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…)


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…)


Exodus 33:1-3,5,11,13-14,17-20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way”… For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you’”… The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent… If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”… And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

God’s anger is intense as is evident from His instructions to Moses regarding His presence with the sinful Israelites on their journey to the promised land. It is a righteous anger and scares the living daylights out of the Israelites who have taken God for granted this far.

However Moses, who seems to share a wonderful relationship with God, continues to find favor in God’s sight and grows in love and respect of God. Is God so biased towards those who love Him and what then would become of those who don’t know Him or love Him yet?

One of the great realities of God is the fact that He does not go back on His promises. God kept His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as we know from History and therefore is faithful to His word.

We can hold God to His word but can God hold us to ours? We make great promises in times of strife with the hope of getting out of our painful situations but when things come to pass, we are quick to forget and slow to acknowledge God’s hand of favor in our lives.

The Israelites who were there witnessed God’s favor on Moses and realized their guilt and put away their ornaments to show God their mournful hearts.

Is it not such a reflection of our lives when we live in the path we believe we know best and often stumble, are picked up, claim to learn from our mistakes and get back on the same path only to stumble again?

Brokenness is such a reality of our lives that we don’t see an issue with being broken. Our sinfulness has grown to a point where we are comfortable in our brokenness and can explain it away as just a yin in the yang of life!

Today it seems easier to make an idol and appease a God more to appease the inner need in ourselves to make peace with this unknown God. Is that the God we follow and can we find favor with God as Moses did?

With the unpredictability of life these days, death is the only constant we live with and that is not comforting. Would we rather live in the painful certainty of death or do we want hope that is beyond this physical life itself?

Jesus Christ, the only son of God is the hope God gave us. He lived among us, led a pure and sinless life, was betrayed, flogged and killed, was raised up from the dead to live again and all of this was for the sole purpose of bringing us back to God again.

God provided through Jesus a way back to Him and all we need to do is humble our prideful selves before Jesus, submit our sinful lives to Him, ask for His total forgiveness and the rest is His work in our lives.

Like Moses, every person who submits themselves to Jesus Christ is transformed by God for His glory and used to transform the lives of others by leading them to the cross.

Are you transformed by God’s love and leading others to this ocean of love or are you still trying to live life blindfolded?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.


Genesis 44:1,2,4,5,9-13,16-17 Then he commanded his house steward, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. “Put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph had told him… They had just gone out of the city, and were not far off, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? ‘Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.’”… “With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” So he said, “Now let it also be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they tore their clothes, and when each man loaded his donkey, they returned to the city… So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.” But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

I’m not sure about you but I was hoping today’s chapter would see the resolution of this great divide between the brothers.

Joseph’s actions are deplorable because he had his cup placed in Benjamin’s sack and then sent out his guards to catch Benjamin stealing.

What is God trying to teach us through Joseph’s treachery? (more…)


John 9:30-34, 39-41
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out… Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Today marks the 1st anniversary of the US Airways plane crash in the Hudson River and about 75 survivors are getting together with the now-famous pilot Chesley B Sullenberger III to mark the occasion. They must appreciate the death defying antics of the pilot that saved them but would that compare to emotions the blind man had after he was given sight by Jesus? The blind man was blind by birth and so it was not a reversible condition. What Jesus did for him was more than simply getting him the help of a guide dog. This was life transforming and it opened not just the eyes on his face but also those of his heart and mind. His response to the hard-hearted Pharisees is such an eyeopener by itself. Jesus explains to us that we are all blind until we enter into a relationship with him. What does that mean?

As long as we live by the standards of this world and are driven by the ever changing ideals of man, we will never see the reality of life. We will forever be lost in the ‘Matrix’ of life and live to succeed in ways that are seen but don’t count. The world’s yardstick for success is measured by what can be seen and explained but that’s because it does not see beyond the obvious. God’s yardstick is so high that we can never achieve without his help and that help is freely available through his sacrificed son, Jesus. When we don Christ in our lives, we start to see beyond the natural into the supernatural and we find true meaning and purpose. This must sound like something out of a sci-fi book or a philosophical guide to life but in reality, it’s the difference between life and death. Are you still blind and would you like to see? Call on Jesus and he will answer. If you found your sight through Jesus, are you still seeing or have your eyes been giving you trouble of late? This is your wake up call!!!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Clowning Around