Words of Faith 6-25-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
To unsubscribe, follow the directions at the end of this devotion.
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
 " 'But if just one person sins unintentionally, he must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering.  The priest is to make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made for him, he will be forgiven.  One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien.
 " 'But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people.  Because he has despised the Lord's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.' "
 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.  Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly,  and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.  Then the Lord said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp."  So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Chapters 15-19 of Numbers document the offerings that were to be brought to the Lord on a regular basis and as covering for sin. Part of this statute addressed the difference between unintentional sin and defiant sin.
The statute dealt with unintentional sin that was unknown or unnoticed by the community (15:22-26). A special offering would cover for this sin. But the statute also recognized that there is a huge difference between a mistake that transgresses the command of God and the defiant heart that is deliberately disobedient.
We know the difference. It is the difference between "Officer, I am so sorry. I had no idea I was 5mph over the limit," and "I had a really bad day at work, and I just didn't care how fast I was going."
This distinction is an obvious and intuitive one, but the application can have much higher consequences. For example, this is the basis in law for the difference between premeditated murder and the accidental taking of a life.
In all matters of sin, there is a difference when we know better. There is a difference in situations where a person defiantly chooses his or her own way against the way of God.
The Hebrew phrase used here literally means “with a high hand.” It means to sin “boldly” and describes a person acting in deliberate presumption, pride, and disdain toward God. The phrase is elaborated with the words "blasphemes the Lord.” The attitude presented in this verse is one of treason, for which there was no provision in the Torah for escaping the results of this sin.
An illustration is recalled in the narrative. A man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath Day. Since it was not clear that his action was a premeditated violation of the Sabbath Law, he was kept under arrest till the Lord rendered the verdict: the man must die. He was then taken outside the camp and stoned to death.
The case interprets what was meant by defiant sin. Other defiant sins might result in expulsion from the community or being "cut off from the people.” But even this example shows that defiant sin is a matter of the heart. It is often a matter that only the Lord can discern. How often do we hear of a crime and ask, “But do we really know what was in his heart?”
As believers in Jesus, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus has paid the price for all our sins, both intentional and unintentional. But one of the problems we encounter in daily living is our own defiance. What happens when we take the grace of the Lord lightly and choose to sin “with a high hand”? Surely, this is a matter of the heart, but this can happen when we live our life “after the flesh.”
John described this important distinction-- "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." Our sin is covered, but we are also called by that covering to walk in the light (1 John 1:6-7).
When we sin defiantly, we cut ourselves off from community. We separate ourselves from the fellowship of believers even if we keep up appearances. John describes this condition and the immediate solution. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:8-10).
We are called to walk in daily confession before the Lord. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us. There is no better news than this. Let us walk with Him.
Father God, forgive me for the sins that I do not even know about. I know I have erred. I am sure that I have fallen short. Forgive me also for my sins of defiance. Forgive me the times I have chosen to resist You rather than resist temptation. I agree with You that my sin is just that. No excuses. No rationalization. I sinned. Please forgive me and cleanse me. In Jesus’ name.
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SUBSCRIPTIONS - To receive the Words of Faith devotion five days a week, send an E-mail message addressed to email@example.com. To stop receiving Words of Faith, send an E-mail message addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.