"When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof."
As we have been reading through the Pentateuch, I am sure we have all read some egregious things. Recently people have been curious about how a command like “thou shalt not kill” is okay for the Israelites when being directed by God. My interpretation of this command can easily be summed up by looking at Deuteronomy 22:8.
A parapet is a protective wall built on the edge of the roof of an ancient Israelite house. This was necessary as roofs were a place to work for the Israelites. When you build this wall on the edge you are acknowledging the fact that you are valuing others who are going to be in or around your presence. If you built a house and did not make a parapet you are risking the safety of those around you, and not placing high regard for human life. This leads to the guilt of the bloodshed, “thou shalt not kill.”
When I put this into context for today I begin to realize there are times when we break this command. Speeding down the highway to get somewhere ten minutes early after leaving ten minutes late. Being distracted by our phone or being disoriented while driving.
If we want to keep this command, we need to have due diligence about the choices we are making. This can ensure that we are placing high regard on human life.
Another way to value the life would be to witness to others. I would challenge all of us to think daily of ways to have high regard for the lives around us. Lift others up so that they could see Christ through our actions. John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciple.” Let us be a witness to others by showing love and valuing those around us!