TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 19:1-10.
🔑KEY VERSE “That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee” (DEUTERONOMY 19:10).
A professor of medicine in a world-acclaimed medical school, in an attempt to explain the sanctity of life, posed a medical situation, which was an ethical problem to his students. He said, “Here’s the family history: The father has syphilis, and the mother has tuberculosis (TB). They already have four children. The first is blind. The second has died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now, the mother is pregnant again and they come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?” All the students recommended abortion. Satirically, the professor said, “Congratulations” but added, “You just took the life of Beethoven!” Reason was that the medical history which he gave was that of Ludwig Van Beethoven, who some experts in music widely considered as the greatest pianist and composer of all time.
From our text, it is obvious that God bestows great value on human life and rights. He treasures life so much that He made ample provisions for its protection, preservation and maximum safety. Commandments were given to separate three cities of refuge, where the ignorant slayer might flee to, so there won’t be any case of innocent bloodshed in the land.
Unfortunately, in many countries, especially in Africa, innocent blood is being shed almost on a daily basis either for political, religious or ritual purposes. Governments seem to be unable to handle these killings that have kept the populace in perennial tears and insecurity.
lf the Lord places such a great value on physical lite, imagine what greater value He would have put on the spiritual life of man! Knowing that the human soul is made to live eternally, care must be taken to ensure that our brief moment on earth does not jeopardise our eternal rest with God.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY What value do you place on your soul and the souls of others?
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR PSALMS 89-91.
Sin of ignorance is still sin
- Different types of sin of ignorance
a. You knew it is a sin, but you committed it because you did not know the terrible implication. God demands repentance and you need forgiveness from God. Most sins committed as sinners fall under this and it is still punishable in eternal hell if there is no repentance and restitution (where necessary), Acts 17:30.
b. You knew it is a sin, but your will was not involved although you also have some blame. Example is being raped when you move without hearing His voice. It is still a sin and you need to still repent as to where you missed it. A case was Dinah who went to visit a wrong company and was raped, Genesis 34:1-5.
c. You knew it is a sin, your will was not involved but it hurts someone else. An example is what we have in the text, an unpremeditated murder, vv4-6. The person is till not free from divine revenge except if the person runs to a city of refuge, Rock of ages, for protection from judgement. If the person claim ignorance as an excuse, the avenger of blood will still kill the offender without mercy.
d. You did not know you have done wrong but the other person is feeling offended or hurt by your action which is not sanctioned by God. In this case you are to reconcile with the person whenever you have that instinct that the person is offended or else your prayers will be hindered, Matthew 5:23,24, Hebrews 12:14.
e. You have offended someone unknowingly in the course of your legitimate duty and you did not know it. In that case you pray always pray for mercy. An example is a minister of the gospel. “In many things we offend all”. Note that Paul always pray for ” grace, mercy, and peace” in all his pastoral epistles while he used only “grace and peace” for all non pastoral epistles without adding “mercy”. Ministers of the gospel need mercy of God more than members of the Church in this area. This kind of mercy is seen in I John 1:7 where fellowship with one another guarantees forgiveness and removes all misgivings against one another.
f. You knew it is sin as a believer, you know the implication to some extent and you still commit it. If you come to God in repentance, He will still forgive but the effect of “putting fire under your blossom” will be there and the lost ground due to the sin may never be recovered, John 6:37. An example is Esau, Hebrews 12:16,17.
g. You know it is evil and you fully know the consequence but you deliberately continue indulging in it until you loose all promptings to repent and you started blaspheming God and the truth deliberately. This is sin against the Holy Spirit or sin unto death. It can be committed by anybody including sinners. There is no forgiveness for such since the Spirit of conviction of sin that will make them repentant has finally left them permanently. Note that if you are still getting convicted of your sin, you have not sinned against the Holy Spirit whose work is to “convict the world of sin”. Matthew 24:31,32, Hebrews 12:26,27, I John 5:16.
- Definite steps to take in case of sin of ignorance
a. Don’t waste time, don’t argue, don’t justify your evil. Or else anything can happen when the “avenger” catches on you, vv5,6.
b. Don’t look for alternative to God-given option. It will not work. Only running to the “city of refuge” will work.
c. The only place to run to is the “city of refuge” that typifies Jesus Christ, the Rock of ages. He forgives and secures from the angry frown of the angry God.
Lord Jesus, you are my city of refuge. I hereby ask for forgiveness for all my sins🙏 You may need to confess those sins in acknowledgement that you accept that you are wrong. You also make restitution where needed🙏
Lord, help me to remain in You, my city of refuge; never to sin again🙏
Give me a sincere faith that will now be careful to avoid all forms of sins henceforth🙏
Pray to God that the power of God will break every yoke of sin in the life of all unstable souls in the Church🙏
HYMN Rock of ages cleft for me