Page 10 - November 2021 - Truth & Tidings
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“Thou shalt not kill.”                  When the law was codified, the general
        The Sacredness of Life                principle was “eye for eye, tooth for tooth,
                                              hand for hand, foot for foot” (Exo 21:24).
          Human life is sacred. It comes to every   The punishment was to fit the crime. Un-
        person as a gift from God who made man   der the Mosaic law, those who murdered
        in His own image (Gen 2:6). The Scriptures   and willfully took another’s life by shed-
        speak of man possessing body, soul and   ding “innocent blood” forfeited the right
        spirit; it is the last of these, the spirit, that   to their own lives (Deu 19:10). God said
        distinguishes mankind from the animal   that “the life of the flesh is in the blood:
        creation and enables us to relate to our   and I have given it to you upon the altar
        Creator. Our bodies give us a sense of   to make an atonement for your souls: for
        the world around us; our souls make us   it is the blood that maketh an atonement
        aware of the self within us – intellect,   for the soul” (Lev 17:11). Provision was
        emotions and will; and our spirits give   made for those who accidentally killed
        us the consciousness of God above us. We   others. Cities of refuge were designated
        can come to know and love Him, worship   throughout the land, conveniently located
        and serve Him.                        on either side of the River Jordan (Num
          The “image of God” does not relate to   35:9-15).
        any outer physical attribute – God is a   The Old Testament permitted not only
        spirit – but rather to the inner spiritual   judicial killing, as mentioned above, but
        life. While it is true that sin has marred   also killing in a time of war waged against
        the stamp of God’s image upon mankind,   the murderous enemies of Israel. The need
        every person remains precious to God.   for self-defense soon became apparent, as
        There is always the potential for a sinner’s   when the Amalekites attacked Israel soon
        redemption and reconciliation while life   after their exodus from Egypt (Exo 17:8-
        is present. After death, all hope of salva-  16). Subsequently, the nation’s conquest
        tion is gone.                         of the promised land depended upon the
          The sorry history of man’s inhuman-  defeat of their enemies. God helped them
        ity to man began not long after creation:   gain the victory (Jos 10:10,14).
        the first family upon earth was plunged   There were other occasions when
        into grief when Cain needlessly slew his   personal belligerence was not excused,
        brother, Abel. The problem was jealousy.   even against known enemies. There was
        Even  before  the  giving  of  the  Mosaic   a man called Joab who liked a fight. He
        law, God had said to Noah and his sons,   had a swift answer for every perceived
        “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man   threat – a sword! He wrought personal
        shall his blood be shed: for in the image   vengeance on some who were opposed to
        of God made he man” (Gen 9:6).        King David, but the king rightly assessed
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   the evil heart of Joab and urged Solomon
        the KJV.                              to judge him: “Take away the innocent

        330 TRUTH kTidings   November  2021
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