Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Unintentional Sins

Title: Unintentional Sins   
Reading for February 2nd: Leviticus 5-7

If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the LORD's commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity.
Leviticus 5:17

There are several references to sins committed "unintentionally" in the book of Leviticus (4:2, 13, 22, 27; 5:15, 18; 22:14). The Bible obviously makes a distinction between sins committed intentionally and those done in ignorance. For example, there is a difference between premeditated murder and manslaughter and assigns the death penalty for the former and not necessarily the latter (Numbers 35).

Does this mean that unintentional transgressions are okay with God? No, they are not. First of all, they are called "sins." They resulted in guilt and required sacrifice. Though ignorance would result in a lesser penalty according to the Law, it was no excuse for breaking the Law. It was (and is) sin.

All of this underscores our need for grace even more. God is holy. God is light and in him is no darkness at all. How often do we commit sins and not even know how we have offended and lived in violation of our Creator's perfect standards of holiness?  We know when we are rebellious. We know when we willfully break God's commands. Do we know how often we sin unintentionally? It is much more than we could ever know.

God's grace is not to be viewed as a license to sin (Rom 6:1; Acts 17:30), but aren't we thankful our God patiently waits for us to repent (2 Pet 3:9)? More than that, aren't we thankful this grace and patience was on display on the cross where our Lord prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"? 

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24)