ACCOUNTABILITY

 

We have established the pattern of blood payment for sins.  The Law establishes exact rituals for each person according to their sin and their station in life.

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:  If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.  Leviticus 4:1-3

 

The spiritual leader is held accountable first, before the sheep of his flock.  In later years, the prophet Jeremiah would warn religious leaders in the future to keep Gods people:

 

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.  And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.  Jeremiah 23:1-8

 

That warning included the comfort that God would give his sheep a good shepherd, a savior.  He would be patterned after his ancestor King David.  Kings also are warned:

 

When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;  Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:  Leviticus 4:22-23

 

The king is accountable for his actions too.  Government and political leaders must also know the fear of the Lord.  David would be found in sin later, and Nathan the prophet had to deliver judgment from God for his failure.

 

Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;  And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.  Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.  Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.  2 Samuel 12:7-11

 

David’s Son Absalom would later fulfill this by a rebellion against his father, and taking his wives in fornication.  The law was exact to define sin for touching dead or diseased things, and even to making a promise by an oath.

 

And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.  Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty.  Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty.  Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.  And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.  Leviticus 5:1-6

 

Under the law of Moses, we would be guilty if we sinned by accident.  Our friends and neighbors could deliver us by pointing out what we had done.  There was a ritual for cleansing even this mistaken sin.

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;  Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:  Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.  And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.  Leviticus 6:1-7

 

The thief and the liar are not ignorant of their sin, and they are accountable too.  But there is a path to mercy in the law.  He must add twenty percent to what he has stolen and return it.  Then he has to make the sacrifice too.

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.  And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it.  For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people.  Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.  Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.  Leviticus 7:22-27

 

Eating the fat or blood would have you pushed out of the community.  You would be rejected from all fellowship with your family and community, deported from Israel.  These spiritual things were enforced harder than theft and cheating!

 

And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.  And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.  And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.  Leviticus 9:22-24

 

When they initiated the ritual of offerings, God made a point by producing the fire of the offering himself.  He validated the laws Moses had given them by the demonstration of power in the fire from heaven.

 

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.  Leviticus 10:1-2

 

Even the sons of the priest were not to trespass against God.  When these sons of Aaron invented their own religious deed God himself killed them immediately.  There were no cultists among this first body of believers; no witchcraft was tolerated.  The law was serious, and it was given in the power of God’s personal enforcement. 

 

This enforcement by death was demonstrated in the New Testament as well.

 

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.  Acts 5:1-6

 

This couple told the apostles that they were giving all the money they had made from the sale of the land.  They could have admitted that they were offering only a part of the money.  They lied to man and God.  God decided to demonstrate that he is still God, to be feared for having power in our lives.

 

We forget the power of God in our generation.  I came to God with great fear, having seen demonstrations of the power of the spiritual realm.  In those days I steered well clear of trespass.  I have come to trust God to be good, knowing his mercy.  But at times I can slip back into mistakes that should not be part of my walk now.  I can try behavior that represents a strange fire to God.  I have offended some good Christian friends.  I have caused some to slip into their own mistakes in response to my mistakes.  I cannot restore those friendships, but I have forgiveness from God with that price paid.  And I can pray for those who failed me so that we can all be restored by our God to salvation.

 

Too often Christians trust grace to extend to the sins we repeat knowingly now.  We need to remember that God has the power of eternal death over us.  He can simply make life unprofitable though.  When we withhold the tithe or indulge a simple transgression we lose something.

 

Samson indulged a little honey, taken from the dried carcass of a dead Lion.  Because he was a Nazarite, this was forbidden.  The small sins led to the greater ones later on.  We need to beware of the collection of small sins.  

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