Scripture reading for January27: Exodus 21-24
Is there any such thing as a “harmless sin”? We sometimes laugh when our young children defiantly disobey. When our adopted daughters were first released from the orphanage to come with us, they were so cute! Both my wife and I and the girls had a short time of mutual admiration. But on one of our first outings, we were waiting to cross the street and cars were speeding by. One of them (name withheld to protect the innocent!) stuck her foot out towards the street and looked up mischievously to see what we might do! Mary and I had a good laugh but realized that we had a job ahead of us and had a late start!
Sin entered mankind through Eve’s deception by the serpent and through the disobedience of Adam. God’s commands aren’t suggestions. What He says will happen and He has the authority and power to bring it to pass. Sin has consequences. We can choose to sin, but we get the consequences for free! The law that God gave Moses on the mountain included Exodus 21-24. These were practical explanations of the ten commands that helped work out how these laws would play out in the community of Israel. A holy God lived in their midst. He demanded that the people He lived with would be holy too! (1st Peter 1:15-16)
Some of the laws and their that struck me as I read this passage remind me of the “deadliness” of sin! In Exodus 21:15 and 17, the penalty for attacking father or mother or even cursing them was death. If a man owned a bull that was known to gore others and he did not restrain this animal and a person was killed, the bull and the owner would die! (Exodus 21:28-29) A sorceress must be put to death! (Exodus 22:18) Anyone having sexual relations with an animal must die! (Exodus 22:19) Another law in Exodus 22:22-23 was shocking to me; I had never remembered reading that one who takes advantage of an orphan or a widow would die if that orphan or widow cried out to the Lord! God gets angry when we mess with those who are hurting! He is compassionate and protective! (Exodus 22:26-27)
God is compassionate and loves us enough to confront sin. He knows it’s deadly–it cost Him the life of His Firstborn Son! We need to be serious when it comes to sin. In our children, it is not just funny. It will be deadly if not properly addressed. As parents, we need to love our children enough to discipline them and teach them that sin is nothing to mess with. May the Lord continue to love us enough to discipline us so that sin is not our downfall!
“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good that we might share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10