Dream word – CLOSE
“If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter - if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.” NKJV
Wringing pigeon’s necks
The local bus service in the city of Brighton and Hove has come a long way from the poorer service it used to be. Now you can stand at a bus stop and with the “miracle” of global positioning satellites, gaze at a digital read out which will tell you precisely where any of over 200 buses from their existing fleet are, and more especially, when you’re bus in particular will arrive at the place you are waiting for it! Amazing.
The rising cost of petrol/gas is not only causing increased “drive offs without paying” statistics on thousands of garage forecourts but fuel price rises are also affecting the local bus queue!
My wife told me just the other day how she saw a tough looking young woman at the front of the bus queue jump on the newly arrived bus, pay her “ticket to ride all day fare” then whilst the other passengers were paying their fare, she ran to the back, opened the window and dropped her newly acquired ticket into the hands of her waiting friend, who quite calmly, got onto the bus, flashed her newly acquired ride all day ticket and went and sat with her friend. Everyone but the bus driver saw the whole incident. No one said a word.
I have pondered the question as to why no one said anything regarding this act of thievery and have come to the following eight conclusions:
1. People don’t care, for dealing with this issue may delay their own journey.
2. People don’t care, for it is in the great scheme of things a minor offence and not worth the hassle of confrontation.
3. People are in collusion, for many of us have done the same thing, maybe in a different area, but it is the same sin and in confronting this illegality, we have to confront and condemn ourselves.
4. People are in collusion, for it’s a great idea and one they might use themselves at another time.
5. People are in collusion, for the service is over-priced anyway, the profits for the providers are too great, and it’s good to see some payback.
6. People do not take responsibility for their community, if the bus driver didn’t see it, then “it’s not my bag!”
7. People do not want to be seen as a “grass,” as a “snitch” as a “talebearer”. This is very powerful peer pressure.
8. People are frightened, for confrontation often leads to violence being inflicted upon the accuser. The level of moral failure is not worth a broken nose.
Apathy, collusion, ignorance, lack of responsibility, peer pressure and fear. These are the six common causes of my own negligent sins.
The opening verse of Leviticus chapter five deals with these sins of fearful apathy and ignorance. “The Message” translates our verse for tonight as follows, “If you sin by not stepping up and offering yourself as a witness to something you've heard or seen in cases of wrongdoing, you'll be held responsible.” Lev 5:1
Now obviously this has to do primarily of the sin of broken adjuration in the forms of avoidance or lying. In other words, it’s context stands completely in a court of law, such that if you are on oath and are asked a direct question, where you refuse to answer or in the answering deliberately, for whatever reason, give the wrong answer, then you have sinned. Jesus was keeping silent before His accusers until asked a direct question by someone in authority. Look:
But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath (or I adjure you) by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:63-64 NKJV
Jesus is the only person I know of, who has never sinned in terms of broken “adjurement”. We break it all the time, in a way, we break it even when we are waiting for a bus. Fortunately, Leviticus chapter 5 goes on to provide regulations for a bloody sin offering for these unpremeditated sins, for these unintentional sins, for these sins of forgetfulness, for these sins of negligence and for these sins of fear. The sin offering prescribed covers all social and financial levels of society, for at every level, this sin is most prevalent. You see, not seeing these seeming slight sins as dangerous stuff, for not dealing with them at some level, leads to deeper levels of collusion and association and from this sticky gloop of these minor misdemeanours, rises the more haunting and condemning sins of cowardice and betrayal.
Yes, it’s all dangerous stuff and we all need to have the forgiveness that comes through the blood of Christ, the wisdom which comes through a maturity of walk and the courage which comes from the close companionship with Jesus Himself., Forgiveness, an active righteousness, wisdom, courage, maturity and the companionship of Christ. Now, there are six holy answers to the six common causes, of all our negligent sins.
Listen: “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.” Psalms 98:8-9 NKJV
Pray: Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore Thou them that are penitent; according to Thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of Thy holy name. Amen.
(Evening Prayer, from The Book of Common Prayer)
Click HERE to find out about how we are reaching 16,500 CITIES in the 250 Nations of the Whole World!