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Holiness and Sin (Numbers 5:1~10)
1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 "Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has an infectious skin disease or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.
3 Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them."
4 The Israelites did this; they sent them outside the camp. They did just as the LORD had instructed Moses.
5 The LORD said to Moses,
6 "Say to the Israelites: `When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty
7 and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged.
8 But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the LORD and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for him.
9 All the sacred contributions the Israelites bring to a priest will belong to him.
10 Each man's sacred gifts are his own, but what he gives to the priest will belong to the priest.'"
The Unclean (5:1–4)
Some people within the community of Israel must be separated from the rest of the camp because they are ceremonially unclean due to disease, discharge, or contact with a dead body We might look at this and think that God is being extreme, unfair, or even discriminatory, but these restrictions serve to illustrate the perfect standard of purity that is required of God’s holy people Knowing this should cause our hearts to overflow with gratitude for Christ, who accomplished for us what was impossible for us to achieve on our own We were once unclean and cut off from God, but He has made us pure and has restored our broken relationship with our Father.
- How do you protect your heart from things that are unclean in the eyes of God? How do you pursue holiness in your everyday life?
Held to Account (5:5–10)
Here, Israel is given instructions on sin, guilt, and restitution Sin causes a rift not only in our relationship with the person we have wronged but also in our relationship with God Therefore, God commands that when an Israelite is unable to make restitution to the person against whom the sin was committed, they must make restitution to God Himself But no amount of confession, restitution, or sacrifice could ever fully atone for a person’s sins This is why God had to send His Son to live the perfect life on our behalf and give Himself up as the perfect, once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins—past, present, and future Only He is able to make right our wrongs and heal the rift in our relationship with God and with others.
- God desires us to confess and make restitution for our sins against others Is there someone from whom you need to seek forgiveness today?
A letter to God
Father, make my heart pure and give me clean hands I know I can hurt and offend others even as I try to love them Give me a conscience that confesses my sins and a heart that forgives the sins of others In Jesus’ name Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.