Or if someone hates another person and hits him with a fist and he dies, it is murder. – Numbers 35:21a
Nearing the end of this book written by Moses, God spoke to the Hebrews and told them regulations and instructions for cities of refuge and what constituted murder. Part of his definition of murder involved premeditation in that the one striking another person had hatred in one’s heart. Here in Numbers God coupled the hatred with the action of assault. He differentiated between simple unintentional assault, which could be tried and the accused found innocent, but if the perpetrator premeditated the action with hatred in his heart, he was to die for murder.
Jesus would later teach the apostles that murder was defined by the letter of the Law, but real murder was precipitated from the heart. Jesus told us that if a person hated his brother (or anyone for that matter), he was a murderer. The LORD showed us the real definition any wrong/sin began in the thoughts of the person’s heart from whom they originated. Thus, we were (and still are) accountable not only for our deeds but our thoughts also. Sin proceeds from the heart. It always starts with an idea that festers to the point until someone acts on it. Adam and Eve did the same thing in Eden when they saw the forbidden fruit on the tree of death. They lusted for what they couldn’t have rather than focus on everything else God had given them. What lurks within your heart? My heart? Let’s turn it all over to God and allow him to deal with us and correct us and make us pure and holy as he is. Let’s walk in the grace that God bestowed upon us.
Father, I’ve not been the best or even come close to walking in grace most of my life. For a long, long time I treated others with vile contempt and harbored vitriol in my heart. There have been many innocent people to whom I bestowed upon not grace but hatred. I’ve not shown much mercy in my life either. According to the words of Jesus, I’ve murdered many a soul in my day, but I have repented of those wrongs. And, I’d like to take this moment to offer my sincerest apology to one who my actions utterly destroyed for several years. I regret that I ever allowed myself to stoop to the low state of being I had attained. I regret and remorse over not just my actions (including a hateful spirit) but the suffering inflicted upon this person by me. May grace and peace come to that household. May healing be given in full measure. In Jesus’ name, Amen.