Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Sixth Commandment

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not murder. Deuteronomy 5:17 (NIV)

This is one of those commands that is not determined by the state authorities like the 55 mph speed limit. The laws about murder in the states were written because God already had the law.

This law says and means “murder.” The King James Version says, “Thou shalt not kill.” All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder. Even without knowing the Hebrew language, we can tell from a textual study of Exodus 20 and 21.

The command was given in Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.” In Exodus 21:12 we see a requirement for capital punishment for the person who commits murder. Verses 13 and 14 then distinguish the difference between what we now call second- and first-degree murder.

Some of our states forbid capital punishment for murder but require it for other offenses. The solution then becomes to murder the witnesses to one of these other offenses, because if convicted for the other offense, capital punishment is the result. If convicted for the murder of the witnesses, on the other hand, life imprisonment is the only result.

If a person is already in prison for life without parole, then murder in prison receives no greater punishment than that which the prisoner already has.

We are well aware of the great number of murderers in this country. Handguns make murder convenient, but they are not the cause of murder. There are many causes, two of which are “hatred” and “greed.”

There is a preventative for physical murder.

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NIV)

You can contact me by calling (208) 883-0997 or by sending an email to ccm@moscow.com. Our web address is http://ccmbooks.org.

(Taken from Good News/Bad News)

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