My sister got a ticket this week. She was running errands before work and went to a place she wasn’t real familiar with. After taking care of her business she pulled out of the parking lot, then turned right on red. She hadn’t gone far when she heard the siren and saw the flashing lights. She pulled over to give the police car the right-of-way, knowing she had done nothing wrong. But the policeman pulled up behind her and got out of his cruiser.
“Do you know why I stopped you?”
“I have no idea.”
“There’s a sign back there that clearly says… no turn on red.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see it. I don’t usually take this route. Can you just give me a warning?”
“Lady, you just blatantly broke the law and there’s a consequence for breaking the law.”
When my sister told me about her encounter with the policeman she was disappointed. She wished the officer had been a little more understanding but she said… I broke the law. I’ll pay the ticket.
That’s kind of what God told Moses here in chapter 5. Even if a person unintentionally commits a sin, once he learns of it he will be guilty. God doesn’t accept the “I didn’t know” defense any more than that police officer did. Even when we truly didn’t know.
Do not be fooled. God does not ignore sin and there are serious consequences for committing them. Let’s be people who know what the Bible says and recognize sin when we see it. Let’s be quick to confess and allow God to forgive us. And let’s be gentle and loving enough to encourage others to do that, too.