Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 5
We have all heard the phrase, “Ignorance is no exception to the law.” I don’t like that phrase. It basically says, “Even if you have no clue about what is taking place, you’re guilty by association.” That, my friends, is a very helpless place to be. It implies that just because you are physically present to the crime, you are a criminal. If you are in proximity of a robbery, you are a thief. If you hang around with people who are gossips, you are a gossiper and if you are in the company of slobs, you are a slob. True or not – God is saying intentionally or unintentionally, aware or unaware, we are guilty.
Verse 4 jumps out at me, “Or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt.”
My paraphrase, “Don’t make promises that you aren’t going to keep or carelessly swear.” Do you know what I think is the most misused, but unintentional sins. Saying the words, “I will pray for you.” How many times have you become aware of someone’s hardships and you throw out these words aloofly. Perhaps you really planned to pray and forgot? I’ll go ahead and throw myself under the bus here, “I’m guilty!” Because of this, I make a point of NOT saying that phrase unless I mean it and WILL do it. None-the-less, I think it proves that point that God is making in Leviticus 5:4.
Then there is that tongue of ours; James 3:7-8 says, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” It was amazing when I first became a believer, God cleaned up my language. Slowly and over time some of those nasty little verbs have crept back into my vocabulary.
Leviticus 5 is a reminder to me today (and hopefully you) to become more consciously aware of my sin and clean up my act. At the same time, this chapter has made me aware what I will continue to fail AND there may be a host of things that I don’t even know I need to clean up, fix, or stop doing. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, so I have every confidence that He will prompt us to become aware of our shortcomings, but at the same time we can have peace that Christ covered them all – past, present, and future. I’m reminded, once again, to turn my eyes to the cross and humble myself to all Christ has done for me – even stuff I don’t even realize He has covered. Isn’t that a beautiful picture of God’s grace?