RICHARD G. MENDOZA, MPH, PHD
Pr. Richard Mendoza works at the Central Luzon Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. An educator and promoter of health, he complements his advocacies with spiritual and values-oriented insights.
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(Last of 5 parts)
Commenting on a recent Facebook post about fatal shooting incidents perpetrated by motorcycle-riding-in-tandem men, my sister-in-law, who resides in the USA said, “I am worried of the news from the Philippines, mostly about killings, no more fears, I hope someone organizes a national prayer for peace, many forget.”
Have we or have many already forgotten the real “Ika-6 na Utos” (sixth commandment), “Thou shalt not kill”? I said sixth because as I have expounded in my previous column, the command “not to commit adultery” is actually the 7th commandment in the Bible. Many do not know, and this is due to the fact that the 2nd command can’t be seen in the written Ten Commandments found in front of most of the Christian churches today, but the original, as written in the Bible contains the complete version (pls. see Exodus 20:3-17). Since the 2nd was omitted the 4th moved upward to become the 3rd command. And because one was omitted it lacked one to become ten thus the 10th command was divided into two to become the 9th and the 10th.” Now, the 7th became the 6th and the 6th became the 5th and so on, in order to fill the vacancy created by the omission of the 2nd commandment.
As far as the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13 KJV), (not the 5th as published during the launching of the use of the command in the campaign against all forms of killings), is concern, it has become the slogan by those who are against the extra judicial killings (EJK), believed to be related to the “war against drugs” by our government.
The spate of deaths reported from police operations and vigilante killings has become very alarming. The death toll continues to increase every day and to be fair the wave of killings include all other crimes committed by people who probably have forgotten God and His command not to kill. They said, even criminals have rights to due process before being punished by jail sentences and not by death since there is no death penalty in the country.
Human rights advocates’ cry foul over EJK, which the government denies to be state-sponsored. There are collateral damages to the fight against crime and innocent people either suffered from dying or are being jailed for the crimes they have not committed. I for one am in favor of eradicating crimes and drug abuse, but who would condone EJK and approve the innocents to suffer? Even the main male character named Rom, of the popular “teleserye, Ika-6 naUtos”now suffers in jail for the crime of murder that he was wrongly accused of (based on episode as of this writing).
God values life that He himself wrote “Thou shall not kill’, with His own fingers on a tablet of stone given to Moses at Mount Sinai (see Ex. 31:18), in order to protect it. Even, before Sinai it is already wrong to kill, remember, Cain killed Abel, and he was punished for that sin. Jesus when on earth, even magnifies that, when He said after referring to the 5thcommand, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him”(1 John 3:15).
We are protected from ourselves as well, for the command “not to kill” not only refers to taking the lives of other people but of oneself too, it’s called suicide. May I add that having vices that destroys health is tantamount to killing yourself, thus can be considered suicide-on-installment basis. God finds no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (see Eze.18:32) and He wants sinners to repent and mend their ways.
When people are killed, they are deprived of their rights to live and the chance to change their lives. Perhaps it’s high time for us to be reminded about the sanctity of life and of God who is the source of life. We humans, sinful as we are, tend to forget and prone to disobey, but God forgives.
But wait, there is another commandment that many people forget and disobey, the 4th commandment that reminds us to,“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it”.(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV).
Shortened and more known as “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”, when you read or hear this, first question that comes to your mind would be,What is Sabbath? Origin is Old English, from Latin sabbatum, via Greek from Hebrew šabba?, from šab_a? which means “to rest or to cease”. Secondly, which day is the Sabbath? The continuation of the verse says, “the seventh day is the Sabbath”(Ex.20:8). What day is the seventh day? Since when the Bible was originally written, the days are not yet named like we now know as Sunday-Saturday we can inquire from common reliable sources like the dictionaries which defines, ” Saturday:the seventh day of the week, Sunday: the first day of the week and, Sabbath: the seventh day of the week, rest day (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 2nd ed.). Notice the common calendar, the weekly cycle starts on Sunday and Saturday is the last or seventh day.
What about it in the Bible?“And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23:54-56.In those times the days where merely called by description or by their order, e.g. first day, second day etc. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:1-3 KJV).
Let’s take another look at the events of those three memorable days.
1. Friday (preparation day): Jesus died; the women prepared spices and ointments.
2. Saturday (Sabbath day): Jesus rested in the tomb; His followers rested.
3. Sunday (first day of the week): Jesus rose from the dead! Ladies came to anoint Jesus.
Do you see that there can be no possible doubt as to which day was the Sabbath at Jesus’ death? Everybody knows that Sunday was the resurrection and that Christ died on Friday.
That’s it for now! lest I be charged of proselyting on this column, I’m just sharing spiritual insights to help bring you closer to Christ our Savior who says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). Let me encourage you though, to study more, do your own research or e-mail me for free lesson materials and I can refer websites to guide you. Know the truth from the Bible, and the truth shall set you free… Thank you for following this series on “The Ten Commandments”, I hope you learn something or more, God bless.