Sacrifice for the sin of ignorance

Sam Jones was a preacher who held revival services, which he called “quittin’ meetings.” His preaching was directed primarily to Christians, and he urged them to give up the sinful practices in their lives. Sam’s messages were very effective, and many people promised to … More


The Lord asked Moses to tell the Israelites when they eat food they shall set apart a portion of it for the Lord called a heave offering (vv. 17-21). If they have erred or not observed these commandments they will have to make a sin offering (vv. 22-23). The sacrifices described in Leviticus chapters 1-7 took care of sins of commission, but the instructions here have to do with unintentional sins of omission, things that the people should have done but didn’t do. The sin might be corporate and involve the entire nation (vv. 24-26) or it might be the transgression of an individual (vv. 27-29). Even though the people who sinned didn’t realize their failure, what they didn’t do was still a sin and had to be dealt with.

One of the laws of Mount Sinai was, “Whosoever doeth any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death” (Ex. 31:15). Moses records an example of this type of sin by a man who was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day (vv. 32-36). Certainly this man knew God’s commandments (Ex. 20:8-11); and yet he deliberately disobeyed them. Apparently he was gathering sticks to start a fire, and it was unlawful to kindle a fire on the Sabbath (Ex. 35:3). This was a new experience for the Jews, so Moses sought the Lord’s will, and God told him to have the people stone this offender to death.


It is a dangerous thing for Christians to say, “I’ll go ahead and sin, because afterward, I can ask God to forgive me” based on I John 1:9. Professing Christians who repeatedly and deliberately sin probably aren’t Christians at all (I John 3:7-10); true believers who adopt this careless attitude will be chastened by the Father until they submit to His will (Heb. 12:3-15). Lord, please help me to never feel that I am allowed to sin because you will forgive me if I do.

Numbers 15:17-41 (English Standard Version)

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