killing, and even manslaughter.
By giving us this command, God is not forbidding all killing.
Human beings need to kill in order to eat, whether it’s plant or animal. We kill animal predators that would harm us or our loved ones.
Just north of here in Coral City there have been several sightings of a large black bear. If this bear decide to jump in your swimming pool with your children, you will probably want do decisively deal with that situation, preferably with a few 12 gauge slug.
We eradicate insects or vermin that carry disease.
So this law like any other law, we need to look at it from God’s perspective, as God’s word and His law are direct reflections of HIS character and holiness.
When we the apply the bible’s laws to our beliefs and lives, we do it uniformly and not in small pieces.
Let’s bring this back to how we deal with each other as human beings-
IF God is against all killing of human beings, then HE broke His own law to free Israel from captivity in the death of the 1st born in Egypt. Furthermore, if God is against all killing, then He again breaks His own law when He orders Israel to enter the promised land and kill men, women, children.
So this command cannot be a universal prohibition against all killing of human beings as God cannot order someone to do something against HIS own character.