We can continue to be thankful while reading this chapter that we don’t have to make daily treks to the Tabernacle to confess our sins and sacrifice the best of our flocks, herds and bread ingredients. This chapter further exemplifies God’s attempt to keep the Israelites completely aware of their day-to-day activities. No one wants to give up anything for the sake of their own stupidity and weaknesses. When we have a lot to lose, we become way more aware of our behaviors. God knows this. He knew it then, and He knows it now, and yes, He is watching, but there is a big difference today – Jesus. We all know the Israelites couldn’t and didn’t keep up with these rituals. While they were meant to bind the relationship between God and the Israelites, and make the Israelites more aware of their relationships with one another, they were hard work, required 24-hour awareness, and for those who REALLY could not “help” but sin, it cost them dearly in personal belongings. We all know people, and we may be one of those people, who would not stay in a relationship that required so much physical work and internal reflection, don’t we? The Israelites were no different. Yes, there were some who adhered steadfastly to these laws. These are the people we will see God help under the most dire circumstances later. Some names that come to mind are Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, Esther, David. God LOOOOOOOVEESSSSS these people with all His heart, but He loves everyone else that much too, even though we don’t always honor Him in the same ways these past “heroes of the Bible” did. There are millions of us, but only one David, one Joshua, one Esther. See where I’m going with this? If God just accepted and loved and saved the few, the ones who gave Him their all, He would still be a pretty lonely God. He wants all of us, His entire creation, but He eventually had to accept the fact that we kinda bad people. We’re lazy. We’re dishonest. We touch dead animals and decide on our own that it’s not a big deal. The bottom line is, though, that we just don’t want to sacrifice the best female in our flock! It’s not entirely about letting go of our valuables, either. It’s also about our laziness. If I had a dead mouse in my kitchen and upon scooping it up, the tail brushed my hand, I’m probably not going to be too inclined to drop what I’m doing, go out and round up Penelope from the field, drag her to the Tabernacle, slit her throat and watch as Aaron butchers and burns her. Thankfully, God saw this. Unfortunately, in order for Him to get His point across about how important it was, He had to sacrifice His own son for us to see how serious He was. Verse 5 eludes to a future compromise that God will make for us stubborn, rebellious, lazy earthlings: “when you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.” That’s really all we have to do now. God thankfully and mercifully dropped the rest of these acts of repentance with one final sacrifice that covers us all. Thank you, Jesus, for paying our fees, standing in place of the best of our herds and flocks, tearing the curtain down so that the Tabernacle, God’s house, is open to everyone.
Writing prompt: sin log
For the next 24 hours, track your sins and write them down. See how many trips you’d have had to make to the Tabernacle and how many sheep, doves and handfuls of flour you’d have to give up! After you’ve tallied your sins, thank Jesus profusely for not having to give up anything because he gave his all.