We’re living in an age in which crime and the threat of war seems to linger over our heads from day to day. Wondering both how to protect ourselves and keep national and global peace causes some important questions to arise among us, including whether the taking of human life is ever justifiable, such as in the exercising of capitol punishment or while engaging in acts of war.
While those matters are debated in heathen forums, God fearing people turn to scripture to find the real answers. Unfortunately, though, some of these well meaning folks come up with the wrong conclusions when they fail to give God the opportunity to interpret for us His own meanings in the Bible.
For example, Exodus chapter twenty at verse thirteen certainly records that we must not kill. We can be confident that the commandment outlaws the commission of murder. However, the same God that issued this command also ordained the taking of animal life for the purposes of providing food for humankind, as well as for the purpose of religious sacrifice during the previous dispensations. Animals used in the commission of fornication were also to be destroyed.
More to the point, though, is that God, while forbidding murder in no uncertain terms, still commanded ancient Israel that they should punish with death those that were guilty of murder, violation of the Sabbath day, offering of human sacrifice to false gods, cursing parents, or commission of any form of fornication.
Leviticus chapter twenty offers many of these articles of the Mosaic law, and is not an exhaustive list. Though Christians may not be justified by the keeping of the Mosaic law, it should still be observed that this law is a record of the moral code acceptable to God, and the sin identified therein is that for which Jesus went to the cross to save us.
Further, such passages as First Samuel chapter fifteen should make it clear to us that the same God who refuses to justify murderers still ordained the thorough exercise of any justifiable act of warfare, right down to the annihilation of the offending people, whether they be military personnel or not.
To be sure, God gave us life; but He gave us pleasant life by design. His ordinances declare that the immoral or offensively aggressive may be liable for the forfeiture of their own lives should they interfere by transgression with the peace and morality of the innocent and righteous.