The Law Was Given to Reveal the Sinfulness of Sin and Reveal Our Desperate Need for a Savior


[22] “But if you sin unintentionally, and do not observe all these commandments that the LORD has spoken to Moses, [23] all that the LORD has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the LORD gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, [24] then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering. [25] And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD for their mistake. [26] And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.

[27] “If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. [28] And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. [29] You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. [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.”

[32] While the people 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 in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. [35] And the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” [36] And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Numbers 15:22–36, ESV)

“Unintentional” sin means, done in ignorance, but that sin points to the fact that you did not listen to God and His Word, you did not study it, you did not contemplate it’s meaning, and so forth. This means that you have a sinful heart, and therefore, you must offer a sacrifice, you have sinned! Calling a sin “unintentional” does not mean you are innocent, it just means you are ignorant of your responsibility before God and that you are sinful to your core, because you are the fallen child of Adam. Calling a sin “unintentional” actually proves the doctrine of total depravity, that left unchecked by God and His Word all we can produce naturally is sin (see Gen. 6:5)! Therefore, the “unintentional” sin proves we need a Savior; because we cannot make ourselves righteous, because we are sinful at heart – sinful to the core, so that when we are not thinking and acting with intent, what is produced every time (apart from God’s restraining grace) is sin, always sin!

Verses 30-31, are simply a straightforward statement about the clarity of an open high-handed sin. Sinning defiantly = willing wickedness!

And, we must not miss that there is no sacrifice to be offered, they are to be cut off from the people and their guilt remains on them! Now, think of the Christian who knowingly does evil, and just trusts that since God is love, He will forgive him – as is often said; “Better to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission”. This is heresy and a lie straight from the evil one, who is a liar and murderer from the beginning! As Christians, we are to willingly and joyfully submit to and follow King Jesus. And, we are to renew our mind, so that we have proper knowledge of the Lord’s will, because we no longer want to walk by the way of the world, the flesh and the devil! We long to be conformed to the image of Christ! We long for His return so we can be glorified and in His presence fully and finally freed from sin and its effects. This is why we are called to fight the good fight of faith and to not trust in ourselves, or in our own wisdom and strength, but only and fully trust in the Lord, to walk by the Spirit in love and truth – for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor!

May God be gracious to us and lead us in this glorious walk in freedom, as we die to self daily and pick our cross and follow Him joyfully and willingly wherever He leads us, because we know He is all in All.