God’s View of Sin
I have been thinking about how God views sin in light of the Law and Jesus. To me it seems that there are three categories of sins that God sees as worse than others. We all know that all sin is wrong, it separates us from God, and deserves a punishment but it seems that there are three categories of sins that are more severe and could carry a heavier punishment if any degree of hell isn’t bad enough.
Sins that Cannot be Undone
Some sins can be corrected. If I tell a lie then I can tell the truth. If I steal from you I can give you back what I took. In the Law if you stole you were to pay back 5 times the amount stolen. The eye for the eye law was to replace or make amends for whatever you damaged, destroyed, or injured. But there are some sins that cannot be undone. Murder, rape, adultery, perjury in capital punishment cases (lying to convict), kidnapping. These sins required the death penalty because you took something from someone that could not be replaces: life, purity, emotional security, etc. Due to the nature of these sins God required the death penalty.
Sins Against God
The second category of sins that required death was sin involving worshiping God. Blasphemy, witchcraft, idolatry, or breaking a worship law. God wanted his people to respect him and understand that not worshiping and honor God as the only and one true God was not acceptable and death was the price for not honoring him.
Sinning When We Know Better
This category did not call for death but is one introduced by Jesus. Jesus said many times that the people who know the truth but who sin anyway will face a more severe punishment. That is a scary thought for all Christians as we should know the truth and our rebellion or apathy will be factored into judgment.
We often think of God in the Old Testament as one of wrath but in truth one was killed unless they committed a sin that couldn’t be undone or they sinned against God. I walk away from this thinking that God loves us and tries to help us value others by installing the death penalty for some sins against men. He also wants a relationship with us and doesn’t want anyone or thing to come between us. It also makes me think about our attitude toward God. We are to be in awe of him but not fearful of him. I think we have done a good job of helping people not be afraid of God but not so good at helping people be in awe of God and show him the respect he deserves.