Thursday, April 25, 2019

You Shall Not Murder

Christians and Jews alike are becoming more intimately aware of the increasing violence in the world around us, our sense of security for ourselves and our loved ones is becoming more compromised each day. Christians are called upon to turn the other cheek, this is an admonition from the Lord for us to endure insults by others rather than becoming angry and striking back in kind. We are enjoined to show the peace and forbearance that the Lord has instilled in us through Jesus Christ as a testimony to those who choose to assail us with insults and vile behavior. However neither Christians or Jews are ever expected to lie down and cower under violent physical abuse and attacks on their lives, or stand by and watch helplessly while someone else is being murdered. The only exception to that would be those whom God has called and given the strength to endure persecution and death for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Although most unbelievers don't read the bible, they are quick to point out that Christians are expected to turn the other cheek rather than respond to their insults in kind. They will insist that God is somehow conflicted by His command to not kill, and they use their limited knowledge of scripture as a bludgeon to attempt to create guilt feelings. 

God allowed for the killing of tens of thousands by Joshua and the Hebrews as they traveled to the Promised Land and later by King David as he protected Israel from the Philistines. The scriptures tell us that God loved David, because David had a shepherd's heart from the time he was a young boy protecting his father's flock from predators. These great men of the bible are examples of how God expects the head of one's household to protect and care for his family, his church or synagogue, his friends and even his neighbors in times of trouble. 

The original Hebrew text of Exodus 20:13 reads as simply as it does in English bibles with striking brevity, however it is not written you shall not kill, which is an intellectually lazy translation, it is written “You shall not murder.” Of the three Hebrew words used in Holy Scripture to describe the loss of life, the one in Exodus 20:13 "lo tirtsah" is used rarely and is much more specific when it is used in reference to “murder.” Murder is not merely the taking of someone’s life but the taking of someone’s life unjustly as in the pre-meditated malevolent murder of Able by his brother Cain. Clearly not all killing is forbidden. There are cases such as self-defense, defense of family and others, a just war and capital punishment, when taking a life is not just permitted but is required.

This is a tough subject and I am writing this to dispel any fears one might have in living up to the responsibility for the safety of those that God has entrusted to your care because we are entering into a time of great trouble. Always keep foremost in mind that there is a vast difference between having to kill to ensure one's safety and that of others, and outright murder, which is a pre-meditated malevolent act and is forbidden by God. May the Lord bless and keep you in the days ahead!

No comments:

Post a Comment