Exodus 20:13 (Commandement Six) Meditation


Text (Ex 20:13, NIV):

"You shall not murder."

Amplified Rendering:

"Don't unjustly end a life. While this is directed most specifically (and emphatically) at the unjust taking of human life(1), it applies also to the unjust killing of animals, birds, reptiles, water life, insects, and vegetation—though to a lesser extent(2).

"Do your utmost to preserve, protect, and promote life. Life comes from Me and is sustained by Me(3). I AM life(4).

"Develop an enthusiasm for life and for everything that has life. Love life, and all its vibrant expressions.

"Put away hatred and malice from your heart(5). Quell your propensities to get angry over the least little things(6). To be angry with another is to wish that one harm...to wish that one were, in a manner, dashed to pieces—be it physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, sexually, socially, academically, professionally, vocationally, or avocationally. This is the general nature of fallen anger. When allowed to run its course, anger—especially when teamed with hatred, and malice—creates the murderous: that which eliminates, palsies, or crosses another person's life or right to enjoy that life. Such things sadden Me to no end.

"Become pro-life in all your ways, and resist any and all unjust life-takings: murder, abortion, embryo destruction, euthanasia, genocide, infanticide, suicide, capital punishment, despotism, totalitarianism, rape, assault, abuse, hatred, anger, revenge, racism, gossip, slander, insults, hateful speech, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, bullying, violence, brutality, wanton cruelty, food and water poisoning, and environmental destruction. If you're going to hate, hate those things! I sure do!

"In your diseased culture, murder has become prime-time entertainment. How many 'simulated' murders and acts of violence did you or your children witness this week? This is not to say all 'storied' murder portrayals are wrong. If they were, the Scriptures would be in conflict with such a statement. I ask these things only to urge you to think and take better stock of how desensitized you may have become to acts of hatred, violence, and murder. Left unchecked, such a condition can lead to a flippant disregard for the sacredness of life. In such things, watch yourselves, and guard your heart (and the hearts of those you love) closely(7)!

"Lay down your perceived social rights and privileges, and count others as better than yourself. Be hospitable: go out of your way to love others, show deference to them, and welcome them into your life(8). Do whatever you can to be reconciled to those you’ve hurt and those who've hurt you. Forgive, and do so generously, liberally, and without qualification(9). Let Me make you good(10) and help you become more unoffendable.

"Life (and the freedom to live) means everything to Me. Hence why I sent My Son to earth and, ultimately, to the cross. He died for you, so you might live freely in, with, and for Him(11). All life finds its origin and sustaining existence in Me(12). I AM YHWH—the Name of Existence. Honor Me in your life and the lives of those around you. Love; and, for the sake of life and its continuance, give yourself away to life. Again, develop a great enthusiasm for life and all its many expressions."

Consecrating Prayer:

Holy Father…

I wish to live a simple, open, and ordinary life inspired by a great love for You and for others and by an insatiable enthusiasm for life and for everything that has life.

Please keep me from any and all unjust life-takings.

In the Name of Jesus, I ask these things…

Amen.

Notes

  1. Unjust: morally wrong or unfair. While there are just reasons for killing a human being (basically, in times of self-defense or [rarely] in times of war), such killing should be avoided if at all possible. Most reasons (including most acts of war) for killing a human being are unjust. While a mass murderer may deserve to die (i.e., Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, etc.), if such a one is in custody and no longer a threat, I consider it morally wrong to ask an innocent person to execute such a person. Would you be willing to carry out such a sentence? If not, how can you, justifiably, ask someone else to do something you're unwilling to do? I consider such a request unjust.

  2. I consider the 6th commandment to include all unjust killings, including that of animals and insects. Of course, while I would certainly not apply the same rules of killing to human beings and insects, I believe a just standard of executing other forms of life (for food, to preserve public health, etc.) exists. As such, that standard should be identified, articulated, and followed. The wonton killing of any life is, I believe, prohibited by God.

  3. See Ac 17:28.

  4. See Ge 2:17 and Jn 14:6 and 17:3.

  5. See Ep 4:31, 1Pe 2:1, and 1Jn 3:15.

  6. See Ja 1:19.

  7. See Pr 4:20-27 and Mt 18:6.

  8. See 1Ti 5:10.

  9. See Mt 6:12b, Lk 17:3, Co 3:13, Ep 4:32, and He 12:4.

  10. See Ph 2:12-13 and Ti 1:8.

  11. See Jn 3:16 and Ga 5:1.

  12. See Ge 1 and 2, Jo 33:4, Ps 36:9, Jn 1:3-4, and Ac 17:28.

 

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