Every Sunday, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted article in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you would have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.
Genesis 9:1-7 - Life Is In The Blood – Part 2
[Read Part 1 HERE]
Last week we left off with the Lord telling us that the life of the creature is in the blood. The reason for this Gen. 9:2-4 verse is respect for life and the giver of life. Leviticus 17:11 says: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.” Moses teaches that life is in the blood and God is the giver of life.
Lev. 3:17 - “This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: you must not eat any fat or any blood.”
Lev. 7:2-27 - Talks about the different offerings and what is acceptable and what is not.
1 Sam. 14:32-34 - “They pounced on the plunder and taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that has blood in it.”
Disregard for the gift of life is an affront to the giver of life.
Moses continues to record the Lord’s words in 9:5: “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”
God will even demand an accounting of any animal that sheds man’s blood . So valuable is human life that a compensation of life will even be exacted from animals. Exod. 21:28 - “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and it’s meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.”
The last phrase of 9:5 is a bit confusing. The literal translation is “from the hand of a man, his brother.” The point is that God will require the blood of someone who kills, since the person killed is a relative (“brother”) of the killer. This language reflects Noah’s situation (after the flood everyone would be part of Noah’s extended family), but also supports the concept of the brotherhood of mankind. According to the Genesis account the entire human race descended from Noah.
In 9:6, the Lord puts His law in a compelling poetic stanza, which declares: “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.”
As we look at this controversial verse, it is important we note two things. First, it is clear that this verse is giving us a command and not just a suggestion or permission. Verse 5 states that God demands a punishment: “from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.”
Three times in 9:5, the Lord Himself says, “I will require” blood for blood. This is what I would call putting emphasis on a command with an exclamation point! It is also important to note that God has never countermanded this command. Thus, it is still in effect.
Second, the reason given for this action is one that remains in force for as long as men and women are made in the image of God. In 1:26, when God created man, He created him in the image of God. Until human history ends, all men and women will be created in the image of God. Into the eternal realm, man will continue to bear the image of God.
These two observations make it pretty clear that God instituted capital punishment at this time. Of course, the question is: why? The Bible provides four very important reasons which we will cover next week. Blessings to you all.
1. Human life is so precious and sacred to God that when murder is committed, the death penalty is in order: Lev 24:17-18 - “Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution - life for life.”
Exod. 21:12-14 - “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.” When a person murders another human being, he or she extinguishes a revelation of God. And God takes this very seriously.
As a matter of fact, this sheds another light people forget about on the subject of abortion! Between 1970-2014 alone there have been 44.5 million recorded abortions since Roe vs. Wade. Mother Theresa said: “The most dangerous place in the world is in a mother’s womb.”
If the life of a man is in the blood (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11) and man is not to shed innocent blood... If a fetus, no matter how small, has lifeblood in it, then to destroy a fetus is to shed innocent blood and is therefore unquestionably an act of premeditated murder, deserving of the penalty of death according to these scriptures.
2. The person who murders another being made in God’s image shows contempt for God as well. To kill another person strips God’s sovereign authority over life and death. When a man or woman murders another person he or she assumes the role of God. When a man is murdered, an image bearer of God is killed. Man continues after the Fall to be in the image of God, and that makes murder heinous indeed.
Modern man who relates himself to the machine and to the animal, or with no purpose because, after all, we come from pond scum and monkeys, do not understand the tremendous stature of man and therefore sees no reason why murder is different than any other crime.
3. Capital punishment provides appropriate justice. The Scriptures teach there is a divine validity to punishment for crime. Before the flood, the lack of capital punishment led to blood vendettas.
4. Capital punishment is intended to serve as a deterrent. But it is important to recognize that this is not the primary purpose. If this was the case, why would God require the death of an animal who killed a man?
Any society that loses its reverence for life cannot long endure. Just look at what is happening to America as we slowly lose respect for life!
Join us next week as we conclude this section of capital punishment. Blessings to you all.