Numbers Fifteen

What does it say?
When the sons of Israel enter into the promised land, they were to not offer a burnt offering to fulfill a special vow or make a peace offering without including a grain offering  mixed with oil and drink offering of wine. There is one law for both the native son and the alien who lives with them. Throughout their generations, every first batch of dough from the harvest, a cake is to be lifted up to the Lord as an offering. If the people error and unknowingly sin with regard to any of the commandments given through Moses, the priest is to make atonement for them with a burnt offering, with its grain offering and drink offering, and with a sin offering. If a person sins unintentionally, a one your old female goat can be offered as a sin sacrifice but if he is defiant in his sin, he is to be cut off from the congregation. One day, a man was found gathering wood on the sabbath in defiance of the Lord’s command; therefore, the congregation stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. The people were to wear tassels on the corners of their garments, hung by a cord of blue, so as to look at them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and not follow after their own heart and eyes.

What does it mean?
There is one law for both the native son and the alien. This does not mean forcing those outside of the covenant of faith to obey the Lord’s commands, but those who come into the congregation are to be taught to observe all that the Lord commanded. The commandments of the Lord are to be taken seriously. Atonement must be made when someone or the entire congregation errors, but defiance is another matter entirely. The example was with regarded to a remembered case involving a man who gathered wood on the sabbath in defiance of the Lord’s commandment. This man was put to death, forever separated from the congregation. 

What shall I do?
We are not under the old covenant given through Moses but the new covenant in Christ Jesus or Lord; therefore, we do not put to death those who are defiant but they are to be separated from the congregation. There are differences between the old covenant and new covenant but there are similarities; they are given by the same God. Jesus commissioned his disciples to go make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Triune God, and teaching them to observe all that he (Jesus) commanded. (Mt 28:18-20) Jesus gave us a system for church discipline: individual to individual, small group to individual, congregation to individual. If the person repents, then they shall remain part of the congregation, but if they are defiant, they shall be separated. (Mt. 18:15-18) The goal is repentance, not separation, but defiantly sinning against the Lord’s commandments is not to be tolerated by the congregation. The word of the Lord shall be honored by the congregation.

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