• Caleb Rawls

Deuteronomy 5:17 & 19:4-13


"You shall not murder."

-Deuteronomy 5:17


When we consider murder in the Old Testament the consequences of murder were very high. To take another persons life is not a trivial matter that God lets the nation of Israel debate about. Israel was told not to take the life of another human being intentionally with hatred in their heart. (Deut. 19:11). Such an act was to result in the death of the one who had committed murder and no pity was to be cast toward the one who was the murderer. (Deut. 19:12-13)

If we are to take it a step farther into the New Testament (NT) we see that Jesus does not lower the scale for how we should function with those who murder, but ups the scale. In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."

Jesus is quick to recognize what anger leads us to do. He calls judgement to those who have anger against another, insults a brother, or mocks a brother to be subject to "hell of fire." So judgement is no longer just the act of murder. Now judgment is for those who allow the seed to take root that leads to the act. Unjust anger is a very dangerous thing.


I have not murdered anybody but thinking that I have not been angry at someone for unjust reasons is a lie. People have hurt me with words or even physically and in response I have tried to hurt them as well.

Following what God's Word has to say shows me that I need to get angry at the things that make God angry. I have this emotion for a reason and it needs to be ignited when I see evil and injustice in my community and world. But anger has a way of destroying us when we use it to give us personal gain.


God, show me where my unjust anger lies within me. Root it out, destroy it, and create a holy anger for that which angers You. Teach me patience and gentleness with my tongue when anger pushes me to project harsh words.

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