Friday, September 2, 2011
Yesterday I closed with:
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: (1 Samuel 12:23a KJV)
It carried the thought that I shouldn’t cease to pray for those I listed, and to do so would be a sin against the Lord. That’s very important when we think of sin. Although we may do emotional, or even physical, harm to another, the actual sin is against God. Against what He has laid out for us.
The first mention of this is from Joseph when Potiphar’s wife made her advances:
There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Genesis 39:9 KJV)
As in the first verse, Joseph recognized that he should be loyal simply because of all Potiphar had done for him, but the wickedness would be a sin against God.
God told the children of Israel in Exodus that to take other gods would be a sin against Him, too:
Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee. (Exodus 23:32-33 KJV)
In 1 Samuel 2 we find that Eli’s sons died because of sins against God:
Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. (1 Samuel 2:24-25 KJV)
David knew how to keep from sinning against God (though he did not always practice what he had learned!):
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11 KJV)
It’s a book. The words are available to almost anyone in the world. There are more languages that carry this book than any other in the world. Most places anyone can pick one up and read it. There are, however, too many places where to be found with a Bible results in imprisonment. To speak to another about what is found in there can bring a death sentence. I have met a man under a death sentence for smuggling Bibles into the country of his birth. We are complicit in his crime as we donate money to buy those Bibles.
Yet I also know people reading this who never pick one up to see whether what I say is in there. I’ve always asked that readers check out what I write – is it true, or not? Doing so makes one noble – the Bible says so:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)