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Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exodus 20:13)

Introductory Thoughts

Increasingly, so-called theologians and Bible critics claim to find what they believe to be blatant contradictions in the Bible. One such passage is found in Ecclesiastes 3:3 where the Bible says there is “A time to kill.” How can this be reconciled with the sixth commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13)? The context always determines the meaning, and the type of killing in Exodus 20:13 refers specifically to murder (see Matthew 19:18). At times, God called His people to enter into war with the goal of killing their enemies. The Bible clearly distinguishes between this type of killing and murder. Interestingly, people spend a great deal of time and strength protesting war but refuse to protest the countless murders of the unborn children that occur in the world every day. This fact serves as another of the evidences that men are not opposed to wrong but simply opposed to God and His word.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God always does right (Genesis 18:25b). He delivered Goliath into Davids hands because the Philistines were Israels enemy (1 Samuel 17:45-50). Yet, when David had Uriah killed so he could take Uriahs wife to be his own, God was very much displeased (2 Samuel 11:14-15, 26-27; 2 Samuel 12:9-10).
  • (For everyone): How can Matthew 19:18 be used prove that Exodus 20:13 speaks of a specific kind of killing? Why is it important for us to be able to understand the difference?
  • Genesis 9:6. Why does God place such a high value upon life? What does it suggest when men think so little of life that they are willing to murder others?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank the Lord for placing such a high value on your life.
  • Ask God to help you have the same concern for life.