Today’s Reading: Numbers 15:17-16:40 (additional reading Psalm 54:1-7 and Proverbs 11:5-6)
Key Verse: “But if just one person sins unintentionally, that person must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering.” Numbers 15:27
We have all heard someone say to us, “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean it” or “Forgive me, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to this or that.” We like to excuse many of our actions as “only mistakes”, “ I didn’t know better” and “no big deal”. God sees things differently as He speaks to us in today’s reading about our unintentional sins.
We are reminded that breaking the law means breaking the law. While there may have been a distinction in terms of the consequences of unintentional and intentional sins in the Old Testament, the Bible is clear all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). An everyday example could be applied to a speeding ticket. If you or I get caught speeding in a 20 mile per hour school zone when we didn’t realize that the speed limit had changed down from 30 miles per hour. Just because we weren’t aware that we broke the law at the time, we’re still guilty of breaking the law and will have to pay the fine.
The apostle Paul wrote of his own life in 1 Timothy 1:13, “even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.” He thought he was doing good, but after a revelation from God, he became aware of just how sinful his acts had been.
Many have said, “If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise,” but this philosophy is contrary to God’s Word and built on a misunderstanding of God’s love. It’s built on the idea that God’s law is put there to stop our fun when in reality it’s there for us to have a fruitful and prosperous life that glorifies God. When we ignore parts of God’s Word so that we can ‘do what we want’, we are also ignoring the blessings that come with obedience.
So like the Psalmist, we must pray “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” Psalm 19:12
How can you be aware of unintentional sins in your life?
Have you tried to use the excuse of not knowing in order to do something that your spirit told you was wrong?
Father, Thank You for the total and complete forgiveness that we have in Christ Jesus. Help us to have a passion for Your Word and Your law that we may live by it and guard our lives against sinning. Reveal to us those things we need to repent of so that we can live the life you call us to. In Jesus’ name, Amen