Live 10: Life Matters (Exodus 20:13)

Feb 3 2013_Exodus 20_13_Life Matters

 In the last century, humanity has perfected the action of murder and was characterized by the newly coined word “mega-death”.
o 3 individuals: Adolf Hitler (~20million), Joseph Stalin (~62million), Mao Zedong (~75million) account for well over 150million murders. This number exceeds half the population of today’s United States.
o 21st Century is not looking any better with carry over dictators from Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Al Zarqawi, and many others in the making.

o Violence and death are scattered across our news stories every evening. “By the age of 18, the average American child will have viewed about 200,000 acts of violence on television. Before that child leaves elementary school, that child will have watched, on the average, about 20,000 murders and more than 80,000 other assaults. This means that during their most formative years, our children will witness approximately 100,000 acts of violence.”
o Governor Chris Christie said, “You cannot tell me that a kid sitting in a basement for hours playing Call of Duty and killing people over and over and over again does not desensitize that child to the real life effects of violence.”

o The Baltimore Sun reported that Baltimore recorded 217 killings, about 10% increase from the 197 in 2011. In comparison, Washington DC recorded 90 in 2011. The 2012 number was the second lowest homicide rate since the late 1980’s. Also uniquely in 2012 was the fact that more than 60% of these murders were gang related execution, rather than unplanned attacks.

o On top of these individuals responsible for death is the mass murder of over 3000 children every day the past 40years through the act of abortion.

o —–>Stalin said “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”
o Murder has become mundane and routine which is why examining the 6th Commandment is essential for us today.

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* The first 4 Commands emphasize upward relationship with God. The 5th of honoring parents are a bridge of how you relate to authority and then relating to others. The 6th Command calls for respecting life (no murder). Humorously, this following command is interesting in relationship to parents (what parent hasn’t had tense moments in discipline of a child?!; and what child hasn’t been angered with a parent?!). More seriously, the command marks the uniqueness of every person created in the image of God. Destroying human life is dishonoring to the God who created life.

In this message we will examine the command of not murdering and its application to protect & preserve human life.


EXAMINE Love Others (Life Matters) Exodus 20:1-13
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
In reviewing the 10 Commands, we are reminded of God’s exclusiveness; His desire to be solely worshiped without any idol competition. God gave the commands as an introduction to His character. God is Creator of life and Savior of from life’s enemy (sin/death). And so this command goes beyond not murdering someone to respecting life and valuing people (not committing adultery; stealing; lying; or coveting are all ways to respect & value life).

The command in Exodus 20:13 to not murder comes from a Hebrew word “rasah”, implying murder or manslaughter by intent or negligence , it is unauthorized killing and distinguished from unintentional killing [Note the KJV is imprecise here simply stating “Thou shall not kill” but the NKJV brings clarity with “murder”].

In understanding this command we must approach this with a full biblical theology; because there are many accounts of killing, war and even murder in the Bible, inclusive of God executing the judgment. God is often viewed as a warrior, mighty in battle (Exodus 15:3; Psalm 24:8). God is an avenger for His own name and glory (Psalm 99:8; 1Thessalonians 4:6). At the End Times there will be massive war, judgment and death for those whom God brings to justice (Revelation 6:8, 9:15-18, 16:6-7, 19:2-3).

What can we say about God and the elimination of numerous individuals throughout Scripture?

Revelation 19:2-3 “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just”
– God offers salvation. Those who reject Him will lose life.
– God is glorious in power and His judgments are true & just. He does not carelessly crush His enemies; God’s grace is available to all and His patience is meant to lead to our repentance. However, God’s justice requires consequence and punishment for sin.
– Ultimately, God’s justice brings peace (Revelation 21:3-4).

SO, the difference is God is holy and just. Only God has ultimate power to give and take life. In receiving this difference we may now examine the command from 3 aspects:

Physical Murder
Seemingly not long after creation of Adam & Eve is Genesis 4 of their children’s murder of each other, Cain with Abel. God held Cain accountable saying, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground…” (Genesis 4:10-11).

Later, after God’s just judgment with the Flood in Noah’s day, God commands Noah to preserve life. Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

The command: Human life is priceless and to be protected. The ‘price tag’ for taking life is another life; which may sound hypocritical at first blush but the point not to miss is that taking human life is unfathomable and deems the greatest consequence.
The principle: Human life is priceless because it personally reflects God’s image. Humanity is distinct from everything else in creation, being made in God’s image. We are unique and special.

The doctrine of creation is important and must not be compromised because it gives humanity value. The secular–humanistic world wants to remove God as Creator so that actions against one another have lesser significance or consequence, where only those in power are able to rise above consequence to silence minorities or further inequality – this is Darwinism at its peak.
Ministry in the city is becoming mandated. The church can no longer neglect the cities of America where 80% of the population live. Cities are growing at enormous rates throughout the world. Metropolitan areas are merging to shape the world socially, economically, and technologically. While this is true Christian’s have varying views on the city:
Avoid the City: Christians isolate, huddle & hide so not to be negatively influenced by world.
o Problem: Evil exists not only outside but inside (Jeremiah 17:9)
o Problem: Jesus prayed not to remove us from world (John 17)
Accommodate the City: Christians image or reflect worldly influences of the city
o Problem: Idols and God-substitutes are formed; pluralism increases
Attack the City: Christians initiate judgment on every moral wrong
o Problem: Arrogance & Pride
o Problem: Christianity becomes known for what it is against but not for what it stands
Affect the City: Christians influence the world with the power of the gospel, not self-sufficiency.
People murder people. Gun laws are essential but not the only solution. I don’t own a gun but probably should with 4 daughters. I am thankful there is at least 1 gentleman packing heat as a security officer here.
Pregnancy Clinics are central ministry in preserving & protecting life. “Baby Bottle Blitz”

In relation to people murdering people this leads to the next type of murder discussed in Scripture.

Relational Murder (demean or disgrace others – hate)
Matthew 5:21-25 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults [says Raca = empty intellectually, airhead] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ [moros = empty morally, a scoundrel] will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

Jesus is interpreting the 6th Commandment and saying it is not just about the external action but the inward attitude; from murder to anger.

– Who do you look at and every time view yourself better than them?
– Is there someone that every time you see their face you seethe in anger?
– If every thought and word were recorded and put on film for all to see, would you still have friends?

Jesus equates emotional murder with physical murder. God views our relationships with others very seriously. One whom has offended another should seek reconciliation and repent; if not then their worship is empty and they will be punished.

Ephesians 4:26-27, 29-32 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil… Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Anger reveals affections. Desires turn into demands which are idols of the heart. Anger, Bitterness and lack of Compassion are what give the devil opportunity and grieve the Holy Spirit. The key to anger is attacking problems rather than people.

Aristotle said, “those who are angry at the right things with the right people at the right time and length of time are to be praised.”

1John 4:20-21 “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Trade places with others. When you are in conflict the best thing to do is to see the circumstances from the other perspective.
James 1:19-20 “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger
of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

Forgive as you’re forgiven. Those who experience forgiveness cannot withhold it from others (Matthew 18:33).

Spiritual Murder
There is a last aspect of murder beyond physical & relational, in that of spiritual.

Ezekiel 33:7-9 “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

The Scriptures show that believers are “watchman”. We warn of God’s judgment to save lives. We have the words of life (John 6:68). Believers are reconcilers (2Corinthians 5:18). Christians are called to take the gospel of God’s love and light to the world.

And yet, when the watchman is silent then it’s as if they are accountable for murder. Christians who fail to pray, give and go for missions are spiritual murderers.

 Do you truly believe the gospel and God’s coming just judgment?

Every sinner is a murderer. Our sin murdered Jesus (Acts 2:23).

You are guilty. But God had greater purposes for Jesus’ death as He would become your substitute….





[1] quote by Senator Robert Byrd, source:



[1] Even if malice is missing and there is neglect to protect or save life then there is guilt of violating the 6th command. Deuteronomy 22:8 illustrates this for a person who fails to provide safety in constructing a building so not to incur the guilt of bloodshed.


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