THERE’S MORE TO MURDER THAN TAKING A LIFE
Exodus 20:13 (NKJV)
13 “You shall not murder.
Every second in the world, one person is shot, stabbed, beaten, or strangled to death. It seems that no matter where you turn in our society, or even our world, there are murders. It’s on the television, internet news and movies as fiction. It’s on the streets and next door as a brutal reality. It’s a reality.
With a murder rate of approximately 10 in every 100,000, your chances of being murdered are far greater than your chances of dying in an airplane or automobile car crash. Murder is a horrible crime against God and against one’s fellow man. It may be the greatest offence of all given the enormity of death and what follows thereafter. Imagine taking a person’s life and that person going immediately into Hell.
Now, the 6th Commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” It literally means, “Thou shalt not murder.” You see, while all murder is killing, not all killing in murder. Murder is more than just taking a life! Murder can be defined as the premeditated and intentional taking of another human life.
Accidental killing would not be classified as murder. Take an example from the Bible. In Numbers 35:11-28, God gave Israel regulations for “Cities of Refuge.” These were cities to which someone who had unintentionally killed another human could flee to avoid the “avenger of blood.” If you were involved in an automobile accident and accidentally killed another human, then you would not be a murderer.
Capital punishment would not be considered murder. God, in his Word lays down the principle that for certain offences, man has the right to terminate another human life, Gen. 9:6; Num. 35:16-18, Lev. 24:17. Whether or not you personally agree with capital punishment or not, it is plain to see that the Bible authorizes it in cases of murder.
Killings that take place in the exercise of “just war” would not be classified as murder. Throughout the history of the world, nations have had to defend their borders or other weaker nations against aggressive enemies. Even God, at various times, has ordered His people onto the field of battle. Those who kill in “just war” are not murders. However, those who engage in brutality and atrocities are murderers!
Killings that are the product of self-defense cannot be classified as murder. Often, police officers must kill in the line of duty. Homeowners may have to kill an intruder to protect home and family. These people are not murderers. Sometimes, people are attacked and must defend themselves. When they kill the attacker in the process, they are not classed as murderers.
However, there are times when killing is murder. That is what this commandment speaks to and that is what we want to look into this evening.
Tonight, I want to preach for awhile on this thought, There’s More To murder Than Taking A Life!
I. MURDER INTRUDES INTO GOD’S TERRITORY
A. God Controls Man’s Entrance Into Life – When man first appeared on this planet, it was at the command of Almighty God – Gen. 1:27. The evolutionists tell us that man evolved from some lower life form. That, in fact, life began on some primordial beach where somehow, some lifeless blob of protoplasm somehow began to live. This little living blob somehow began to change and eventually all the life on the earth came from these humble beginnings.
God’s Word, however, has a different version of these events! Notice what God did in Genesis 2:7, (Note that man was made in the image of God.). Look at what David thought of the origins of human life, Psa. 139:13-16. Look also at Job’s friend Elihu’s version of his own beginnings – Job 33:4.
It is plain from these verses that mankind is the product of the creative genius of Almighty God. Since God controls the entrance of man into life, it stands to reason that…
B. God Controls The Exit Of Man From Life – We must concede that God Himself is in control of life. He is the One who establishes the boundaries across which no man can cross, Job 14:5; Psa. 104:29. It seems clear that men can do certain things that will shorten their days, Pro. 10:27; Job 15:32-33; Job 22:15-16; Psa. 55:23; Eccl. 7:17. By the same token, obedience to the Lord will lengthen a man’s days upon the earth, Ex. 20:12; Pro. 10:27; Psa. 91:16. However, these things are also subject to the sovereignty of God. No man has the right to deliberately and intentionally end the life of another, except it be for those things already mentioned. God is the giver of human life and He alone must be the taker of human life. When we take it upon ourselves to take the life of another, we have placed ourselves in the place of God. We have tried to assume His position and power. We have tried to step into an area in which we have absolutely no business.
Not only does murder Intrude Into God’s Business,
We see that…
II. MURDER INTERRUPTS A HUMAN LIFE
(Murder can be carried out in many ways. Allow me to take just a few minutes to catalogue some of them for you.)
A. A Definition Of Murder – “The unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary. That is what murder is. Now, what are the various ways it can be committed?
B. A Description Of Murder
1. Physical Murder – This is the killing of another human being. Murder has a history as long as that of the world itself. In Genesis 4:8, The first murder is recorded. In this verse, Cain deliberately and with malice, took the life of his brother Abel. It was not a killing of self-defense, it was pure murder.
Since that day, the history of the world is marked by a constant string of murders. Thank God, we live in an area where many have never been touched by the icy hand of murder. However, some have been.
2. Personal Murder – We call this act suicide. I know that some lives today have been impacted deeply by the suicide of a loved one. It leaves emotional scars that never fully heal. Therefore, I want to handle this portion of the message with extreme tenderness. When a person is driven to suicide, it is often the result of circumstances just getting out of hand. They feel overwhelmed and unable to cope any longer with their lives and they decide to end it. When they do this, they leave in their wake other destroyed lives. It is a selfish way to leave the world. Not only is it selfish, it is also sinful. Just as no man has the right to murder another, no man has the right to murder self. These things are the sole right of God Himself. We live in a time when every 90 minutes a teenager tries to take his/her life. Every 30 minutes one succeeds! When a person resorts to suicide, they are failing to avail themselves of the grace (GRACE) of God. They are refusing to allow the Lord to give them the support and the comfort they are in need of desperately.
There is another side to Personal Murder, a side of which far more are guilty. How often has a doctor told someone, “If you don’t stop this or that, then you will die?” And, how often has that person chosen to go right on with their bad habits for example smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction etc, and died? Whether it is over in a moment, or whether it takes years, the results are the same. Even suicide can be a slow process.
3. Physician Assisted Murder – Here I am referring to what is called Euthanasia or “mercy killing.” This form of death has been brought to the public’s attention by the activities of a Dr. Jack Kavorian, also known as “Dr. Death.” It seems that Dr. Death will help terminally ill persons, or those who are in extreme pain, end their lives. He does this with the aid of a “suicide machine.” The “patient” presses a button, and a lethal dose of chemicals is injected into their bloodstream, which causes death. Most of us hear this and think it is horrible and outrageous. I find it amazing that they can’t seem to convict this madman.
While we think this is barbaric, some countries around the world have legalized physician-assisted suicide. It is possible to go to the doctor and be put to death in the office. The day is coming when it will happen here too. The burden of health care for the aged, for the infirm, for the dying will be the catalyst that pushes “mercy killings” into acceptability and into law!
4. Pre-natal Murder – I am referring to abortion! According to the Bible, life begins at the very moment of conception, Psa. 139:13-16; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:41. Yet, our society seem to view the unborn human as just so much waste material to be thrown away at the mother’s convenience. Since abortion on demand was legalized in the US, there have been over 37 million abortions performed in the United States . Somewhere around 4,300 per day, or 1 every 20 seconds!
(Ill. The awful procedure called “partial birth abortion.”) Pro-death advocates claim that the mother deserves the right to choose. In my opinion, she made her choice when she decided to have sexual intercourse! Abortion is murder! It ends a human life, and that is the domain of Almighty God. When a country refuses to respect and protect the lives of it’s most helpless citizens, no one is truly safe.
I. Murder Intrudes Into God’s Territory
II. Murder Interrupts A Human Life
III. MURDER INVOLVES MORE THAN KILLING
A. Murder Involves The Element Of Justice – Murder carries with it a penalty. Ill. Matt. 5:21-22. Jesus states that murders will be punished. Some, it seems, have gotten away with murder. They will, however, face God one day and He will render perfect justice – Rev. 20:11-15.
Others have been caught, tried and convicted. Some of these are in prison and others have and will pay with their lives. This is part of murder. Many murderers have received Jesus as their Savior, yet they will still die for their crime. Is this fair? Yes it is!
(Ill. Carla Faye Tucker in Texas (US) – She murdered 2 people while high on drugs and was sentenced to die. She was saved and became a model Christian and prisoner. Many thought she should have her sentence commuted. Yet she was executed just a couple of months ago.) There is a price on murder! Ill. Rom. 13:4.
B. Murder Involves The Element Of Judgment – It is possible to murder another human being and not shed an ounce of blood, or even take their life. Murder can happen in the heart and mind and never find manifestation in reality. However, in the Lord’s eyes, the murderer is just as guilty. Notice, Matt. 5:22; 1 John 3:15. These verses teach this truth. Many people have had their reputations ruined and pure old malice and hatred have murdered their testimonies.
(Ill. Someone has said, “There are three degrees of murderous guilt, all of which can be manifested without a blow being struck: secret anger, the spiteful jeer; the open, unrestrained outbursts of violent, abusive speech.”)
Murder is more than an act of the flesh, it is an attitude of the heart.
How do we insulate ourselves against breaking this commandment? The solution is simple. All we need do is practice God’s plan for unconditional love, Matt. 18:21-35 , and absolute forgiveness of others, Eph. 4:32.
Matthew 18:21-35 (NKJV)
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
If there has been a “murderous” spirit in your heart, that needs to be repented of right now. Whoever you are angry at needs to be forgiven and that anger released. It is far better to suffer some injury than to be guilty of murder, even if it is only hurting you.