Murder and Malice

The Lord’s list of abominations—behaviors He intensely detests—continues with the hands and the heart.

  1. Hands that shed innocent blood

The shedding of blood refers to killing someone, not merely drawing blood in a nonfatal injury, and the qualification “innocent” is important. First, Solomon had murder specifically in mind, an act that the Lord considers an abomination. God created human life, and we bear His image. He considers humanity so valuable that He went to extraordinary lengths to redeem us from evil, sending His Son to die on our behalf. Murder is therefore a personal affront to the Giver of Life.

You might not see right away how this abomination applies to you. Chances are slim you have a body hidden somewhere. The issue for you and me is unresolved anger. Anger itself is not a sin; it’s just an emotion. Sometimes resentment is an understandable response when you’ve been slighted. But if you keep resentment in your clutches, it will destroy you and quite possibly someone else. Nurture your resentment, and it will sprout into anger. That anger will put down deep, deep roots and blossom into hatred, and the fruit of hatred is murder. Don’t be fooled. Very few murderers woke up one day and decided to become a killer. I would venture to say that few of them even thought themselves capable of the crime. But by degrees, they nurtured anger until it bore its poisonous fruit in their lives.

Let us pray, “Lord, direct me to wholesome and healthy ways to resolve and dissolve my anger. Keep me from the sin of shedding innocent blood!”

  1. A heart that devises wicked plans

We have carefully examined the heart throughout this study of Proverbs, and we are aware of its power. Nothing we do or say occurs unless it first takes root in the heart. It is there that “wicked plans” take shape.

Interestingly, the word devised comes from a verb meaning “to plow” and “to engrave.” It carries the idea of cutting into some material. A plow cuts into the ground to prepare for planting later, which is an illustration of planning and forethought. The word translated “wicked” means “evil, troublesome, malicious.”

God wants the hearts of His people reserved for relationship with Him. He considers the inner being of a person the primary place of worship, a place where we commune with Him. To allow the heart to become a seedbed of evil against others violates a sacred place.

Let us pray, “Lord, cleanse my heart from any hurtful way. Remove every ugly thought or scheme I have been pondering!”

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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