“But whoever acts high-handedly, whether a native or an alien, affronts the LORD, and shall be cut off from among the people. Because of having despised the word of the LORD and broken his commandment, such a person shall be utterly cut off and bear the guilt.” Number 15:30-31
Woah, Pay attention! Earlier verses provide instruction for giving sacrifices to atone for unintentional sins; and make no mistake sin, any sin, all sin separates me from God, but intentional sin, the sin when I say “Whatever, whatever, I do what I want”; thumbing my nose at God, giving God the finger is not acceptable and the penalty is being “utterly cut off”. No way – you think, remember the Garden, remember Adam & Eve, they sinned and were escorted out of the Garden, separated from God. During Lent we take a very focused intentional look at our relationship with God, is there any sin, intentional or unintentional, in my life? Once the unintentional is revealed and I continue in it, it becomes intentional thus risking being “utterly cut off.” God is holy and therefore I/we are to be holy, to be in His presence we must be holy. God is slow to anger, slow to punish, but make no mistake, God hates sin and hates sin in us, especially known, intentional, thought out, pre-planned sin. We cannot re-write the rules, or re-write the definitions of holiness, God is the author, God is the judge. I either am or am not in line with God, I am both holy and righteous or not – according to God, not me. O Lord forgive me – please!
“Then the LORD said, ‘I do forgive you, just as you have asked; nevertheless – as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD none of the people who have seen my glory and the signs that I did ion Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tested me these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their ancestors; none of those who despised me shall see it.’” Numbers: 14:20-23