Archive for October 29th, 2011

Numbers 15

Numbers 15 has God speaking to Moses about “When you come into the land you  are to inhabit”.  Seems like a  pretty early set of instructions given the fact they were just told it would be  40 years before they would arrive and be allowed in.  But preparation and planning are good things  – and Moses has time to get everyone ready for what God expects.  They are told to do a couple things – to  sacrifice and “make a pleasing aroma to the Lord” is the first one.  God truly does want us to worship Him and  give Him honor and glory for all He has done.  In fact, He tells Moses that this should be a “statute forever throughout your  generations”.  Worship is  something we need to focus on much more than we do.

The second thing God tells Moses is “when you come into the land to  which I bring you….when you eat of the bread of the land….you shall present a  contribution to the Lord….of the first of your dough”.  Not only were the people to offer a sacrifice  “to  fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering”, but they were also to give  thanks with an offering as well.  God  desires that we recognize His blessing on us and that we give back from that  abundance.  In this nation, we do live in  abundance.  We struggle at times to give  any of what we accumulate away.  We get  stuck on the ‘it’s mine’ attitude.  It is  in fact all God’s and when we give it away we are merely giving back what God  already owns.  We are stewards of His  stuff – not owners of our own.

The chapter goes on to talk about two types of sin.  “If one person sins unintentionally”  – so there is sin that is accidental or not committed with any intent.  Sometimes sin happens when we fail to do  something we are supposed to – a sin of omission.  Sometimes sin happens when we unknowingly do  something.  Sometimes sin happens purely as  a result of circumstances.  Lots of ways  that sin can occur in life unintentionally.  But the reality is a tough one – sin is sin.  It has to be dealt with as God cannot just   ignore any sin.  So the instruction here  is to make an offering to atone for it.  Jesus went to the cross to atone for our sin.  We just need to be seeking God’s forgiveness  through Him.

But the chapter goes on to address the second type of sin.  “But the person who does anything with a high  hand” – sin that is intentional and done knowingly.  God’s instruction here is strong and swift: “that  person shall be cut off from among his people….his iniquity shall be on him”.  Sin is a real issue that so many just think  God will let slide.  That isn’t how it  works.  In fact, in this chapter we see  what many would consider a minor infraction leading to a severe result.  “They found a man gathering sticks on the  Sabbath day….and the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to  death….the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death  with stones”.  Still think God  doesn’t take sin seriously.

This guy was simply gathering sticks – sure it violated the law of  the Sabbath – but it was just a few sticks.  Sin is sin and God cannot tolerate it.  We need to ponder that impact in each of our own lives.  If we have sin (and every last one of us  does), we face a similar problem.  Sin  will separate us from God if it is not dealt with.  Jesus is the way to address it.  God told Moses to “put a cord of blue on the tassel  of each corner….to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do  them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes”.  We can’t trust our own intuition and  thoughts.  We need to know God’s  commandments and live that way.  All day  every day.  And when we fail, we need to  confess, repent and get right through Christ.  Are you walking that way?

%d bloggers like this: