Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jeff Blogworthy's excellent post about the Bible and euthanasia

Just read it:
1 Sam 31:1 - 2 Sam 1:16

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.2 Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons.

4 Then Saul said to his armorbearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me."

But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.5 And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him.6 So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.

2 Samuel 1

1:1 The Report of Saul's Death

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag, 2 on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul's camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself.

3 And David said to him, "Where have you come from?"

So he said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel."

4 Then David said to him,"How did the matter go? Please tell me."

And he answered, "The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also."

5 So David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?"

6 Then the young man who told him said, "As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.7 Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, 'Here I am.'8 And he said to me, 'Who are you?' So I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.'9 He said to me again, 'Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.'10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord."

11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him.12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?"

And he answered, "I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite."

14 So David said to him, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?"15 Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go near, and execute him!" And he struck him so that he died.16 So David said to him,"Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD's anointed.'" NKJV

Facts gleaned from the account of Saul’s death:

1. Saul was mortally wounded and his death was imminent.
2. Saul wanted to die.
3. Saul attempted suicide.
4. Saul was in excruciating pain.
5. Saul asked to be killed.

The Amalekite’s arguments:

1. The Amalekite presumably thought he was doing the right thing. He did what was right in his own eyes and probably expected some reward.
2. The Amalekite excused his conduct by offering the "mercy killing" and "I was ending his suffering" arguments.
3. The Amalekite used the "he was going to die soon anyway" argument.
4. The Amalekite used the "condition was irreversible" and the "no hope for survival" arguments.
5. David rejected the Amalekite’s arguments as specious and exercised his right as king to subject the Amalekite to capital punishment for the offense of murder.

The lesson of the text is unavoidable for the Christian who recognizes the Bible as the ultimate authority. Euthanasia is immoral and it is rejected by God as a false, pragmatic, human construction.

Amen to that!


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