2004-08-20 - The Sixth Commandment
The Ten Commandments, Part 6
Exodus 20:13 (NASB)You shall not murder.
Through the years, there have been many misconceptions about this commandment. Some have opposed capital punishment because of it. Others believe it prohibits abortion. But the translation of the verb is literally "murder," which means "to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice."
The verse does not refer to capital punishment. In fact, the same book of the Law also instructs God's people to use capital punishment to punish those who commit the crimes of murder, kidanpping or even Aggravated Assault against a parent. (See Exodus 21:15-17).
But the sixth commandment does demonstrate the value of the gift of life. And the value of life is not limited to our biological beings. There are other ways we can "kill" people without using a weapon.
We can kill someone's spirit with constant criticism or unloving behavior.
We can kill someone's chances for a productive life, by telling him he will never amount to anything.
We can kill a person's ability to have a healthy, quality life by denying him or her the basic necessities that many of us take for granted, like food or shelter.
I challenge you to remember that every human being is someone created in God's image, and his or her life is valuable. Let's treat them that way.