Presumption (Numbers 15:30-31)

In Numbers 15, God is reviewing the penalties for sin with Moses. First He addresses things done unintentionally. Then in verses 30-31, He addresses ones done intentionally. His wording here is interesting – He says things done “presumptuously“.

Presume means “to take upon oneself without authority.” And the Hebrew word for presumptuously in this verse is ruwn. One of the meanings is to exalt oneself.

So essentially what this is saying is that when we sin knowingly we are asserting that we know better than God. We’re exalting oneself above Him and His authority. As a result the penalty outlined in Numbers 15 says that he will carry his own iniquity and his soul shall be cut off from his people. This is essentially a death sentence – whether carried out immediately or not isn’t clear (the Hebrew word for cut off also can mean destroyed).

But we’re under grace! Yes, but how often do we presume upon the grace of God? How often do we decide to do what we want because we don’t like what God’s saying? Just because the penalty has been paid for the sin doesn’t make it any less a sin or any more excused. God in His great mercy has made provision for us. But that in no way entitles us to presume. It’s like if you were a guest in someone’s home and they told you that you were welcome to any food in the house. The purpose is for your own nourishment not for waste. If you were to take all the food in the house eat a small bit and throw the rest away – would you be within the confines of what your host offered? Yes. But is it right? No.

In the same way, God’s grace is for when we struggle with sin not for when we “don’t feel like” doing what’s right. That’s presumption.

Lord help us not to be presumptuous. Help us to be holy and righteous. Obedient to Your Word and will. We repent for being so prideful to think we’re in a position to tale things into our own hands and decide what is right. Lord we submit to You. We surrender our will and desires to You. We are Yours.

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2 thoughts on “Presumption (Numbers 15:30-31)

  1. Whoa, this is a good one. It’s sad to think how often we presume our own authority or our own rights. At least, how often I do it! Amen to your prayer.

  2. Pingback: Radio Silence | Meghan W

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