1.In Proverbs 6:16-19 we are shown how God feels about 7 things -- He hates them, and they are an abomination to Him. 2.It is unfortunate, but it is necessary for us to study the third subject in this list: "hands that shed innocent blood." 3.We constantly hear about innocent people being killed. a.We recently heard about a woman who killed her children. b.Last week a co-pilot crashed a plane, killing the passengers. 4.This certainly is not a pleasant subject, but we need to know what God wants us to know about "the shedding of innocent blood" [murder].
I.CAIN WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SHED INNOCENT BLOOD
A.(Genesis 4:8) He killed his brother Abel. B.Later, God said to Cain: "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground" (vs.10). C.God punished Cain for his deed (vs.11-15). D.After the flood (Genesis 9:5-6), God gave the penalty for shedding innocent blood. 1.God made man in His image. 2.Those who shed man's blood give up the right to live.
II.SHEDDING INNOCENT BLOOD WAS ADDRESSED IN THE LAW OF MOSES
A.(Exodus 20:13) "Thou shalt not kill." B.This is interesting because God also commanded the Israelites to take the lives of certain people. 1.Some violations of the law were punishable by death (Exodus 21:12, 15-17). 2.On several occasions God instructed the Israelites to completely destroy their enemies (Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites -- 1 Samuel 15:3). C.According to Matthew 19:18, murder was the kind of killing forbidden by God.
III.MURDER IS ALSO ADDRESSED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A.Let us first examine the teachings of Christ. 1.(Matthew 5:21-22) Jesus contrasted His will with what the Jews had been taught. 2.(Matthew 15:19-20a) He showed that murder proceeds from the heart. 3.Jesus gave 2 commands that will end murder (Matthew 22:39; 7:12). B.Let us examine the New Testament epistles. 1.(Galatians 5:19-21) Murder is described as a work of the flesh. a.Those who persist in the works of the flesh will not inherit God's kingdom. b.(Revelation 21:8) "Murderers" will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. 2.Who is responsible for punishing murderers? a.The state is responsible (Romans 13:3-4). b.God has given the state authority to administer capital punishment. c.One problem we have today is addressed in Ecclesiastes 8:11. 3.The New Testament also addresses spiritual murder (1 John 3:14-15).
IV.STEPS TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST MURDER
A.Remember that life is a gift from God. B.Remember how God feels toward those who shed innocent blood. C.Root out things from the heart that can lead to murder (anger, hatred, bitterness, greed, etc). D.Practice the Golden Rule. E.Strive to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). F.Avoid evil influence such as friends, movies, etc. (1 Corinthians 15:33).
1.We know how God feels toward those whose hands shed innocent blood. 2.Let us strive to have the kind of hands described in 1 Timothy 2:8.