May 26, 2011

The Sabbath Breaker

In my daily Bible reading, I came across this passage of scripture in Numbers 15:
While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.
I want to offer up a blog about this passage, a profound blog, but frankly, I am at a loss.

I know that as I read this, the words of Francis Chan, from that video I posted a couple of days ago, came to me.  I don't have time to re-watch the video right now to make sure I am word-for-word, but I remember him saying something along these lines,
"We have a tendency to say things like, 'God wouldn't do this or that, because WE wouldn't do this or that.' ... Have you ever stopped to think that maybe God's sense of judgment and mercy and compassion is better or more accurate than yours or mine?"
Here was a guy who was out gathering sticks.  He either rebelled against the law that had been revealed about the Sabbath or he simply forgot, so he went out to pick up some sticks, presumably for a fire. Some people caught him in the act.  His punishment? As mandated by God -- Death.

I have walked away from this passage with a more hearty, more robust understanding of God's Law.  Every time I have broken the law, I have deserved the same punishment.  Compound that time and time again that I have erred in these clear commands.

I am thankful for His grace.