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October 5 – LD 40, Day 5: The Causes of Murder

I John 3:15: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

When the Lord God says, "Thou shalt not kill," He looks not merely at the outward act. He looks at the heart and finds our envy, that terrible and corrupt attitude of our heart that hates to see the neighbour better off than us. In writing to Timothy, Paul mentions envy in the same breath as strife (murder), and railings ( words that kill) (1 Tim 6:4). Envy, says Solomon (Prov 14:30), is the rottenness of the bones. It is a cancerous growth that not only grows into murder, but is murder in its very root.

An unholy hatred is the root of all murderous acts. That hatred is first of all hatred toward God for placing such a neighbour in my path. That is the terrible attitude of the corrupt, sinful heart. Such hatred also characterizes us, always, except by the grace of God.

We must also see the unholy anger that dwells in our hearts. When we are angry for our own cause, angry apart from the conscious love of God, then there is murder in our hearts. When we pay no attention to the injunction of Paul in Eph 4:26, to "let not the sun go down upon your wrath," then we are sure to awaken in the morning with the scum of murder covering our heart.

Finally, there is the murderous seed which is the desire for revenge. God will take vengeance upon the wicked. A terrible thought that is, that should humble us deeply. But when we desire to pay back the wrong which has been done to us or which we imagine has been done to us, we show that there is murder in our hearts.

The believer has only to look at his own life, and he knows that those seeds of murder, envy, hatred, anger, and desire for revenge are still very much alive in his sinful flesh. Therefore, the Christian cries out, O “God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). But he also prays for grace to fight against those temptations to kill; and he prays for grace to love even as God in Christ has loved him. Is that your life?

Key, Steven

Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)

Ordained: September 1986

Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010


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