What is "sin with uplifted hand"?

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on October 21, 2020

In today's devotion, (watch it here) I share with you one of the most frightening chapters of the Bible: Numbers 15:27-36 (read it here)The LORD gives a command about sin with uplifted hand. That phrase is translated "defiant sin" or "deliberate sin" in English translations (find all English translations compared here). 

What is so frightening about this section of Old Testament laws about animal sacrifices? There is no sacrifice to atone for defiant sin!

Our New Testament lesson (find Hebrews 10:11-31 here)  
sounds that same warning. "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God." 

If this is true, how can any of us be saved? Who of us hasn't sinned "with uplifted hand"? This is why Paul cries out, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24) 

Immediately Paul gives the answer: "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" 

It is amazing grace that God confronts us in our rebellion and leads us to repent. In repentance, our sins "with uplifted hand" become "unintentional," sins that we do not want to do. In repentance, we turn back to the only Sacrifice for sins there is. 

This is the background for the familiar passage, "Let us encourage one another not to give up meeting together..." (Hebrews 10:25). We need all the help we can get from fellow Christians to turn us back to Jesus.

That is illustrated in our Old Testament reading (find Jeremiah 14-15 here)The prophet calls the nation back from defiant sin, but even the prophet needs the LORD to call him to repentance. 

Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. In-person or online, we need fellow Christians to speak truth into our lives. 

Assemble in Person

Join us in worship this evening at 7 pm. Small group communion is also available today at 10:20 am and this evening at 8 pm. 

Assemble in Bible Study

Join me Thursday evening at 7 pm for an online Bible study. We will discuss the messages from this past week and then use GroupWork to go deeper. Click here for the Zoom link.  

To prepare for the study, you may wish to review the messages:

GroupWork is attached.

Assemble Online with Awake and Alive

Learn more about our ministry to the 18-25 year-old generation and the gathering this Sunday at 6:30 pm by clicking here. 

May our God daily turn us back to Him!

Pastor Pete


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