Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
Children often do not realize that what they consider just fun and games, may at times cause serious damage. Tossing a ball around in the house seems like such harmless fun. That is until it hits an antique vase and it shatters on the floor. There is no replacing it. No repairing it. No hiding the fact that it was broken. Now what? If it was clearly a misjudgment on the part of the child and the child is sorry for their actions, it would normally be handled with a mild punishment or a reprimand. However, the punishment would be completely different if the child had specifically been told, “don’t through that ball in here there are expensive irreplaceable items like this vase that could get broken.” Same broken vase, but a different reason why.
In today’s verse, the man gathering sticks was later put to death for doing so. The punishment may seem harsh for picking up a few sticks. Yet picking up the sticks was not why he was punished. In prior verses in this chapter we see that God was willing to forgive someone if they unintentionally sinned. However, those who were deliberately rebellious received harsher punishment. Willful rebellion grows out of an improper attitude toward God. While the punishment may seem drastic, it sent a clear message to the children of Israel about the necessity to obey God’s word. Obedience was met with blessings. Forbidden rebellion was met with regret. God would much rather bless us.
The punishment for sin is still the same today. However, Jesus died for our disobedience toward God’s word. Rom. 6:23 says the wages of sin will always be death. Yet through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, we are forgiven and given eternal life.
Can you see what our rebellion cost God?
Living In His Word Ministries
“Getting people into the Word of God…
… and the Word of God into people.”
Dr. Franklin J. Senters Th.D.
Founder and Executive Director