Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 20:13 (NIV)
“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 (MSG)
““You shall not commit murder (unjustified, deliberate homicide).” -AMPLIFIED
As has been stated, the next five commandments deal with our relationships with others, in general. God has set some standards, but He expects us to follow.
The sixth commandment deals with murder. This would be a premeditated, deliberate act against another human being. Not an accidental death (Accidental deaths will be dealt with later). The Hebrew word for “murder” is “ratsach” and it means refers to a deliberate and unlawful killing. God set into place rules to protect the sanctity of life.
As many of us know, the first murder happened when Cain killed his brother Able, because he was jealous of him. We can find this story all the way back in Genesis 4, “Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him. God said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “How should I know? Am I his babysitter?” God said, “What have you done! The voice of your brother’s blood is calling to me from the ground. From now on you’ll get nothing but curses from this ground; you’ll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother. You’ll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You’ll be a homeless wanderer on Earth.” -Genesis 4:3-12 (MSG)
By looking at this story we can pick out a couple of triggers that could lead to murder if left unchecked; namely: jealousy, a temper, anger, hostility, and brooding or dwelling on what you think is an injustice to yourself. Cain did all of these things and by doing so he allowed that anger to eat at him from the inside until it came out by murdering his brother.
Jesus truly set the standard high when He shared these words, “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be guilty before the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fiery hell.” -Matthew 5:21-22 (AMP)
God’s command that we do not kill is built on the fact that all human life is considered sacred. It is our job to protect and preserve it at all costs; for every person was created in the image of God. Life, itself, is an amazingly precious gift from God. Let us treat each person with the dignity and value that God extends to each of us.
Lord, I believe that you created every man, woman and child in your image. They are all precious in your sight. May I never allow my anger to be given free reign; leading me to do something that would take another’s life and could never be changed. Help me to follow Your example and love others. Let this love be in me that was also in Christ Jesus. He humbled Himself and became a servant; never demanding His rights, but always putting others before Himself. Let me be like you Jesus!