Sermonette: Murder by Degrees


Given 07-Nov-20; 17 minutes

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The proper meaning of the verb kill or murder in the Sixth Commandment entails the calculated, premeditated or planned intent to exterminate someone while motivated by hatred or any of its cousins, such as envy or greed. Manslaughter and criminal negligence also bore appropriate penalties in the legal code established in the Torah. Realizing that tragic accidents sometimes happen, God made provision for mercy through the institution of the "cities of refuge." God also showed mercy to King David for his premeditated murder of Uriah, based on his repentance. If one hates his brother, he is a murderer and forfeits his eternal life if he does not repent. One can engage in harmful diet and lifestyle activities (e.g., substance abuse) which, if continued, leads to an early death—a suicide on the installment plan. Suicide is more problematic than other forms of murder because, after one has exterminated himself, there is no opportunity to repent. God's called-out ones must curtail "installment plan" serial sins which carry them to a fatal point of no return.