DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SUICIDE)

The Bible records several instances of suicide (Abimelech-Judg 9:54; Samson-Judg 16:29-30; Saul-1 Sam 31:4; Saul’s armor beaer-1 Sam 31:5 Ahithophel-2 Sam 17:23; Zimri-1 Kings 16:18; and Judas-Matt 27:5; cp. Acts 16:27). Of these, the deaths of Abimelech and Saul could be called “assisted” suicide. With the possible exception of Samson (whose death may be better termed “martyrdom”), the Bible presents each person who committed suicide as an individual whose behavior is clearly not to be emulated.

While the Bible nowhere specifically prohibits suicide, it does proclaim the sanctit of life (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7; Ps 8:5) and assuredly declares the God’s people should choose life over death (Deut 30:15,19). The right to give life and take it away is reserved by God for Himself (Job 1:21; cp Exod 20:13). Christians are called to steadfastness in the mist of trial (2 Cor 12:7-10; Phil 4:11-13; James 1:2-4), but John saw that in the latter days men facing difficulties would instead seek death (Rev 9:6).

Moses (Num 11:14-15), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Job (Job 6:8-11), and Jonah (Jon 4:3) each asked God to take their lives, but in every case God refused. Simeon (Luke 2:29) and Paul (2 Cor 5:2,8; Phil 1:20-23) longed to be in heaven yet were content to remain alive, all the while waiting for God to act in His own time, Such instances provide ample biblical evidence that suicide is never the proper choice.

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