THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 7-27-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATES: GOD HATES HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD"
In the Bible we read, "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear." Have you put your trust and confidence in God?
Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning! Thank you for joining us today as we commit this time to the things of God. Together we will have the privilege to study from God's Holy Word and to sing praises to His wonderful name. Let's each do our part this morning in making this time of offering acceptable in His sight. Will you go to God in prayer with me at this time?
This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us of the great reward which awaits the faithful of God. So at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "To Canaan's Land I'm On My Way."?
(SONG # 1)
Growing up, we all have someone who watched over us. Usually it is parents, grandparents and relatives who really take care of us and make us what we are today! What a wonderful feeling it was to always know that someone was there who cared for us, loved us, and listened to us and our needs.
As we get older, we often forget that we are still not alone in this world of trials and problems. In fact, as Christians, we have the promise that God himself is always there. The Psalmist David put it in these words, "The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore," Psalm 121:5-8. Notice here that the Lord Himself is our protector, keeper and friend. He is there all day and night, from today and forever more!
What a wonderful encouragement this is to know that truly God Himself is the one who is with us and who will never leave us. The Hebrew writer had a similar thought in chapter 13, and verse 5, of his book, where he said, "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Again, we have confirmed for us that God can be depended on by those who strive to do His Will.
Also, let me help you to notice the great strength and courage we receive from this knowledge about God always being there. In the same text, the writer went on to say, "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me,'" Hebrews 13:6? With God, His promises and the confidence we can have in Him - there is nothing we should fear or hesitate in doing, in connection to His Will! Why? Because He is always there with us, helping us and watching over us in all we do!
Do you have this type of confidence in God? If not, why not? Are you a follower of His, a true Christian, a child of God? Choose today to begin your Christian walk, and allow God to watch over you and help you in every aspect of your life. Learn to have faith in your creator today!
Today we are happy to again have brother Darin Chappell with us. Brother Chappell is the minister for the Mountain Grove congregation in Mt. Grove, Missouri. We thank brother Darin for being with us today and we look forward to his presentation from God's Word in just a few minutes.
In our main discussion of the morning, we will be continuing our study concerning, "The Things Which God Hates." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "God Hates Hands That Shed Innocent Blood." So please continue with us and after our next song together, brother Chappell will help us focus on God's Word. Now, won't you join in with the congregation, as we sing our second song of the morning - the name of this song is, "Lord We Come Before Thee Now."
(SONG # 2)
By Darrin Chappell
Good morning and welcome to our program on the study "The Things Which God Hates."
You know right off the bat we begin to ask ourselves, "How is that not an inconsistency? The idea that God hates anything when we think about that God is love and that He is the God of love and that we are to love one another as God's children. And there is no inconsistency when we understand that Proverbs chapter 6 and verse 17, the passage from which we get the title of our lesson, "The Things Which God Hates and He Hates the Hands That Shed Innocent Blood" we understand that in the original language, the Hebrew, the word here that is translated as "hate" is one that means "to be against, be an enemy of," and that God is an enemy of those hands or those individuals who shed innocent blood because He is a God of love and because He is a God of mercy and of justice. For those individuals who take the lives and shed the blood of the innocent, God is indeed against them and they are the enemies of righteousness and therefore the enemy of God.
We find also that those individuals who are described there in Proverbs chapter 6 and verse 17 that those individuals who are described as innocent, we can find out what the definition of that is as well and that is those are the individuals who are without blame, guiltless and free from punishment which is an extremely important concept for us to grasp firmly whenever we are approaching this subject because there are also those who would accuse us of being inconsistent. Exodus chapter 20 verse 13 part of the giving of the original Ten Commandments, God said to the children of Israel , "Thou shalt not kill."
But again in Leviticus chapter 20 and verse 2 He says, "Again thou shall say to the children of Israel, whosoever they be of the children of Israel of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel that giveth any of His seed unto Moloch (that is one of the idolatrous gods of the Canaanite people) he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones."
Individuals have asked, "Well, how is it possible that God on the one hand says, 'Thou shall not kill,' but then on the other hand, He in fact commands the children of Israel to kill those who would be contrary to His Will?" Well, it is because of again the wording in the original language there in Exodus chapter 20 and verse 13, the word that is translated in the English versions as "kill" is one that actually should be translated as "murder." Thou shall not murder another individual. There are times when God has commanded the children of Israel to kill a person because they had transgressed the law of God or to kill an in fact an entire city or even an entire group of people because they were contrary to the Will of God. That is not an inconsistency because God is the supreme judge of all. It is within His power to determine who lives and who dies, but it is not for the individual to take it upon Himself and take the life of another individual contrary to the law of God and contrary to the law of man. It is not right. It is not lawful. It is indeed sinful for one to commit murder.
So when God here says that He hates "those hands that shed innocent blood," He is not talking about those who have given righteous judgment according to the law and according to the Will of God, but instead He is talking about those individuals who have taken it upon themselves to harm those that did not deserve that supreme punishment of death.
What is it though that is innocent blood in today's standards? What are the issues that face us today, where in the issue of God hates those who shed innocent blood? Where does that come in to today's society? Well, we've already looked at murder and clearly everyone recognizes that murder is wrong. I know of no one who advocates that we ought to have more murder and so we'll set that one aside and recognize that God is against the concept of murder and those who commit it. But what about some of the more controversial issues that are facing our society today right here in the United States of America and the concepts that are attached to the idea of shedding innocent blood? What about the issue of war? That's an issue that is on the minds of individuals on almost a daily basis in this country given the events that are going in Afghanistan and Iraq and perhaps in other parts of the world as well. We're very concerned about the idea of war and what does God have to say about war? Is that in fact the shedding of innocent blood?
Well if you would, look at Romans chapter 13, verses 1-4 with me for just a moment wherein the apostle Paul in writing to the brethren at Rome he said, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation for rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power. Do that which is good and thou shall have praise of the same for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid for He beareth this not the sword in vain for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon them that doeth evil." Therefore government, and I'm not talking about a specific form of government because there is no specific form of government given to us in the scripture as being approved specifically by God as opposed to all the other forms, but the concept of government itself being ordained by God, being established by God and recognized as being the power to which individuals, Christians especially, are to submit themselves to that power. God gave them the power to bear the sword and not in vain. It is not an empty threat. When government has the capacity to wield the sword, government has the capacity to go to war. It is not my place as a Christian to say, "Please send me to war." It's not my place as a Christian to look for an opportunity to go to war and try to take human life. And quite frankly I served in the military as an individual. I'm very proud of my military service. I'm glad I was able to serve my country. But as a Christian, I wouldn't volunteer to go back and do that all over again simply because I would have concerns about my own ability to be able to perform the tasks that would be asked of me because realistically when I would pull that trigger I would recognize that a human life would be ending and I have just my own personal difficulties with whether or not I could still do that as a child of God.
But government has the power to wield the sword and if my government called me up and drafted me and said, "You're back and you need to go to war and you need to defend this country," I would do my duty to the very best of my ability and I would do everything I could to honor my country and to obey my God at the same time because government does not bear the sword in vain and it is my responsibility as a Christian to submit to that leadership and to that guidance.
And we find example of this even in the New Testament wherein an individual who was converted to the truth of the gospel there in Acts chapter 10 and Acts chapter 11, Cornelius who was a Centurion, a leader in the Roman army, he was commanded to obey the gospel: to hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized for the remission of his sin so that he could be added to the church that Jesus built and to live faithfully up to and including the point of His death. But he was never once commanded to leave his post as a Roman soldier. Here was a man who was a man of God, a man who was devout, a man who was concerned about his religious responsibilities to the Lord, but he was also a man who was under the conscription of the Roman army and he was a man of war when called upon. He was not condemned for that and he was an individual who was never told to leave that post. So while a Christian might not be one who says, "Please send me to war," when a Christian is called upon to do so by his government, a Christian who is faithful and righteous to the Will of God goes when he is called upon.
What about those individuals though who question capital punishment? There is another instance in which we find individuals having their lives taken from them. Clearly the same passage there in Romans chapter 13 verses 1-4 would apply. The government does not bear the sword in vain and when the government determines by legislation, by recognizing the will of the people that it is representing, when a government determines that certain crimes are so heinous and they cannot be tolerated by society whatsoever and they determine that the only punishment which is suitable is capital punishment (that is an individual must forfeit his or her life because of what they have done against society as a whole). God has given government the power to wield that sword in that way. And again, I don't want to have to volunteer to be the one to go to the state capitol and have to throw the switch. I wouldn't want to have to do that, but again if my government called me... If the governor called and said, "Hey look! We need you to fulfill this duty for us." Then I would submit myself to the government and I would perform that task no matter how much I wouldn't have appreciated the responsibility being put upon my shoulders. Government has the right to wield the sword and not in a way that is vain or empty. God gave that institution that right and commanded me as His child to submit myself to those powers that be.
There will be individuals who will ask and they will say, "Now wait a second. Aren't you being inconsistent? Aren't you being hypocritical by suggesting that you would be willing to be in favor of government using its power in form of capital punishment, but you would be against someone using the ability, the legal rights to end or terminate a pregnancy and you call yourself pro-life? How can you be pro-life if you are against one form of the taking of human life but you're in favor of another?" The only answer I can give to such a person who is asking that question is: Well, you know maybe it is just the fact that we ought to wait until somebody does something wrong before we actually consider whether their life be forfeited.
That brings us to the question of abortion itself. Perhaps one of the most hotly contested issues in our society today. What does God's Word have to say about that? Well Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 4-5 says, "Then the Word of the Lord came unto me saying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.'" God knew Jeremiah. He recognized him before he was born. Now granted that passage says as much about the omniscience of God, His ability to know all things, as it does concerning the personhood status of the unborn. But let's be clear. Jeremiah was an individual, a person before he was born, before he came forth from the womb, and God knew him as such and as such he was due all the rights and privileges that any human life, sanctified as it is, is due among the world.
True, our God tells us that there are times when individuals must lose their lives. We find a classic example in Exodus chapter 21 verses 22-25 wherein the law of Moses it says, "If men strive and hurt a woman with child so that her fruit depart from her and yet no mischief follows, he shall surely be punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him and he shall pay as the judges determine, and if any mischief follows, then shall thou give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." If two men are fighting in such a way, according to the law of Moses, that a woman who is with child is injured so that her child might be miscarried, and nothing happens and the baby is fine and everything is okay, all that happens is the men have to pay a fine according to the wishes of the husband of the woman. But if she loses that baby, according to the law of Moses, it was necessary for that individual or the individuals who were responsible, they had to have their life forfeited as well. Why? Because that unborn child was just as precious in the sight of God as a human life as if they had committed murder and they were responsible for the loss of that life because that unborn child was indeed a human life and the very epitome of innocent blood.
Here in this country since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade was decided, there have been some 40 million unborn children who have lost their lives because individuals have taken it from them. Surely those 40 million cry out as innocent blood that have been shed. Innocent blood of individuals who never got to see the light of day for whatever reason. 40 million! How can we not think that our God is displeased with such? How can we not think that we won't have to answer for those kinds of attitudes and actions and policies that we have tolerated for far too long simply because people do not consider them human?
You know it wasn't that long ago in our nations history that simply because a person was black, or of African descent, people didn't believe they were human and were not subject to the basic rights that humans all over the world are deserving of. They were wrong then and those who suggest that the unborn child today is not human and not deserving of protection of the rights for life and liberty. They are wrong today. And our God hates, He is against...They are the enemies of righteousness. He hates the hand that sheds innocent blood. We have to come to terms with that and as the church, we have to take the stand for truth and righteousness and leadership on this most important of issues, especially when our government asks our opinions at the ballot box. The fact of the matter is, we have a responsibility to stand up for the innocent because our God hates the hand that sheds innocent blood.
Now before you can be part of that, before you can do what you know you must in order to take that leadership role, you first must be right with your God yourself. You must become a Christian. You must be obedient to the gospel. You must hear His Word. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Be willing to confess your sins as an individual. Confess, excuse me, not your sins but to God, yes, but confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God before others and you must be willing to repent of your sins. Turn away from them so that you no longer live the ways of the world, but live only for the Lord and be baptized for the remission of your sins. You must do these things and be faithful all the days of your life not to be pleasing to me, but to be pleasing to the Lord.
I thank you for your time and your attention this morning.
(SONG # 3 - "Higher Ground")
Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves this worship to God!
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May we all strive to have a greater understanding of life and it's value. Furthermore, may we never put ourselves in the place of God; determining who can live and who must die. For God alone holds the power of life in His hands.