Numbers 15:30-41

In yesterday’s devotional writing, I didn’t talk about the ‘unforgivable’ sin mentioned in Numbers 15:30-31. After Masaru-sensei’s message at prayer meeting last night, though, I think I have a clearer understanding. In these verses it talks about someone sinning “defiantly” and thus being guilty of blasphemy, his guilt remaining on him. No sacrifice is prescribed. In today’s passage we see this law in action, in verses 32-36, where a man breaks the Sabbath and is stoned to death for it. This seems really harsh, but the point is clear: sin (any sin) is serious.

But what makes some sins unforgivable?  This is similar to what Jesus says about in the New Testament when He talks about ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’.  The issue, as I understand it, is not the particular sin, but the heart of the person who commits it.

God is capable of forgiving even the worst of sinners. Jesus’ sacrifice is more than enough. All it takes on our part is repentance. That sounds easy enough. But repentance is more than just saying “I’m sorry” — true repentance includes turning away from sin and turning toward God. Asking for forgiveness without a willingness to change (or be changed) is not true repentance.

Sin is serious. May we always remember that. May we not fall into sin thinking, “It’s OK because God will forgive me anyway.” No, may we avoid it like the plague. And keep pursuing Jesus.

We need reminders. Verses 37-41 talk about this. For the Israelites it was tassels on the clothing. What should it be for you and me? Whatever it is, may we never forget how serious sin is, how much of a sacrifice Jesus’ death was, and how great and loving our God is.

“I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.” (Numbers 15:41)

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