Age of Accountability
When is someone accountable to God? This is not a new question but one that I have been thinking about for some time. When the twelve spies were sent out by Moses ten came back and gave a bad report leading the people to rebel and want to go back to Egypt. God didn’t hold the men under twenty accountable (Numbers 14:29-30). An Israelite had to be twenty to go to war (Numbers 1:2-4). You couldn’t serve as a priest until you were twenty (1 Chronicles 23:24). When David took a census he didn’t count anyone under the age of twenty (1 Chronicles 27:23).
I know that Joash was seven when he became king (2 Chronicles 24:1) and Josiah was eight when he became king (2 Chronicles 34:1). But this was an exception not the rule in Israel. This didn’t mean that prior to the age of twenty a person didn’t have responsibility but that at the age of twenty you entered into a new stage of life. Was this our 18 or 21? Reading through this just got me thinking about when is someone accountable for their sins in the eyes of God?