Leviticus 5.17 – Sin and preordination.
Posted: 17 October 2011 in Leviticus

And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.

The thrust of the above verse is that the objective fact of a transgression against God’ revealed will renders us guilty. The state of our conscience is irrelevant to that guilt, and so are the circumstances surrounding the transgression.

It is tempting for us to try and excuse ourselves from our sin, on the grounds that all things are preordained by God, according to the good pleasure of his own will, and that must necessarily include our sinful acts. But the fact of preordination is of no consequence, because, as the verse from Leviticus makes clear, it is the objective fact of our sinful acts which render us guilty before God, who cannot allow his holiness to be impugned by our sin. The God who judges us is righteous in all his ways.

The temptation nevertheless remains to protest that God is “unfair” in punishing those he does not freely choose to save. If we would avoid the sin of presumption, wherein the creature exalts itself against its Creator, we are obliged to accept that it is God who determines what is just and fair, and not us. Proverbs 21.30 has the following warning:

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

And so there isn’t. The only wisdom lies in the worship and fear of the Lord.

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