Numbers 5 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“The L_rd spoke to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites: When a man or woman commits any sin against another, that person acts unfaithfully toward the L_rd and is guilty,” The person is to confess the sin he has committed. He is to pay full compensation, add a fifth of its value to it, and give it to the individual he has wronged.” Numbers 5: 5-7

In life, we basically have two kinds of relationships: Horizontal and vertical.

HORIZONTAL relationships are between us and other people. It is important to have healthy horizontal relationships, because hey…we all gotta’ get along.

If history has a theme, it should perhaps be, “Men don’t naturally get along”. Its subtitle might be: “How selfishness destroys community.” Watch the news. Men of selfish ambitions (personal or national) are always battling, to some degree.

VERTICAL relationships are between men & G_d. Mankind generally recognizes the idea of G_d, although most do not worship the true G_d. There are many worldwide campaigns of sincere spiritual discovery. Sadly, most of those searches are sincerely wrong. How can I be so bold as to suggest someone’s sincere faith is in vain? Because G_d has prescribed how His creation should worship Him. It’s not my opinion. It’s the truth of the Bible. Proverbs 14:11-12

How a person’s Horizontal & Vertical relationships interface is very telling of their spiritual condition.

When asked what the “Greatest Commandment” was, Yeshua replied by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your G_d with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind”. Yeshua quickly followed-up his reply by referencing Leviticus 19:18. He said, “The second (greatest commandment) is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Put simply: Love G_d and love people. You cannot separate the two.

Numbers 5 is teaching us that when we sin Horizontally, we are also sinning Vertically. When we sin against people, it is also unfaithfulness towards the L_rd. That’s why the priests could seek the L_rd’s judgment on secret interpersonal sin. All sin is a sin against Him, thus within His knowledge…perhaps an insight into omniscience.

If we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves, we are not loving the L_rd, our G_d, with all we have. Inversely, if we don’t love the L_rd with all we have, we will never be able to truly love people.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Monday, May 12, 2014