Devotional on the Ten Commandments with attention to the New Testament.
Sixth Commandment: You shall not murder.
Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.
2 There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds,
and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away. (Hosea 4:1-3)
Romans 8:19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Thoughts: Hosea 4, Jeremiah 7 & 19 all speak of murder as one of the causes for the exile of the people of God from their promised land and peace. It is as if God says, "If you do not choose to live in peace, you will not have peace in your life." Hosea even implies that murder affects the whole land and weather. Romans 8 in the New Testament also speaks of the whole creation groaning for the day when evil (including murder will cease). The spiritual and moral act of murder affects the physical creation. On the positive side, if we love (not sexual love- but sacrificial, serving love), it fulfills the whole law of God (Romans 13). Real love does not seek to harm our neighbor. There have been tomes written in our murderous society trying to describe the definition of murder. Today's society debates whether abortion (or what kind is murder and what is humane), euthanasia (or what kind is murder and what is humane). But the test described here is do we harm our neighbor? Do we love our neighbor? It is a good test for us as individuals. The peaceable kingdom is a kingdom where love reigns and there is no room for murder.
Certainly there are parts of Zambia and the Congo where hospitals, farms, infrastructure were destroyed by war as well as men, women, and children. Killing affects creation. Look at the "no man's land" in pictures of World War I or the aftermath of the nuclear destruction in Japan. Killing is the opposite of loving our neighbor and the peaceable kingdom.
Prayer: May my heart grow in love for neighbor, Lord.