Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Picking up Sticks Worthy of the Death Sentence?

So I am in the book of Numbers for my morning devotions. I won't lie, I struggle a little bit because it isn't the easiest to just apply to your every day life. But I know that every word is profitable and I should be thankful for even Leviticus and Numbers. :P

Anywho, that is beside the point. In my devotions the story of the guy who picked up sticks on the Sabbath and how everyone wasn't sure what to do about it so they inquired of God. God told them that he should be stoned to death. This really took me by surprise. Check out the passage:

Number 15:32-36

Penalty for Violating the Sabbath

32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.
35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.
 I mean I know that no work was to be done on the Sabbath but he just picked up sticks. This caused me to really ponder this a lot. It brought up a lot of questions for example, why was he stoned? Was it truly because he disobeyed regardless of his heart (like did he purposely rebel against God or was it an accident?)? Was it because he was purposefully rebelling and disregarding God? Was it do be an example? I don't know and I don't think Numbers tells us. But I think the "moral of the story" is the gravity of the seriousness of sin regardless. Sin is sin against a holy God. It is rebellion. It is spitting in His face saying that what He did on the cross for us didn't matter at all. As Christians we are free from the power of sin, yet we still do sin and will continue to until the day we die. If I learn anything from this confusing passage, it should be that my God is a holy God. A God that takes sin seriously and is a just God.

In what ways are we taking sin lightly today? Are we being deceitful or manipulative? Sin is serious. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would come and keep our conscience open and ready to help us.