Posts Tagged ‘Guilty’


Numbers 35 While Israel was camped beside the Jordan on the plains of Moab across from Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites from their property certain towns to live in, along with the surrounding pasturelands. These towns will be for the Levites to live in, and the surrounding lands will provide pasture for their cattle, flocks, and other livestock… “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety… “When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, designate cities of refuge to which people can flee if they have killed someone accidentally. These cities will be places of protection from a dead person’s relatives who want to avenge the death. The slayer must not be put to death before being tried by the community… These cities are for the protection of Israelites, foreigners living among you, and traveling merchants. Anyone who accidentally kills someone may flee there for safety… The community must protect the slayer from the avenger and must escort the slayer back to live in the city of refuge to which he fled. There he must remain until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the sacred oil… “All murderers must be put to death, but only if evidence is presented by more than one witness. No one may be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. Also, you must never accept a ransom payment for the life of someone judged guilty of murder and subject to execution; murderers must always be put to death. And never accept a ransom payment from someone who has fled to a city of refuge, allowing a slayer to return to his property before the death of the high priest. This will ensure that the land where you live will not be polluted, for murder pollutes the land. And no sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from murder. You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.”

Why would a good and just God provide refuge to murderers and have all of Israel know that He has provided such an accommodation? What is behind all this provision for such grievous sin and how does it related to us today? (more…)

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Numbers 14:5-9,11-12,17-22,24,34,41-43 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”… And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”… “Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed. For you said, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ In keeping with your magnificent, unfailing love, please pardon the sins of this people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.” Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice… But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land… “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy’… But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

As we read through this chapter, we see God’s wrath clearly and traces of His mercy but how can an all-seeing and all-loving God permit the Israelites to suffer so much? (more…)


Leviticus 4:2-4,13,22,27,35 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the Lord’s commands. “If the high priest sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must give a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He must present to the Lord a young bull with no defects. He must bring the bull to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the Lord… “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty… “If one of Israel’s leaders sins by violating one of the commands of the Lord his God but doesn’t realize it, he is still guilty… “If any of the common people sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but they don’t realize it, they are still guilty… Then he must remove all the sheep’s fat, just as he does with the fat of a sheep presented as a peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people from their sin, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.

Another record of the seemingly senseless brutality of the Israelites is on display as God instructs them to make atonement for their unintentional sins by sacrificing animals.

We know today there is no blood shed for sins but why did God insist on such a gory sacrifice and is it relevant today? (more…)


Leviticus 22:1-3,9,14,31-33 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the LORD. “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD… “‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the LORD, who makes them holy… “‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value to it… “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD.”

It seems the priests and their families were setup for disaster considering all the restrictions God has placed upon them.

There are more don’ts than dos and the question that comes to mind again is what is God saying and why? (more…)


Leviticus 6:1-2,5-6,12,18,30 (NIV, @2011) The LORD said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor… or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value… The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it… Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the LORD. Whatever touches them will become holy’”… But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned up.

God certainly had serious hangups about sin and ensured He communicated His disgust of sin and the sinner and also provided a means for His people, the Israelites to make peace with Him.

The number of sacrifices, the types and the purposes ensured there was enough for the priests themselves and that the Lord’s tabernacle would never be without constant offering.

What is God’s desire for us today that is communicated through this historic text recorded around 1,445 BC? (more…)


Leviticus 4:3,12-14,22-23,27-28,31 “‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed… that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it there in a wood fire on the ash heap. “‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting… “‘When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the LORD his God, when he realizes his guilt and the sin he has committed becomes known, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect… “‘If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, when they realize their guilt and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect… They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

The number and type of offerings God commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to make for various reasons is truly overwhelming.

However, what a relief it must have been for them to know that they had a way to find peace with God! Is that our lesson for today that we can sin but yet make peace with God? (more…)


Exodus 34:5-7,14-16,25-26,29,33-35 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation”… Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same… “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning. “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God… When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD… When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

Today’s chapter is precious because it records the words of God and I apologize for not putting all of it in the passage above but I do encourage you to read the chapter before you read any further.

Moses destroyed the previous two stone tablets when he came down and witnessed the Israelites worshipping a hand-made calf of gold and was now called to write it out again while fasting forty days and nights in God’s presence on Mount Sinai.

God issued his commands and they were weighty and revealed His character and nature but are they relevant in our day and time when human laws exist and we have no time for God’s demands? (more…)