"Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13
Every human life is a creation of God, and every human life is precious to God. Why? Because God created man in His own image and Jesus Christ died for all people (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7, 21-22; 9:5-6; Psalm 139:13-16; 1 John 2:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:15).
Except in cases of punishing evildoers and waging just wars to protect life and property, God has reserved for Himself the right to end or destroy any human life (Gen. 9:5-6; Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17; Psalm 31:15; 39:4-5; 90:1-3; Job 14:1-12; Acts 17:24-28). The Bible teaches that the practice of euthanasia, abortion, self-inflicted death (suicide), and all other unjustified taking of human life is murder and sin.
Most feel they have kept this commandment of the LORD as long as they have not actually killed or murdered another human being. However, as we see from the Scriptures, this commandment is far more reaching than the act of murder itself.
Exodus 21:29 and Deuteronomy 22:8 expand this commandment to manslaughter -- the taking of human life through carelessness or negligence.
Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, says: "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt. 5:22). The Apostle John also writes: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15).
Perhaps you have not actually killed another person, but have you ever hated someone or called him a fool or empty-headed? If so -- and which of us has not -- you are guilty and condemned by this commandment of the LORD! This is why the Scriptures tell us "there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccl. 7:20); and that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
It is also the reason why each of us needs to repent -- acknowledging our sins and failures to keep God's holy commandments in our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds, and trusting in the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of Messiah Jesus as full payment for our sins. In the crucified and risen Jesus, we sinners find mercy, forgiveness, and life everlasting!
Dear Lord Jesus, true Son of God and true man, for the sake of Your blood, shed for us on the cross, forgive us for our failures to keep Your holy commandments. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll's devotional writings may be freely read at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]