Audio listeners: There is additional content at the bottom of this post that isn’t included in the audio.
GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS!
Today we see that anyone who has ever thought the Bible was boring has certainly not read it!
Today’s readings are Numbers 14-15
Numbers 14:18 – This is Moses quoting one of my FAVORITE VERSES in the Bible. I think this is one of the most exciting verses of all time when YHWH came down FACE TO FACE with Moses. Go back and read it when you have time, it’s amazing and can never be read enough! Also read Exodus 34:5-7
BUT remember, when someone gives you a verse, take a chapter. It is a habit of any responsible Bible scholar (which you now are) to never read only a verse taken out of context. Whenever you see a verse quoted, go read the chapter, put it back in context, see what it means, who it is speaking to, and what is going on in the context of that verse. A Believer cannot find the nourishment they need or know the God they hope to serve while living on a diet of cherry picked verses.
Unintentional sin: We will read this phrase “unintentional sin” a few times in today’s verses. It is important to note that all of the sacrifices we have read about up until this point were for unintentional sin. There was no sacrifice available for intentional sin. (please note I said “was” as in past tense. Messiah changed this- keep reading the whole Bible to see)
This intentional sin against YHWH is referred to as high handed sin. Numbers 15:30-31 addresses that:
“30 But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.””
High Handed sin is what we do when we willfully go against the authority of YHWH and tell ourselves that He will forgive us. Note: This is a brazen sin. It is a willful going against the Father or even denying Him after having known Him. It is not the same as when we stumble, make a mistake, have a lapse in judgement, or decide to do something and then realize we need to repent (and do so) later. Think of the rebellion of Korah for an idea of what this might look like.
Scripture tells us that YHWH considers high handed sin to be blasphemous and an act of despising YHWH Himself. This is addressed again in the “new” testament in Hebrews 10:26:
“If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment …”
What types of sin are being discussed in Hebrews 10:26? You can read the entire chapter for greater context, make sure you pay attention to the whole of it near the verse.
Remember: The book of Hebrews is believed to be written between 60-70 years after the death (and resurrection) of the Messiah. High handed sin still exists but Messiah is able to offer us forgiveness for all sin.
Knowing that there was no sacrifice for intentional sin is crucial for us to better understand the magnitude of what Messiah did for all who would accept Him as their Messiah. The spotless lamb who did what no other could ever possibly do.
15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. 16 One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
See also Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, Numbers 15:29 (yes, it’s repeated twice in the same chapter today.
Just remember these when folks try to tell you that the Commandment were “just for the Jews”. Also remember that at this point Judah was but one of twelve tribes.
Sticks on the Sabbath
This is always a jarring read but it is important to keep it in context.
We have just finished reading all the ways that someone who sins unintentionally can make atonement for that sin so YHWH is clear that unintentional sin will be forgiven. And then we read about high handed sin.
With that in context, it is my opinion (please note this is my opinion only and I reserve the right to be wrong) that this man was willfully and openly (lots of folks saw him) going against YHWH’s commandment.
This man was living among the place where YHWH had actually shown himself time and again to the people and here he is willfully going against Him, essentially flaunting His disobedience. Effectively telling everyone in view that He does not answer to nor hold in reverence the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Again, this is my opinion but I draw it from the context of the passages both before and after.
~It doth not endeth well for him.
Now we come to “tassels”. The Hebrew transliterated word for this is Tzitzit. Guess who else wore tzitzit? In Matthew 9:20 when the woman touched the fringe or tassel of Jesus’s garment, that was a tzitzit. Little coolness moment for ya. It will be brought up again in Deut 22:12.
Today we end with the commandment to wear Tzitzit, which many believe is what sets off the next rebellion we will read about tomorrow. I will explain how that might have done so in tomorrow’s post.
For more thoughts on these passages, check out this sidebar:
•My tzitzit video is here for anyone who missed it the first go around.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!