Vespers – Spurgeon’s Question 56

But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

  • Acts 16:28

“Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.

  • Genesis 9:6

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

  • Matthew 5:22

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

  • 1 John 3:15

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

  • Galatians 5:15

Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

  • Proverbs 24:11-12

“If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed.
“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
“An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.
“If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.

  • Exodus 21:18-32

The Larger Catechism has twenty points for this question and biblical proofs for each point.  I will only provide the biblical references so that you can look them up at your leisure.

1. Acts 16:28; Prov. 1:18.
2. Gen. 9:6.
3. Exod. 21:14; Num. 35:31, 33.
4. Deut. 20:1; Heb. 11:32–34; Jer. 48:10.
5. Exod. 22:2.
6. Matt. 25:42, 43; James 2:15, 16.
7. Matt. 5:22.
8. I John 3:15; Prov. 10:12; Lev. 19:17.
9. Prov. 14:30.
10. Rom. 12:19.
11. James 4:1; Eph. 4:31.
12. Matt. 6:34.
13. Luke 21:34.
14. Exod. 20:9, 10.
15. I Peter 4:3, 4.
16. Prov. 15:1; Prov. 12:18.
17. Isa. 3:15; Exod. 1:14.
18. Gal. 5:15.
19. Num. 35:16.
20. Prov. 28:17; Exod. 21:18–36

“Q. 56. What is forbidden in the Sixth Commandment?
“A. The Sixth Commandment forbids the taking away of our own life (Acts 16:28), or the life of our neighbor unjustly (Gen. 9:6), or whatever tends to it (Prov. 24:11-12).”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism (Scripture proofs in bold above)

“Q. 69. What is forbidden in the Sixth Commandment?
“A. The Sixth Commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.”

  • The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

“Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the Sixth Commandment?
“A. The sins forbidden in the Sixth Commandment are: all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful or necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions; distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreation; provoking words; oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.”

  • The Larger Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

The Shorter and Spurgeon catechisms have the same wording, almost.  The Shorter adds extra biblical proofs.  The Larger Catechism adds twenty points, each with their own biblical proofs that are listed for extra research, if you desire.

While the Spurgeon and Shorter Catechisms speak of the Commandment in its literal form, the Larger Catechism relates this Commandment to what Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:21-26.

Our world today ignores God.  The world ignores God’s Law.  And a direct result is that there is rampant, out-of-control anger in the world.  When I think about that, it makes me so … angry?  No, even if it could be righteous anger, in the present condition of this world, it would be interpreted as unjust anger, lashing out at people who are only following their base instincts.

As Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Do I mutter under my breath when cut off in traffic or I go into the ditch to avoid a collision?  Sure.  But I pause to pray for the “idiot”, and I hope God takes that characterization as I mean it.  The idiot may have only been temporarily an idiot, and if permanent idiocy, he or she would be in even more need of prayer.

When I think of traffic issues, I often think of an old German friend.  He talked of a young soldier who had just bought the nicest sports car that anyone could ever have when he received orders to report to Germany.  He could not take the car, surely!  The traffic was horrible over there.  Germans drove so fast, and if there was an accident, the car would be wrecked beyond repair.  But he did anyway.  He polished the car every day.  He obeyed all the traffic laws.  He was careful.  And after the three-year deployment, he returned home, without a scratch on his sports car.  His sports car was shipped to Bayonne, New Jersey.  He went to the shipyard and picked up his beautiful car and he drove it to the gate to take it home in pristine shape.  Then, a car approached at far too fast a speed.  It was a Mercedes, and it came in through the exit, hit his car and totaled it.  The young soldier jumped out.  The soldier ran to the other driver.  He screamed, “I just spent three years in Germany and my car had not one scratch and here you total it before I can get it out of the shipyard.”  The reckless driver who had totaled his car then asked, “Was ist los?!” (What’s wrong? In German)

Please, I have laughed every time I think of that joke, but to be honest, the German drivers drove in a crazy fashion, but they were predictable once you learned their style of driving.  In America, they do a lot of the same things, but you do not know that they will really stop for the traffic light or stop sign and they might have no idea where their car is in the road, thus not even meaning to run you into the ditch.

You may get angry for a moment, but then you have to count what you still have.  And one thing you should not ever have is a burning resentment or lingering anger.

We must have love in our hearts, even for our enemies.

And now let us sing.

The following song is Jesus Never Fails, sung by the Asidors.  Rather than focusing on death, murder, or kills, let’s focus on the living.  After all, Jesus never fails.  And, Wow!  The Asidors are growing up before our eyes.

“Verse 1
So many souls have tested Him throughout the course of time.
So many still reach out to Him with broken hearts and minds.
And every one of them will say, Without exception that they find…
Jesus never fails…
Verse 2
Even in the days of old, He brought His people through.
And then He came to show His love and died for me and you.
Then He rose again to prove, That every story has been true…
Jesus never fails…

Jesus never fails.
Jesus never fails.
You might as well get thee behind me, Satan
You cannot prevail, because Jesus never fails.
Verse 3
Sometimes this world brings trouble I find so hard to bear.
I know I could not make it without Jesus being there.
It’s so encouraging to know, How ever deep we’re in despair…
Jesus never fails.
Verse 4
So what can I do to prove to you, tell me how can you deny?
No untold facts, no mysteries, it’s all so cut and dried.
On the witness stand of your life, I’ll be the first to testify…
Jesus never fails!

Repeat Chorus Tag
You might as well get thee behind me, Satan
You cannot prevail, because Jesus never fails. Never fails.

  • Gary Driskell, Jesus Never Fails

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord,
You are our God.  You breathe life into us.  It is wrong to take a life unjustly.  It is wrong to harm someone, and we need to have wisdom between something that is instructional correction and reproof versus true harm.  Help us, Lord, to have that wisdom.  Help us to show love, even in our discipline.
In thy Name we pray.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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