Friday, June 29, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Kill

My first thought when I read my commandment that I needed to write on was “Um, how do I relate with this?!” I’ve never murdered anyone!

However, my brother kindly reminded me of 1 John 3:15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Have you ever hated any one? There have been a few times in my life where I have felt like lighting was going to strike me dead because I told myself that I hated someone.

So what is hate? What if I hate someone and I don’t realize I’m doing it? That would mean I am a murderer. The Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary’s definition of hate is: To dislike intently;detest; also, to dislike greatly; as, to hate to write. Hate, the general term, implies extreme aversion, especially with enmity or malice; detest suggests violent or intense antipathy1 or dislike.

Two Latin words2 for hatred are odium and invidia. Odium means hatred, dislike, displeasure, insolence. Invidia means envy, jealousy, ill-will; unpopularity.
I’m sure we have all felt envy and dislike at many moments of our lives. That means we have all hated; which means we are all murderers; which means that we are all guilty of the sixth commandment.

“ Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psalm 45:7 (KJV)

Hang on a second, David is clearly saying that God hates. Wouldn’t that make God a murderer? Nope. God is perfect and holy in all things. He hates with a righteous anger. He doesn’t hate people, He hates sin: two totally different things.

For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 20-24 (KJV)

In this Psalm David is saying that he hates whom God hates, with a perfect hatred. Did you know that perfect means complete-finished? Complete means (Again, I quote from the Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): 1.Filled up; with no part lacking; completed; 2.Perfectly equipped or skilled; Syn. Entire, perfect, whole. One of the Latin forms3 of complete is iustus: just, fair; lawful, right; regular, proper.

So David is saying that his hatred is the “right” kind of hatred. He hate’s whom God hates, he loves whom God loves. Does that make David a murderer? In the last two verses in the above passage, David is asking God a parallel of this question. “If this is wrong, show me, and re-direct my thinking.”- is basically what he is saying.

Passing on the question of whether David was right in his hate or not, the point is is that we have all disobeyed the sixth commandment. Most likely we have disobeyed every other commandment on the list. We’ve failed. Before the Jesus came, the only way we could fix this is by taking an animal to the temple to atone for our sins. Unfortunately not everyone is Jewish, so what hope is there for us?

Hope came in the body of Jesus Christ. He took our sins, our hate, our envy, our lies, our jealousy, our doubt, our fear, our shame and put it on Himself when He was crucified. When we accept that fact, that freedom, that gift; it doesn’t matter who we have hated in the past, what matters is that we love them now. Even if they hate us instead. When our own strength falls short, we can put our failures at the feet of Jesus. He will pick up where we have left off… and carry us with Him.


1- Antipathy (Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): Opposition or disagreement in feeling; aversion, repugnance.
2,3- Definitions from Collins’ Latin Concise Dictionary

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