Sunday, May 3, 2009

Going back to what we previously read for a sec

Hi everyone,

On April 17th, I had posted some thoughts on the "consequences of sin." There were some questions triggered, including the following: "In Num 14:18, the bible talks about the subsequent generations taking on the punishment for their father's sins. Is this nullified/satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus?" I asked a brother and found his response VERY interesting and wanted to share it with you...

Note: The brother is Matt Thomas, a super smart and excellent brother who has a PhD in Engineering from UCI, AND who researches and studies out the bible A LOT. He's already read Chrono in previous years. The following are his thoughts.

First, this verse in Numbers is quoting Exodus 34:7. I believe it mostly refers to Israel as a nation of people. I think God often deals with people as a national group (e.g., the Amalekites, Philistines, Ninevites). I think he still deals with people this way to a degree. I think our whole nation will come under judgement and in that sense we will suffer for the sins of others. We will be punished for the sin of others, unless we are taken out first. It's the same case in Numbers 14:18. The children were not held responsible for the guilt of the sin of their parents, but they still had to wander in the desert for 40 years because of it. In that sense, they were punished for the sins of their father's. However, they did not have to die, as their parents did because they were not guilty of that sin. That's where Ezekiel 18:20, which we are familiar with, comes in. It's the soul who sins who will die. Yet I don't think the punishment for the sins of others has changed. If God judges us as a nation (and that might be part of what's going on these days) we will suffer the punishment because we are part of this nation, even if we have not sinned. Yet we won't be guilty of sin. That's why I think it's so important for us to stand up for what's right...but that's another lesson altogether.



Inga Gerard said...

Forgiveness for sins does not remove the consequences of them. Consequences in one persons life often spills over into anothers. Children usually suffer greatly from the consequences of their parents' sin even though they are not the guilty party. God offers us a way to endure the consequences and ensure our devotion to living in ways that promote positive fruit and outcomes which spill over into the lives of those around us as well.
Neat- don't you think?

Justin Seibel said...

I guess if you're in a group and the majority of the group does something wrong, you'll have some consequences that you didn't cause. However, the nation of Israel and the USA are different. Our 'nation' now is the kingdom, which is not defined by a politics or geography.

actually now thinking about it more, I thought Matt was disagreeing about subsequent generations being punished, but he's not and I think that's right. I do think with Jesus we can begin to change those curses. they don't change overnight though.