You shall not murder.
Murder was never really a reoccurring problem in my youth group. Growing up I was taught the Ten Commandments in Sunday School, VBS, and church, yet I don’t think the fifth commandment was ever a sticking place in those studies. Murder just isn’t something most church going young believers are tempted with on a regular basis. How then, does this commandment from the Lord become relevant to young adults? Here are a couple of insights you may have never thought about before.
It’s about more than murder. The first commandment speaks to more than the act of taking another life. It encompasses the overall sanctity of human life. When the Lord commands, “You shall not murder,” He is reminding us that He is the giver of life and that no man has the right to take it from another… or even one’s self. We find then, that within the command to not murder lie the precepts against abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and even the intent to harm another.
It’s a reminder of our human nature. As is true with all of God’s commandments, murder is not some random rule that the Lord picked out of nonexistence and set in order. Rather, it’s a direct reflection of His nature. In comparison, following the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, humanity’s nature is tainted by sin and capable of the most heinous crimes against the nature of God. It is important for you to study the Word of God from an early age in order that you might know and embrace the reasoning behind His commands. Never assume, “That’s beyond me,” but rather, protect yourself from any yielding thoughts or temptations in the future. To abstain from murder, or any other sin, is not so you can say, “I obeyed the Lord,” but so that you might become all the more distant from your human nature and closer to that of the Lord’s.
It’s a reminder of the Lord’s hatred over such crimes. The fall semester of my sophomore year in college one of my friend’s from home experienced the murder of her mother at the hand of her father, who committed suicide after taking her mother’s life. As anyone would imagine, this was a difficult obstacle for the church and myself to overcome. One cannot even conceive of the impact it must have had on my friend and her family. This was a stern reminder to me of the fact that I am not sheltered from the affects of murder. Even greater though, it proved to heighten my understanding of God’s hatred towards murder. My friend’s mom was no more than that to me; I had met her only once, yet, at the taking of her life, I had to deal with strong emotions of hatred towards her father. How much greater did the Lord know this woman… and love her as the One who created her! Holy and sinless, my God’s hatred, not for her father but for the sin, is unimaginable. This was extremely helpful to me in my time of need. Instead of blaming God for allowing this to happen, I realized that it was the natural outcome of our fallen nature and that God’s heart was broken much more that anyone else affected by the sin.
The next time you read, “You shall not murder,” I pray that the realization of abortion, euthanasia, suicide, your own fallen nature, the nature of God, and His amazing hatred towards sin would overwhelm your spirit. The fifth commandment is very relevant to you!