All Human Life Is Precious


image from Brian Mann

Life is precious to God. Let me be clearer … HUMAN life is precious to God. The Evolutionist or Atheist believes that humanity is but an accident of the animal kingdom, and that humanity is another type of “animal” which they call a “Primate”. Since humanity is but an accident of nature the phrase “Survival Of The Fittest” originated from Darwinian Evolutionary theories as a way of describing how natural selection works. The weaker animal is killed by the stronger animal as the stronger animal – in Darwin’s Theory Humanity – progressed up the evolutionary ladder. Humanity is called “Primate” because we are at the top of the evolutionary ladder. According to evolutionists we evolved from lower animal life to eventually be lemurs, monkeys, then apes, and then developed into what we now call “Humans”.

If humankind is just another “animal” and this is what you believe it will influence what you think about life. For instance, on Wednesday, January 30th of 2019 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam responded to a question about a bill being debated in the Virginia Legislature. Northam plainly stated that he was in favor of letting infants left to die after they were born if the mother decides she doesn’t want the baby. If all humans are no more than animals and this is the belief that is in your heart, then to kill an infant or abort a baby at any stage of development – even following birth – makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the outrage that the same people have when a misguided animal (if humans are animals) kills and wounds other animals in El Paso, Texas or in Dayton, Ohio. When people murder people is it not “survival of the fittest”? Certainly I don’t believe this, and absolutely I grieve whenever some evil person does this terrible thing. From Columbine to today’s horrors the reason that anyone would kill anyone willingly is incomprehensible to me. But my mindset is different that the godless. I believe that …

God teaches that life is a gift from Him,

Let’s read responsively the following Scriptures:

Jeremiah 1:4-5 … 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.

Genesis 9:5-6 … surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Life is so precious to God that to redeem it so that we could live forever He gave the life of His Son. What a testament to life! Human life is extremely precious to God.

But Then We Come To The Book Of Joshua

I’ve been preaching through the Book of Joshua the last few months – and we’ve still got a piece to go. Tonight we’re in Joshua chapter 20. If you would, turn there while I talk.

I am told that the Book of Joshua is the most
violent book of Scripture in all the Bible.

If you have been reading the Book you might have the impression that God places no value on life. I can understand why you would believe this. God told Israel to take no prisoners, to practice wholesale genocide as they enter Canaan. Throughout the Book we have read passages like:

Joshua 6:21 And {Israel} utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

I have to admit that passages like this make me wince. Some Christians scholars have suggested that Joshua and Israel misunderstood God when they went into the Promised Land. The suggestion has been made that the massive killings recorded in Joshua were a human error, much like the so called Crusades against the Muslim nations (circa 1095-1492 AD). But Apologist Christopher Wright wrote in his book The God I Don’t Understand (pages 82-83):

If the conquest of Canaan had actually been such a massive and mistaken misinterpretation of God’s will, we should surely read some corrective word later in the Scriptures – if not within the Old Testament itself . . . then at least in the New. But we find none. There is no hint anywhere in the Bible that the Israelites took the land of Canaan on the basis of a mistaken belief in God’s will. On the contrary, the refusal of the Exodus generation to go ahead and {enter the land – see Numbers 14} … are condemned as disobedience to God’s will (see Psalms 106:24-35)”

We know that our God loves human life. He loves life so much that when humanity draws so far away from Him that – eventually – God will purge that nation. You might say “I don’t believe that”, to which I would reply:

Have you ever heard of the Noahic Flood?
Have you ever heard of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Have you ever heard of the destruction of Tyre?

What caused God to directly or indirectly destroy a world, or destroy nations? It was sin and a low view of human life. Here’s our first take away from the Book of Joshua:

It is a fact that Canaanite society – much like American society today – supported ritualized human sacrifice. The Canaanites worshiped a god they called Moloch (a.k.a. Milcom, Molech, or Malcam). The Encyclopedia Britannica states:

Moloch, also spelled Molech, a Canaanite deity associated in biblical sources with the practice of child sacrifice.”

The Canaanites were not believers in the God of Scripture, but believed in many gods and goddesses and worshiped their gods by practicing child sacrifice. God tried to reach these people when father Abraham traveled to Canaan (Genesis 11:27-12:9) over 400 years before Joshua – led by God – invaded Canaan. The Canaanites were given ample time to repent of their evil and cease the killing of children. Did Canaan repent? No! Children were not only sacrificed, but children who escaped being sacrificed were taught that life itself had little meaning.

If God ordered the destruction of Canaan’s inhabitants because they were killing innocent children then what hope do we as America have in our future?

Sam Storms the Pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, OK said:

The problem isn’t that God is evil. The problem is that we are. It isn’t that God has mistreated us, but that we have mistreated him. This text {in Joshua} and others like it bother us for one fundamental reason: we have virtually no grasp on the holiness of God or the sinfulness of humanity. We have little sense of the transcendent beauty, moral purity, and infinite righteousness of the Creator. And we have little sense of the depth and extent and ugliness of our own depravity. We think God exists for our welfare, to help us feel good about ourselves.”

What did God specifically destroy first Egypt then Canaan for? We are told in:

Leviticus 18:2-3 … I am the Lord your God. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

What were Egypt’s and Canaan’s doings?
Incest – Leviticus 18:6-18
Child Sacrifice – Leviticus 18:21
Homosexuality – Leviticus 18:22
Bestiality – Leviticus 18:23

God told Israel “The reason I cursed EGYPT and am casting out the CANAANITES is because they do these evil things (Leviticus 18:24-29).

Humans are distinctly different from animals. Both humans as well as animals may be carbon based, but humans are distinctively created by a loving God. The Bible declares:

Genesis 1:27 … God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Humanity is uniquely made. In the Scripture there is absolutely NO PENALTY for killing animals. Yet to kill a human was a special sort of evil. To intentionally murder someone is to murder the image of God.

When Noah got off the Ark God told him – and us – that:

Genesis 9:3 … Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you

Humanity could eat ANYTHING. Every moving thing that liveth was food for humanity. But what of HUMAN life? God said:

Genesis 9:5-6 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Humans are NOT animals. We are made in the image of God. The Sixth Commandment is:

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt NOT KILL

Our Lord Jesus clarifies this command as:

Matthew 19:18 … Jesus said, thou shalt do no MURDER

God said in Exodus 21:12-14 … He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. 13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. 14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

How precious is human life?
God said “You take a life, you forfeit yours.”
But what of the accidental death?

This is why God gave us Joshua 20. Life is precious. Every human life matters. Whether the child is disabled or a genius, every child from it’s heartbeat is precious. Every person is a person created in God’s image. But there are times when accidental death occurs. In such instances God told His Israel:

Joshua 20:1-3 The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

The person who willingly and deliberately murders another was to be quickly put to death (see Numbers 35:16-18). Was the deliberate murderer ransomed? No! “He must surely be put to death” (Numbers 35:31). If someone was guilty of killing another person God did not want indiscriminate killing. So He established the six cities of refuge.

If you accidentally killed someone you ran to one of these cities. The Blood Avenger – usually the closest relative to the one slain – would try and take your life. The accidental killer ran to the city of refuge to escape vengeance, but also was to be tried for his or her action.

Joshua 20:4 … when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.

The accidental killer pled his case before the elders of the city. If the elders or leaders of the city of refuge believed the killer to be innocent of murder then the accidental killer was given refuge in that city until he could be properly tried. He or she was to stay in the city of refuge until the current High Priest died, or until he was tried.

Joshua 20:5 … he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

No one got a free pass to murder. Every life taken was examined carefully. The slayer found guilty by a jury of his peers was killed – his life forfeited – for the heinous crime of murder.

Joshua 20:6 And {the slayer} shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

God demanded that not only the Israelite, but ANYONE dwelling in the Promised Land be judged if they took a life.

Joshua 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

Do we need greater “gun control”? Beloved, I believe our greatest need in America is to return to the God of the Scripture. I believe that we need to quit expecting government to take the place of God, and we need to heed what He says. If the murderer forfeited his life as the Lord commands I suspect there would be a whole lot less killing in America. But as long as we devalue life through abortion and television fantasy we can, I’m afraid to say, expect more of the same. Gun control will not stop it. We need to aim at the heart. We need heart control.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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