One of the interesting features of the 10 Commandments is that each of them ties back to the early chapters of Genesis and represents a positive value contained therein.
Here are three obvious examples:
- Have no other gods before me: The Lord, as the creator of heaven and earth, is the only being worthy of worship.
- Honor your mother and father: Your mother and father, like God, have children in their image (Genesis 5:3).
- Honor the Sabbath: For God came to rest in his creation after six days of creation, we should rest and remember God.
But in other cases, we have to look at little harder. In the case of murder, I think it is safe to look at the first murder in the Bible. Cain went into a field to have a conversation with his brother Abel and when they were in the field Cain rose up against him and killed him (Genesis 4:8). When the Lord asked Cain where Abel was, Cain responded “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The implied answer of the Lord is, “Yes.”
To be your brother’s keeper is the opposite of being a murderer, and to be your brother’s keeper is to recognize in those around you that they are made in the image of God and to see to their success, happiness, and eternal destiny. To fulfill the command to not murder, we must actively choose to be our brother’s keeper.
Are you your brother’s keeper?