In Exodus 20:13, God’s commandment is “Thou shall not Kill”. See also Romans 13:9. The craze for material gain has reached an alarming level in our society and the fear of God is at its lowest ebb. As a result, many people (the unscrupulous ones) will do anything just for the sake of material well-being. They do not think of the consequences. In fact, they damn the consequences. This state of affairs has made many people to take human life to be as ordinary as that of an animal (even a bird) that they take away without scruples.
The Biblical record of creation affirms that God created man in his own image. This means that the life of man (human life/blood) is of God. It is God’s own property (Genesis 1:24-29). In confirmation of that, in Genesis 9:4, God forbids the eating of blood because it (blood) is life. God, therefore, promised to hold accountable any man or even beast that takes away human life (sheds human blood) as God made man in his (God’s) own image. In Genesis 9:5-6, God said as follows: “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will require the life of man. Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man”.
However, in spite of God’s clear injunctions against the shedding of human blood, it is still a common occurrence in our society and it now occurs with disturbing regularity. Cases of brazen murder abound in our society, under different guises, some of which are baptised and glorified under the cloaks of militancy, youth movement, liberation struggle, communal clashes, political tussle, etc. The said euphemistic appellations are not capable of preventing God’s sure punishment for such a dastardly act as the killing of a human being.
The factors that motivate people to commit the sin (crime) of murder are manifold. Some people kill for rituals. This accounts for the mysterious disappearances of people whose whereabouts are never found. These rituals may be for fame, power, wealth, etc. Others kill their rivals (human beings) in order to grab a political position, to occupy a chieftaincy stool, to get a lucratic contract or position, to be in a position to make money or amassing wealth, to gain promotion, etc. All the same, whatever be the motive, murder/taking of human life remains an abominable act in the sight of God Almighty. It is immaterial the means used by the perpetrator to commit the act – whether by direct physical act, through a hired killer (assassin), by spiritual invocation, etc.
In Habakkuk 2:12, God said: “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed .. “ Similarly, in Proverbs 6:17, it is stated that God hates, amongst other things, hands that shed innocent blood. It is worth stating that, at the end, the seeming gain for the dastardly act of killing or shedding of human blood will not be of lasting benefit to the perpetrator. In Jeremiah 17:11, prophet Jeremiah said as follows: “As the partridge sits on eggs, and hatches them not; so he that gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool”
Similarly, in James 5:1-3, God said as follows: “Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.”
See also Galatians 5:21 where God said that those who commit, amongst others, murder shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who are paid killers or who kill on the instructions of others will similarly be punished for their dastardly acts. In Deuteronomy 27:25, God pronounced the following curse: “Cursed be he that takes reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. “
There are some actions people take in order to gain unfair advantage over others – be they political, chieftaincy, love, business or other opponents. Some of these acts, even though not physical, have an effect that is spiritually equivalent to the murder or killing of the victim of the act. God condemns such actions. God talks against the condemnation of the use of uncomplimentary words against others, as follows in Matthew 5:21 – 22.: “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, you shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, you fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. “ Similarly, God spoke thus against hatred for our fellow human beings in Leviticus 19:17 – 18: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.”
God wants us to love our fellow human beings and not to hate them. That is the way we can demonstrate that we love God. Hatred for a fellow human being is abhorred by God and this is understandable. It is a stimulus that culminates in physical act of killing of the fellow human being: In 1 John 3:14 – 15, the following truth is stated by God Almighty: “ … He that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
See also 1 John 4:20 where it is written thus: “If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
So, those who use hatred, slander, falsehood, campaign of calumny, etc against their opponents as a tool for success in politics, business, love, chieftaincy tussles etc. should beware. They are doomed and in due time, they will receive God’s punishment for such wicked acts.
Uwom wrote in from Port Harcourt.
To be cont’d next edition