Thou Shalt Not Kill

Title: Thou Shalt Not Kill

Bible Book: Exodus 20 : 13

Author: Kenneth Hendricks

Subject: Murder; Ten Commandments



The question of killing has been on the minds of people since time began. It all started, not with Cain and Abel as many of us suspect, but with Satan’s attack on Eve. Remember God said, In the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. Even though the heart had not stopped beating the sentence of death was passed to all men. We all died that day! Satan is a murderer. This is the context and reference to which our command applies. At first sight this command seems to be straight forward and simple. However, a closer look will reveal its deep truth. 

I. Who is responsible, vs. 13.


A. Who is included, vs. 13.

Thou… vs. 13. No matter how you look at the word thou it is the modern day word “you”. This commandment is forceful. It’s directed to each individual; to every person on the earth. The reason God points this command to individuals is important. Only you can control yourself! Listen closely here! It’s you and you alone who controls your desires, passions, greed, anger, wrath and how you obtain revenge. It’s a sad fact but many of us here today would not be alive if it wasn’t against the civil law to murder people! We give little or no thought to the fact that God said, Thou shalt not kill. Most people today aren’t fazed by what God wants with their reason being; it only matters if I think its right or if I really want to do it. Few know or understand not my will but Thine be done. God says in this command that you’re responsible for your actions. You keep yourself in check. Not only do we see who is included, but also:


B. What is included, vs. 13

. …shalt not kill., vs. 13. The word kill is the Hebrew word “rasha” which means premeditated, planned, deliberate, unauthorized murder or killing. It’s absolutely necessary that we make it clear that this is not a blanket command! There are times the word of God says that the taking of another life is permitted. Just as a child is to obey his parents until he is told to disobey God or the laws of humanity; there are exceptions to this command also! Capital punishment Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. A declared war, Deuteronomy 13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.; I Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. In cases of adultery, incest or homosexuality, Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. The reason for this is that God created man in His image and such sexual acts would destroy the dignity, honor and purpose God had in creating us. Accidental killing, Deuteronomy 19:5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live: Self-defense, Exodus 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood [be shed] for him. The killing of animals for food, Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. This command is clearly addressing an act committed by a person with anger or ill intent with the purpose of ending life. Notice not only who is responsible, but also:

II. What is revealed, vs. 13.

A. The difference between physical murder and sickness, vs. 13.

…not kill, vs. 13. Murder, again, is an act of violence against another person; to bring an end to their life. Sickness is a condition beyond our control. Let me stop right here while I have your attention. No one will go to hell for breaking one or all of the Ten Commandments. You’ll miss the blessings that God has for you in this life. The point here is that you cannot say a person will go to hell for taking his life but not for disobeying his parents or giving honor to God! The same sentence falls to each of us who disobey the Ten Commandments; separation from God’s perfect will for our lives. Nothing more; nothing less. People who commit suicide are, without a doubt, mentally ill at that time in their life and as a result forfeit God’s plan for their life. They have not committed murder but rather have died as a result of a mental condition. That’s why someone can escape the penalty of death if declared insane; not responsible. No matter what form of death you bring upon yourself the penalty is the same. Not only do we see the difference between physical murder and sickness, but also:

B. The difference between spiritual murder and salvation, vs. 13.

…kill… vs. 13. There’s more than one way to die. To die physically is one thing; to die spiritually is another. To clarify “A” above; how you die physically is not addressed in any detail in God’s word; how you die spiritually is. Listen! Get this once and for all! Saved people go to heaven! Unsaved people go to hell! It’s not how you die that matters to God; it’s what decision you made in life regarding Jesus Christ as your Savior that matters! Its spiritual murder not to accept Jesus as Savior of your life and that is unforgivable!

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