Choose Life (6 of 10) by Joe Alain

This content is part of a series.

Choose Life (6 of 10)
Series: The Ten Commandments
Joe Alain
Exodus 20:13

The sixth message in a series of ten sermons on the Ten Commandments.

''You Shall Not Murder'' Exodus 20:13, ESV

21 ''You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.'' Matthew 5:21-22, ESV

The sixth commandment as well as the seventh and eighth are expressed in only two words each in Hebrew. They could be translated simply, ''No killing, No adultery, No stealing.'' The foundation for this commandment is in the creation story, in which God made man in His own likeness (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6). Human beings are of infinite value to our Creator. Since God is the creator of all human life, all human life is sacred. Nothing is more at the heart of what has been called the Judeo-Christian tradition than the sanctity of all human life, the valuing of all human life, the born and the unborn.

As with all of the commandments, this one has a positive side. What is the other side of death? It's life! God is saying with this command, ''My people are to choose life for I am the God of life and I desire to see life.'' We are to reject murder and embrace life!

What constitutes murder? What's the difference between murder and killing in war for example? Or the death penalty? The word used here is the Hebrew word ''rasah'' and occurs 47 times in the Old Testament. It is often used of killing with premeditation, the intentional taking of a human life by an individual. This commandment has to do with premeditated murder on the part of individuals. There were provisions made for accidental deaths (see the ''Cities of Refuge'' in Num. 35:6-ff.). What this commandment does is that it takes death out of the hands ...


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