You shall not kill. The Hebrew word for “kill” is a word modern translations render “murder.” The Hebrew word can be used in contexts where one is killed intentionally or unintentionally. In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus develops what we are to understand. The command “thou shalt not kill” is a moral failing that begins in the heart before it shows itself in criminal activity.
Consider some numbing information: some in Western society are supportive of the moral failing associated with euthanasia, otherwise known “mercy” killings. If the outcry surrounding abortion is any indication, the current outcry surrounding “mercy” killings will soon die down (pun intended). It’s a shame that so many people now recognize such killings as part of our lives. In Holland, euthanasia has been in practice for decades. In December 1998 the British Medical Journal reported that in 1995 there were 900 cases of non-voluntary euthanasia victims.
The Dred Scott case of the Supreme Court in 1857 said slaves were not legal persons. The Supreme Court, in 1973, said in effect that children in the womb are not either. It was two lawyers who defended Norma McCorvey’s right to kill her child. These lawyers, it is said, had no interest in Norma as a person (surely, they did not have any interest in any child that would be in the womb either!). They just wanted to challenge the law prohibiting killing of the innocent in all 50 states. They got their wish when in 1973 the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Satan’s work.
Some argue, in their lack of moral wisdom, the child in the womb is not viable; it may be life, but not viable life. This is man’s attempt to justify an action the Lord will never accept. “Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they may enlarge their border” (Amos 1:13, ASV, emphasis added, RT).
The shame of it all is associated with people who have become hardened to the moral failings of society. We all have our own political interests. They are varied. We ought not to think, however, our varied political interests are an acceptable approach to the Lord as we vote one political philosophy, relegating the Lord’s holiness and virtue out of our public sector under the banner of “separation of church and state.” When a person votes into office a man or woman who compromises the Lord’s way, this is a contribution to the slaughter of the innocent. The attorneys who defended the killing of the innocent to the Supreme Court will give an account to the Lord, as those who ruled against moral virtue back in 1857. Why do we think it will be any different with our individual votes?
Capital punishment does not fall under the Lord’s prohibition, as can be seen throughout the Scriptures. Capital cases are not related to the innocent, but to the guilty. Capital cases are seen for the following crimes/sins: striking or cursing a parent; blasphemy; sabbath breaking; witchcraft and false pretensions to prophecy; adultery; unchastity (of various sorts); rape; incest; abducting people for slavery; idolatry; false witnessing; murder (N-ISBE, volume 3, pp.1052-1053).
APPLICATION. The principle of this command, in a New Testament context, is our obligation to the Lord as far greater than any obligation given to man, including the political arena as well. It is a moral outrage that any Christian would support what is inherently evil! We will answer for it. One violates the Scripture because of where the heart is. RT