Am I Capable of Murder?

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”     Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)

Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of Amalek.”

Agag came to him trembling, for he thought, “Certainly the bitterness of death has come.”

Samuel declared:

As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women.

Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.      1 Samuel 15:33-34 (HCSB)

You may think that the answer to the title question is obvious and even irrelevant. I am a sane, Christian so of course I wouldn’t murder anyone! However, in the last few years as I have become aware of the evil that is out there and realized if someone beat up, raped, or killed my child or grandchild, I would be capable of retaliating. Like the sweet little Samuel who said, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening!” (1 Samuel 3:10), I too might be capable of hacking an enemy up!

The first event after Adam and Eve left the garden is about their sons. To me, it’s like the LORD telling me right out of the Bible-gate that anger is with me and eager to pull me down a destructive path. He tells me I must make the choice to say, “No” to the rage. The great addition to this Old Testament passage is that Jesus brought a new covenant, a new contract to me, through His death and gift of saving me. Jesus promised that His Spirit would remind me of all that He had taught and lived (John 14:25-27). Jesus knows what I feel when I see children suffering and dying because of blatant evil. Jesus knows what true justice is. He is telling me that His justice will prevail (Revelation 16:5-7).

In the Sermon on that Galilean hillside (Matthew 5:21-22), Jesus reminded us all that murder was not allowed under God’s Law. BUT He went on to say that it was more than the act of murder that was prohibited under God’s Law. Jesus reinforces the Father’s warning about anger. Even saying a “curse” to someone – we may find ourselves in hell! Jesus lets me know that choosing not to control my anger has serious consequences in His Kingdom.

The answer to the question: “Am I Capable of Murder?” is “Yes” but with God’s help today I choose to say, “No” to murder, even anger. I will continue to ask His Holy Spirit to cleanse me and create in me a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). And when my heart is swept clean, may I invite the Holy Spirit to fill me up with all that He desires (Luke 11:24-26) so that nothing crouching outside my heart’s door can sneak in.

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