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The Precious Human Life #1: “Thou shalt not kill”

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The taking of precious human life, whether justified or not,  is a very important action that should never be taken lightly. Yet sadly in today’s society, human life seems to be becoming an expendable commodity, where life is taken very quickly without much, if any, consideration of the severity of the action about to be performed.

Just turn on the news and you will see beheadings; snipers being honored for killing enemies of war; drone attacks killing their targets and innocent bystanders; putting criminals to death by capital punishment; policemen killing armed and unarmed citizens during attempted arrests; the taking of lives of many innocent men, women and children during mass slayings in schools, theaters etc; the daily taking of life while yet in the womb; acts of ethnic cleansing, etc etc etc. The list is seemingly endless.

Please understand, I am not saying all the above are acts of murder, nor am I saying all the acts above are justifiable killings. As a matter of fact, on purpose, I tried to mix what I believe are both types of killings together on purpose. That is because this devotional series is not meant to define what is and isn’t justifiable killings. To do so, would take away from the intent and subject of the series

{For the record: I personally believe that the Bible teaches the existence of both murder and, with very specific limitations, justifiable killings. In my mind, based on my studies justifiable killings would include self-defense, defense of family, governmental punishment for wrongdoing, loss of life due to accidents, and wars to stop the abuse of others.

Unfortunately I believe many of the wars we enter into are not justifiable. They are motivated by political or economic motives and not sincerely being started out of a heart of love wanting to help those who are abused and mistreated. We go to war in places where we have “national interests”, while we allow abuse and killings to take place in other countries that are labeled as containing “no national interests” without lifting a finger to help the abused and murdered. These things ought not so to be.

This is all I am going to say on this subject for this series. The detailed study on this subject is for a later time. The last thing I want during this series is to get sidetracked with debates about what is and isn’t justifiable killing. In my experience, normally more heat than light comes from this type of debate and it will take our attention off the subject of this devotion series.}

This series is about emphasizing the preciousness of ALL human life and the impact of taking ANY human life, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES surrounding the act. Because of the great impact of the killing of man upon mankind, we are to very seriously, carefully use the revelation of Scripture consider our actions before any life is taken. And yet, in today’s time it seems to be taken so easily, without due consideration to what is actually taking place when a life is taken.

The Bible clearly presents the need to realize that the taking of any human life, without regard to the circumstances of the killing, is a very weighty act that holds eternal repercussions, not only for the one killed but for mankind and society as a whole. The basis of this teaching is found in the wondrous nature, purpose and need of mankind.

Our devotional series will contain six daily devotions, all of which will emphasize the wondrous nature of the human creation and the loss inflicted upon mankind when a human life is taken from their midst…

1. Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exo 20:13)
2. The Glory and Honor Of Man (Psa 8:4-6)
3. God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27)
4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psa 139:14-16)
5. The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Acts 26:16-17)
6. Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12)


“Thou Shalt Not Kill” (Exo 20:13, James 2:11, 1 John 3:12-15)

In both OT and NT, we find the clear prohibition to the purposeful taking of human life for unjustifiable reasons (aka murder):


Exodus 20:13 KJV – “Thou shalt not kill.”


James 2:11 KJV – “For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”


1 John 3:12-15 KJV – “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Folks based upon these three texts, and many others found throughout the Bible, we need to see that MURDER IS PROHIBITED BY GOD and is such a heinous act that it is the mark of an unregenerate man. These principles alone cry out for us to seriously consider our actions before we choose to willfully take the life of any other human being, our physical brother, based upon our creation….

Malachi 2:10 KJV – “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”

May we all come to understand the devastating effects of taking human life and the need for an intense detailed examination of the Scripture for every circumstance where the willful taking of physical life is a possibility.

In our next devotional, we will be being looking at the preciousness of human life by examining man, who is given glory and honor by God.


Text Blog…

Video Blog…


  1. Citizen Tom says:

    Thank you for your insights.

    I just have a question. You obviously prefer the KJV, and I don’t fault you for doing so. It was beautifully written, obviously by sincere believers. Nevertheless, whereas the new translations render Exodus 20:13 as “You shall not murder” (NRSV), the KJV renders Exodus 20:13 as you observed, “Thou shalt not kill.” Why didn’t you comment on the difference in translations? Yet the fact earlier translations use “kill” where they apparently should have put “murder” does seem to have confused some people in the past.

    Any idea why earlier translators used the word kill instead of murder? The word murder seems to have been around since the14th century. =>

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Tom,
      Thanks for the insight into the other versions translations. Much appreciated. I have no idea why the translators choose to translate the word as they do. It would be an interesting study I am sure. Lord bless you. Thanks again.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    This should be good I can’t wait to see where you go Rob

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Wally,

      Much of what I post I am sure you will be familiar with. Basically the posts will involve man’s uniqueness among God’s creation and the special way that man reveals his Creator. When we take away the life of any man, we are taking away a witness to the wondrous Creator that no other part of creation can replace.

      Lord bless you Wally. Thanks for the comments!

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Good opening! I’m also looking forward to this six part series!

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