Bible Studies for Life
Exodus 20:13; 1 Samuel 26:7-11, 22-25
Jarrod Kinsey, pastor
First Baptist Church, Cave Spring
Unfortunately, our social climate has linked the value of human life to political agenda and social activism. A quick swipe through your social media newsfeed reveals this unfortunate reality again and again.
However, when we take a step back away from our phones, tablets, and news outlets we find that the value of human life is not primarily tied to these causes. As we retreat to Scripture, we find the truth that God honors all life because it is precious to Him.
Human life is precious to God – and should be precious to us.
Wrapped up in this concise command is God’s value statement concerning life. He is clearly stating that human life is precious to Him. We should be reminded that God alone is the giver of life and that people are made in his image.
Jesus goes on to provide further depth to this command in Matthew 5:21-22. This passage contains one of six times in the sermon on the mount where Jesus states, “You have heard that it was said … but I tell you…” Through this phrasing Jesus spoke directly against the Pharisees’ habit of using their own ingenuity to work around the real intention of God’s commands.
When God says, “Do not murder,” He is speaking to what should be held valuable in the heart. This is why Jesus equated hatred, a condition of the heart, with murder itself.
1 Samuel 26:7-11
We respect life by acknowledging God’s authority over it.
If you’re like me, you are in a constant search for solutions to any and all problems. You often think you know best, when in fact, you don’t. In this passage, this very temptation stands before David. The table had been set for him to unjustly take Saul’s life and ascend the throne. Saul was asleep, exposed, and unconscious to the fate that might befall him.
But David chooses, rather, to rest in knowing that God is sovereign over life. Rather than rationalizing in the moment how he might circumvent God’s clear instruction set forth in His commandments, David shows that he is pure in heart. Instead of being captivated by self-advancement and preservation, he was captivated by His holy and sovereign God. At least in this moment, David trusted that God knew best. He trusted that God’s will was for His glory and David’s good.
1 Samuel 26: 22-25
We respect life by treating every life as equally valuable.
David subtly expresses his distrust of Saul by asking him to have one of his young soldiers retrieve his spear from David. David then boldly states that both his life and Saul’s life ultimately rests under the Lordship of God. David tells Saul, the one pursuing him and seeking to take his life, that both of their lives rest in God’s hands. King Saul and young David, the eventual king, are placed on equal footing before a holy God.
This is a profound picture of how God sees life equally. A person’s life is not deemed valuable because of their particular office or function. Their life is deemed valuable because they rest under the Lordship of a just and sovereign God. And God, being just, deems all life as equally valuable.
Live it out
Take a moment. Step back. Still your voice. Examine your heart and ask the hard questions regarding how you view human life. Dig in and get at the matters of the heart that Christ pushes us towards when he speaks in Matthew 5:22. And then worshipfully acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all human life.
Pray and seek His peace in the midst of this incredibly turbulent social climate. Trust that in His sovereignty He holds all human life to be precious. And finally, treat others in keeping with this examination and belief. Reinforce through your personal activity that you view all life equally. The truth that all life is precious will be shouted loudly through this quiet obedience.