YYJune 12, 2020
No Murder
“Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13)

The basis for murder is hatred (Deuteronomy 19:11; Exodus 21:14). The use of a weapon identifies murder. It may be a lethal weapon, like an “instrument of iron” (Numbers 35:16); a weapon of opportunity, like a stone or club (Numbers 35:17– 18); or merely the use of hands (Numbers 35:21).

In contrast, accidental killing is distinguished from murder (Exodus 21:13). Sometimes identified as “unaware” killing (Deuteronomy 4:42) and described as “error” killing (Numbers 35:11), it occurs without enmity (Numbers 35:22; Deuteronomy 19:14; Joshua 20:5) and by accident (Numbers 35:23), even though it may result from carelessness (Deuteronomy 19:5).

Execution is demanded for premeditated and presumptuous murders. The original authority was given to corporate man by God after the Flood (Genesis 9:5-6). The process of trial and conviction was established in Numbers 35:30-31. All such laws are designed to suppress evil (1 Timothy 1:8-10).

Imprisonment from normal society is demanded for accidental killings. Cities of refuge were built for such manslayers (Joshua 20:1-9) and were to be easily accessible to the nation (Deuteronomy 19:7-8). They were places of protection (Numbers 35:15) and restriction (Numbers 35:26-28), to be voluntarily entered (Exodus 21:13; Numbers 35:11). Imprisonment was for an indefinite length, and a person remained in the refuge until the “death of the high priest” (Joshua 20:6).

Modern laws dimly reflect these ideals but are made less effective by delay. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). HMM III


Daily Update


June 12

Hear Today’s Program

We Are Saved

. . . Who saved us and called us to a holy calling.

2 Timothy 1:9

The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, “who saved us.” Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as people who are in a hopeful state and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon our dying bed and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now.

The Christian is perfectly saved in God’s purpose; God has ordained him to salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price that has been paid for him: “It is finished” was the cry of the Savior before He died. The believer is also perfectly saved in His covenant Head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ.

This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Savior saved upon the cross are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit to holiness: They leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the power of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as when previously they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them.

The excellencies that we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the Atonement itself. In this way the fullness of the grace of God is beautifully displayed. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: And what motive but grace could move Him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer’s privilege—a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it—a holy life.

Baby Steps

“Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel . . .”—Genesis 28:18-19 (NKJV)

Jacob had just had an amazing encounter with God! Alone and on the run in the wilderness, the Lord gave him a divine dream as he slept under a star-filled sky. This dream consisted of a ladder connecting heaven and earth with the heavenly host ascending and descending in between. To top it off, God stood above and promised to protect and bless Jacob in all his ways (Genesis 28:12-13).

We now join Jacob the morning after, who was understandably moved by what he’d experienced. He was so moved that he was moved to action. Notice he creates a pillar from the stone that was his pillow during the night. He also pours oil over this pillar, which represents it was set apart and sacred. Then, he renames this place where he had this dream, “Bethel,” which means, “God’s house.”

All this points to the profound impact this revelation of God had on him. But he doesn’t stop there: “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going . . . then the Lord shall be my God . . . of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You’” (Genesis 28:20-22 NKJV).

As we see above, Jacob goes on to make a vow that if God will do the things he lists, then he would respond a certain way. At first glance this sounds very commendable. But dig a little deeper and you’ll start to see a fault line in Jacob’s faith, one that often runs through us as well.

The Lord had already revealed His protective love for Jacob. He wasn’t looking for any sort of performance on Jacob’s part. God simply says, “This is who I am, and I am determined to be for you according to my word.” That reflects the unconditional love of God. But Jacob responds with an “if/then” proposition . . . “If God does this for me, then I will do that for Him.”

No doubt, Jacob thought he was doing the decent thing here. But God didn’t want an “if/then” relationship with Jacob, and He doesn’t want one with us. He isn’t waiting on what we do or how we perform. He wants our relationship with Him to be based on unconditional love, which is the surest and strongest foundation any relationship can ever have.

These first baby steps in Jacob’s spiritual journey toward God remind us that God doesn’t view us the way our human nature is tempted to view Him. We are loved and accepted unconditionally, and that is how we’re to respond and relate to Him.

DIG: What was the flaw in Jacob’s vow?

DISCOVER: When have you exhibited the same flaw in your relationship with God?

DO: On what basis will you relate to God today, tomorrow, etc.?