Most of us have some recollection of the Ten Commandments...Few of us know that it was the beginning of Mosaic law. Fewer yet know that it was the 6th commandment etched in stone by God himself atop mount Sinai more than 2000 years ago. God had just taken his chosen race out of Egyptian bondage and knew that they needed some basic laws to live by during their journey to the "promised land."This was the beginning of their 40 year trek from Pharaoh to freedom, as was agreed to, years prior, by a special covenant made between our Lord, Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Their outstanding faith in God was rewarded with the end of their slavery.
Killing was not new to the Hebrew nation and had been around since Cain slew Abel out of jealousy over an offering to God. Today killing is a part of our daily lives. We read about it, we see it on television, we keep statistics on it, we create games that glorify it, we execute the guilty, and we wage war whenever and wherever we deem appropriate, and yet God Almighty said back then, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Add to that there are thousands of deaths recorded in the Bible, including wiping out entire cities and/or races of people. The 12 tribes developed some skills in the wilderness that came in handy when they had to eradicate entire tribes of people as they occupied the "promised land." Throughout the centuries after the 6th Commandment, we have slaughtered each other mercilessly in the name of freedom, in the name of religion, in the name of slavery, in the name of oppression, in the name of homeland security, in the name of democracy, in the name of poverty and in the name of revolution.
If you read a Bible and chart the killings from beginning to end, you have to be appalled at some level. Add to that all those that were killed by God himself, plus our own recorded history, and you see that this commandment was never taken seriously. I call this a conundrum of major proportion. Did God not mean it? Did He make a mistake? Was there a double standard, one for Him and the chosen, and one for everyone else. Well you get the picture...We have a conundrum!
For me, I live for the challenge of solving a conundrum...Before we get started, we must lay some ground rules. I can hear Moses saying the same thing to the throng of Israelites that just watched the Red Sea swallow all those Egyptian soldiers. The Ten Commandments were God's ground rules.
Anyway, here goes:
- God is alive and well, dwelling up in Heaven. Yes, I said up, because He put it above the "firmament."
- God does not make mistakes. I am free to ask the hard questions, but never would I challenge his Holiness. That would be arrogant and insubordinate of me.
- God means what he says. I can ask the question, but will never impune His integrity or honesty.
- God has no double standards. He has one standard. It is on every page of scripture in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It's called "sinlessness." This is not a real word, but it makes my point the best. God's laws were put in place to make us sin less, not sinless. None of us, including the Israelites of old can ever be sinless. You can get close with the blood sacrifices in the Old Testament, but you can never become pure in God's eyes, unless you are made clean by the only blood sacrifice that counts, Jesus Christ.
Why don't we take this SIMPLE, four (4) word Commandment seriously? THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Here is what's going on with this Commandment and every other part of God's law. It's a repeat of history that is easy enough for all of us to get our minds around. In the Garden of Eden, a Serpent taught Eve how to rationalize her way around God's clear words, given directly to both Adam and her. She said he "beguiled" her, but really Eve never took responsibility for her sin. Adam blamed it on her, Eve blamed it on the Serpent, and in the end they all gave up not just Eden, but walking and talking with God on a daily basis. God made the Serpent pay, made Eve pay, and made Adam pay. All of their lives changed in an instant.
In today's world, Adam and Eve would have gotten a high priced attorney to represent their maligned interests. They would have placed the blame on God by rationalizing away what he said with a new interpretation. They would emerge as having been victimized by God for making one tree off limits. He had no right to do so and caused undue stress on the real victims in this trial. Also, as it turns out God was being selfish by keeping the knowledge of right and wrong away from the defendants. And finally, the Serpent should not only get his arms and legs back, but he should be able to sue God personally in civil court for treble damages.
If you learn nothing else after reading this, may it be that God always means exactly what he says...It's not up for debate, interpretation or rationalization, so do not kill anyone for any reason whatsoever, because it is breaking God's immutable law. God knows all the serpents out there in our lives telling us that God's word and his law, just don't apply in the "modern" world. This is just more rationalization, so that you feel not one iota of painful responsibility for your actions. Only God himself has the divine wisdom and authority to choose death for any of his creation.
Don't let the modern day serpent "beguile" you about this Commandment or any of the other nine.
The Digital Disciple
The Digital Disciple