July 18, 2021

Live by the Spirit: The Sixth Commandment

Passage: Numbers 35:9-28
Service Type:

Today we will be considering the Sixth Commandment where God says, “You shall not murder.”
Or as some Bible translations state it, “You shall not kill”. All in all, this seems like one of the
easier commands to keep. Very few people ever go so far as to “murder” a fellow human being.
However, there’s a bit more to understand from this the command. Leviticus 19:16 explains the
Sixth Commandment further saying, “Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I
am the Lord.” In other words, this is about protecting and preserving the life of your neighbor.
Q&A 105 of the Heidelberg Catechism says, “I am not to belittle, insult, hate, or kill my neighbor
– not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture, and certainly not by actual deeds.”

This is an excellent summary of God’s Will – too bad it seems impossible to do this in this day
and age. Now more than ever, the world as it is, is messed up and practically incapable of
obeying the Sixth Commandment as God would have us do so. What’s the reason for the anger,
the division, the tensions, and such that plague our public discourse? Why do we still show
hate? We are becoming less capable of showing grace towards those with whom we disagree.
We all struggle with grace: promoting it, receiving it, and giving it. The “City of Refuge” in
Numbers 35 will help us understand this better as it leads us to the cross of Jesus Christ.