The Sixth Commandment
This is my fourteenth post on the Ten Commandments using Buddy Dano’s study: FOR THE LAND OF THE FREE: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM and the only one dealing with the sixth commandment.
I have been thinking about the sixth commandment for days trying to come up with some brilliant insight or subtle point that I can add to Pastor Dano’s work and nothing has come to me. It is important to understand what the command is prohibiting as well as what it is not prohibiting which Pastor Dano has done an excellent job with.
So, without further ado, here is Pastor Dano:
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
‘‘Thou shalt not kill.’’
In the English this commandment reads, ‘‘Thou shalt not kill.’’ However, the word ‘‘kill’’ is KATAL in the Hebrew and it is not used here. The Hebrew word used here by God the Holy Spirit is RATSACH, which does not mean ‘‘to kill,’’ but ‘‘TO MURDER.’’
There is a vast difference between killing and murder. The correct translation therefore is, ‘‘Thou shalt not murder.’’ As we see in Matthew 19:18, ‘‘He saith unto Him, Which?Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.’’
Murder denotes homicide. So once again we have a commandment designed for the protection of freedom. Did you ever notice if you are dead you cannot exercise your volition? It is amazing isn’t it? This commandment deals with the crime of murder. It prohibits murder. It is a restraint on the perpetuation of every old sin nature, and civilized society is preserved by the observation of this commandment.
The Word of God calls for capital punishment for the violation of this commandment. Genesis 9:6, ‘‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.’’ Leviticus 24:17, ‘‘And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.’’
Romans 13:1-4, ‘‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.’’
The prohibition of murder is designed for the preservation of Divine Institution #1, free will. In committing murder you are depriving another person of his life and his life of freedom. The operation of free will is the basic issue in life.
The Ten Commandments are designed to protect every free will during the whole course of human and angelic history. Salvation by faith in Christ requires the nonmeritorious exercise of your free will, and free will is cut off abruptly by an act of murder.
Those of you who have received Christ as your personal Saviour are the possessors of eternal life. Your position in Christ required an act of free will, and positive volition expresses itself in faith. And now you are no longer under condemnation. You are on your way to Heaven. You are going to a place of perfect happiness where there is no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain, no more death, for the old things are all passed away. When you die you will be ‘‘absent form the body and face to face with the Lord,’’ since you had to be alive to receive
Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Somewhere along the line you observed this commandment. Observation of this prohibition is basic to human liberty, and to function in a civilized society.
Suppose that every time you got angry at someone, you killed them. His or her freedom would be wiped out. Suppose you were to get angry and kill a thousand people in one year. There would be a thousand people who no longer possessed freedom. How can people live close together, get angry at each other, and still survive? Well, because of this Divine law. ‘‘Thou shalt not commit homicide.’’ That is how.
Murder and killing are two entirely different biblical concepts. Murder is prohibited by the Word of God. Whereas killing in defense of one’s own personal and national freedom is sanctioned by the Word of God and is absolutely necessary in many instances for the preservation of freedom. If our country is to survive as a free and independent nation, this principle should be and must be understood.
‘‘From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’’ [James 4:1-3]