Leviticus 5 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“When someone sins in any of these ways: If he has seen, heard, or known about something he has witnessed, and did not respond to a public call to testify, he is guilty.” Leviticus 5:1

A Shabbat school teacher asked her class, "Does anyone here know what we mean by sins of ‘omission’?"

A small girl replied: "Aren't those the sins we should have committed, but didn't?"

Not exactly. We often think of “sin” as something bad that we do. Because we are committing an act of sin, that is called “sin of commission”. Today’s passage tells us that “sin” extends to a broader context. What it means to “sin” also includes that acts of not doing. I know that sounds like an oxymoron: the ACT of NOT DOING, but the things we omit, but should have done, are called “sins of OMISSION”.

Sins of omission are generally more difficult for a second party to notice, for they take humility and disclosure on behalf of the sinner. They run deep into the hidden INNER character of a person, whereas sins of commission affect the OUTER, the reputation.

In Matthew chapter 5, Yeshua addressed both the outer and inner man. He chose as His topics: Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Vengeance, and Loving our enemies.

Make no doubt about it: G_d is greatly concerned with our outward acts of sin!

“He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished!” Exodus 34:7

“The L_rd is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty…“ Numbers 14:18

But we are fooling ourselves when we limit our sin to things we “do”. Our thoughts, attitudes and acts of omission testify to our guilt as well.

It helps to remember: Your reputation (what you do) is based on the part of you that people can see. Your Character (your inner self) is the part of you that G_d sees.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, April 15, 2014