The Bible clearly teaches that we must preserve life–our own lives and the lives of other people.
1 Corinthians 6:19f teaches that our bodies are not our own. Rather, our bodies belong to God. Our bodies are His property, and so we are not permitted to treat or destroy them as we please: v. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Co 6:19-20 NLT)
Not only are we to take care of our bodies and the life contained. We have an obligation to preserve the body and life of other people. Psalm 82:4 even cites an obligation to protect those who are in danger: Psalm 82:4: Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
Consider also Proverbs 24:11, which indicates we have a duty to preserve the lives of those who are harming themselves: “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death” (NLT).
It says in Ezekiel: “But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths” (Ezekiel 33:6, NLT).
If you know danger is coming to others, and you deliberately fail to warn the others of the danger, you are guilty of harming the victims. The surrounding verses also say that if the people refuse to heed the warning of the watchman, he is not guilty if they are harmed.
We also see principles in Mosaic law teaching that if we fail to guard the lives of others, we are guilty. In Deuteronomy 22:8, if someone falls from your roof, and you failed to install a safety fence around the edge, you would be held liable for the death of that person.
Likewise, in Exodus 21:29-31, if a man has an ox that is prone to harm people, the owner is held liable if he fails to confine it and the ox harms or kills others. If the ox harms someone, the negligent owner is fined. If the ox kills someone, the negligent owner is to be put to death.
The principle could hardly be stated more forcefully: you must protect your life and the lives of others.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.selfdefensecanada.info/blog/2011/01/canada-self-defense-how-to-deal-with-verbal-aggression-with-anthony-hughes.html