Capital Crimes




Came across this in my reading a few days ago, and wanted to share it.  I’ve written about language and words before, I’m sure I’ve seen this at some point before, but it just stuck out to me.  
Sin is sin.  We say we understand that there are no “levels” of sin in God’s eyes, no major and minor sins if you will.  You are either inside the will if God, or you are not.  
But – while we say we understand this, we don’t hold ourselves accountable for all sins equally.  We have our “acceptable sins” – sins that we feel are just no big deal.  We absolutely live our lives based on the idea that some transgressions are worse than others.  This is probably because we don’t really live for God, but instead we live FOR the world we are living IN.  Human laws are much more immediately known, understood, punishable, and enforced.  So, God’s laws take a seat somewhere in the back of the bus, if they are even admitted on the bus to begin with.
 
One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the LORD with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment.   We think the words we say do not have sin attached to them.  They are just a “vent” for the release of our emotions, it’s no big deal.  So, this scene is somehat familiar.  It sounds like there’s a fight on the basketball court, this son of an Egyptian father and Israelite mother dropped a few curse words, threw a G-D it in their for good measure.  I don’t know exactly what the guy said, just that he cursed the Lords name in the heat of the moment.  Probably got popped in the nose and didn’t like it…

They kept the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear to them. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel.   Like the man in Numbers caught gathering wood for a fire on the Sabbath, this man is held until the Lord makes it clear what the penalty, if any, should be.  I point this out because unlike us, the Israelites didn’t keep people locked up very often.  The penalty for crime was restitution or death, not time.  So for someone to be held in custody is strange, but they just didn’t know what to do with this man. But – God did make his will known.  Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head.   Laying their hands upon his head is basically their testimony that they heard him curse the Lord.  Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel.   No small sin, these words he used.  He didn’t sit around thinking about it or planning, they just came out in the heat of the moment.  A capital crime in the eyes of the God of Israel.  Judge not lest he not be judged, right?  We are all sinners in need of a savior, sick people who need the best doctor ever to walk the earth.  There are no “acceptable” sins in the eyes of the Lord.  Jesus never did that.  He declared what was once unclean to be clean, and offered salvation to Jew and Gentile alike.  He overturned the death penalty for most crimes, and offered grace, mercy and the chance to repent and come to Himself.  But He did not say we could go on living as we are.  “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭ESV  As we say, he will take us as we are, but he loves us too much to let us stay there.  

 

“One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the LORD with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They kept the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear to them. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be put to death. “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death. “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed. “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind. “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death. “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.” After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭24:10-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/lev.24.10-23.nlt

John Lewis

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