The Sanctity of Human Life
Life begins with the union of sperm and egg, as we discussed as a primary reason for honoring parents in the previous study. See Proverbs 23.22 (“father who gave you life”) and 25 (“mother…her who bore you”); ESV Bible. That union triggers a process of knitting that was designed by and has been executed by God repetitively from Adam and Eve, as God told the prophet Jeremiah (1.5) and which Psalmist David wondered about in Psalm 139.13-14. Biochemical researchers have found that ‘laminin’ is the glue of God that holds cell to cell and has a structure much like a person that the combined cells will become. (Google) This image from God is like that of God, as He stated in Genesis 1.27. Thus, we understand the sanctity placed by God on human life as being His idea, His protocol, and His intelligent design. He made you to look like Himself! You are special and greatly loved! Consequently, God gave the sixth commandment: ““You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20.13) So, how should we understand that He instructed the stoning of reprobate sons (Deuteronomy 21.18-21) and the complete annihilation of tribes of people He drove from The Promised Land (ex. 1 Samuel 15.3).
A. Our understanding must be in error; God’s purpose never is.
The Hebrew word God used for ‘murder’ includes “causing human death through carelessness or negligence”. (Note to Exodus 20.13, ESV) Thus, cessation of life is the central issue to God; you shall not cause life to cease.
In Genesis 4.10, God required of Cain about Able, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” Your blood, too, has a voice that speaks to God! Your blood IS your life, as God stated in Leviticus 17.14. The blood of sacrificed animals was to be poured on the ground at the base of the altar (Leviticus 4.25), just as Jesus’ blood ran down the Cross and was absorbed by the ground (John 19.33-34). With the pouring of their blood onto the ground, their lives ceased. But, what a transfusion Jesus received in the tomb!
Life can, also. cease without the draining of blood from the body, as with the stoppage of the beating heart or an aneurysm or with the suffocation of the lungs. Since the blood cannot flow the assigned four feet with each beat, the oxygen necessary for the muscles and brain cannot be delivered in time to sustain life. [Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner and have never played one on stage or in broadcast. So, these causes of death may not be described accurately. But, the effect is still the same.]
Carelessness, negligence, premeditation, or accident: all are ‘murder’ to God by “causing human death”.
B. Is the weapon important?
We understand murder by gun, blunt object, sharp object, automobile, cigarettes, drugs, etc.
What about words, like in the fulfillment in Proverbs 12.6a of Proverbs 1.11-12? The following persons committed suicide after being bullied with words: Jadin Bell, Tyler Clementi, William Arthur Gibbs, Ryan Patrick Halligan, Jamie Hubley, and Megan Meier. Powerful words destroy self-worth and invite satan’s demons to deceive, ultimately. Proverbs 12.18a!
Lord Jesus’ half-brother understood the power of the tongue to destroy and stated such in James 3.8-9. Note, especially, his last statement there: with our tongues, we curse “people who are made in the likeness of God.” He understood the important rationale for the sanctity of human life: the likeness of God! Consider one of God’s criteria in His Great White Throne Judgment given in Genesis 9.5. There are consequences for bullies, too!
How can dumping industrial waste and sewage become a weapon?
Could personal or legislated preference for animals, trees, etc. cause human life to cease?
The ‘image of God’ is to be developed, not destroyed! Any change of your attitude and/or action?
C. So, what about killing in war?
Specifically, God gave Moses victory over the Amalekites and pronounced their judgment in Exodus 17.8-16. Why? In Deuteronomy 20.16-18, Moses relates God’s instructions to Israel’s fighters. What is God’s rationale, in verse 18? His concern for human life goes beyond preserving it to keeping evil from infecting the culture of the Israelites, resulting in turning their hearts and minds away from the living God. Leviticus 18 lists their abominations, including homosexuality (verse 23) and abortion (verse 21); generally, verses 24 and 27 (is verse 28 a warning for Americans?).
How do you connect Deuteronomy 20.18 to the United States killing enemy combatants in WWII, Vietnam, and ISIS? What about them was/is offensive to God? Does this contribute to our understanding of the Crusades of 1095-1291 AD?
God always holds out hope for the reconciliation of the person to Himself and, thus, refrains from annihilation until all else has failed. Consider Elisha’s actions in 2 Kings 6.14-23. God gave Pharaoh enough opportunity to change, but he would not because he disdained God; seek Exodus 5.2 and 14.23-28.
God protects us from aberrant philosophies, even if He has to cease the the combatants’ lives in war. What is the connection of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6.22-23 to Paul’s in Colossians 2.8 and 2 Corinthians 4.4?
Are the actions of satan and some people in Matthew 13.18-22 murder? Do these cause human life to cease?
God sanctified human life when He decided to make man in His image. He will hold everyone accountable who ceases human life. What do Ezekiel 3.17-19 and 33.7-9 have to do with this? Why did God repeat this same warning twice? Remember, however, that He will forgive you for ceasing human life; this is not the ‘unpardonable sin’. Murder is pardonable by God. But, there may be consequences in our courts of law.
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015. www.sozoclass.com.