May 17, 2015 The Sanctity of Human Life

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!

Jesus warned about the tempering of your words in Matthew 5.21-22 and 12.36-37. The Apostle John was more direct in 1 John 3.15. Thus, the Apostle Paul cautioned fathers in Ephesians 6.4.

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?

How do David’s words in Psalm 139.19-22 align with Paul’s in Colossians 2.8-10? What is your responsibility?

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.  

May 3, 2015 Honor Your Father and Mother

Honor Your Father and Mother

Ravi Zacharias has said that his research of all the world’s religions concludes that each includes this commandment is some form. (Mind Games, part 1, 141129) Why would even aberrant philosophies agree with God’s pronouncement that parents are to be honored? What does ‘honor’ mean in this use? Why did God connect a promise, especially this particular promise, to honoring parents? Must they ‘earn’ our honor? Exodus 20.12.

A. Authority

God placed ‘honoring parents’ as the first of six commandments that Jesus summarized as ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. (Matthew 22.39) It was the first on the second table of Laws from God.

David Jones has written the following intents of each of the six: “In summary, the fifth commandment addresses the sanctity of human authority; the sixth commandment addresses the sanctity of human life; the seventh commandment addresses the sanctity of relational intimacy; the eighth commandment addresses the sanctity of material stewardship; the ninth commandment addresses the sanctity of truth; and the tenth commandment addresses the sanctity of motives.” [Jones, David W. (2013-11-01). An Introduction to Biblical Ethics (B&H Studies in Christian Ethics) (Kindle Locations 3757-3760). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.]

Why is it important that God began this list, as Jones states, with ‘authority’? How does Genesis 1.26-27 answer this? How does Psalmist David’s Psalm 8.4-8 add to our understanding? How do Jesus’ words in Luke 10.19 add to David’s list? Do you have ‘authority’ in both physical and metaphysical realities?

Notice that God placed Himself above all ‘authority’, in Exodus 20.2-3, as the first of four commandments regarding man’s relationship with Him. How is the importance of this revealed in Romans 14.12 and Matthew 12.36, 16.27?

So, accountability for authority exercised is to be anticipated by us.

Parental authority is earned by procreation. Note the fulfillment of Genesis 1.28 in Proverbs 23.22, 25.

Parental responsibility is more than procreative, however. What do Genesis 18.19 (Ephesians 6.4) and Exodus 2.9 give as the responsibilities of each?

So, part of our accountability before God’s authority will include how we have honored our parents’ authority over us and how they fulfilled their responsibilities to us.

B. The Promise

The Apostle Paul commented on the promise in Ephesians 6.1-3. What does he seem to add to the promise? This is because he is quoting Deuteronomy 5.16. Was Moses wrong to add this? How consistent is this with Jeremiah 7.23? Note God’s connection of obedience to wellbeing.

While v. 1 speaks of action, this term [‘honor’] speaks of attitude, as Paul deals with the motive behind the action,” writes John MacArthur in Ephesians 6.1. Then, God judges greater the attitude behind the action of honoring; thereby, making an inexpensive, especially hand-drawn, card at least equal to an expensive, name-brand watch given to honor a parent. Older parents spell ‘love’ like adolescent children do: t-i-m-e.

How does Paul’s admonition in Hebrews 13.17 express the right attitude in a similar expression of honor?

Experience this attitude in Solomon’s words about his father, King David, in (my suggested reading order) Proverbs 4.1-4, 1.8, 7.1-3, 3.1. Solomon, also, remembered the promise of length of day in the land.

Why would God tie the attitude and action of honoring parents to the span of years in the Promised Land? What answer does Jeremiah 12.3-4 give? Job 31.38-40? Deuteronomy 20.17-18 (18.9-13)? Why is 1 Samuel 15.28 the same idea? Jeremiah 27.5 and Hosea 14.9 give the same answer.

C. A Warning

If attitude and actions correspond in honoring parents, what actions express attitudes dishonoring them? Again, learn from Solomon’s wisdom: Proverbs 19.26, 28.24.

Jesus, even, pointed out Solomon’s last warning, in Matthew 15.3-6. Note how lust and pride had blinded they eyes of the Pharisees to cause the people to sin! What was their sin?

In Deuteronomy 21.18-21 (and Leviticus 20.9, Exodus 21.15, 17) Moses spoke God’s warning about children who would not honor their parents by attitude and action. Note the rationale in Deuteronomy 21.21. Do you think this would quell the riots in our cities?

Jesus said a day would come when children would have parents killed because of the name ‘Jesus’. See Matthew 10.21, 35 and Luke 12.51-53, 21.16. Note how similar Jesus’ words are to Micah 7.6.

Paul warned Timothy of this in 2 Timothy 3.1-7. Are we there yet?

Could this cause us to ‘lose our land’, our time being shortened in the land God gave to our forefathers? Could this be why only a fleeting mention of the United States is given in Daniel 7.4 (clipping the wings of the eagle: perhaps faith and freedom)?

D Is God serious about honoring authority, especially Himself, our parents, ‘authorities’, and one another?

Are we?

Leviticus 19.3a!

Note Jesus’ attitude, that it was consistent to this from His youth, in Luke 2.51, to His death, in John 19.26-27.

Attitude and actions expressing honor!

Praise God!!!Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.