After stating the manner in which the people are to bring their offerings when they enter the land, the LORD makes a distinction between unintentional and "high hand" sin. Numbers 15:30-31 says anyone who does anything with a high hand reviles or blasphemes the LORD by despising His Word and breaking His commandment.
He places this discussion of high-handed and unintentional sin between two specific examples of high-handedness. At the end of Numbers 14, after being told the LORD would not be with them, the Israelites "presumed to go" to take the land for themselves without the ark of the LORD or Moses going with them. Their action was an intentional rejection of God's instruction. Additionally, in Numbers 15:32-36, the man willfully disobeyed God's command about the Sabbath and was utterly cut off.
Hebrews 10:26-29 addresses high-handed, willful, intentional, presumptuous sin. "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." After telling us to strive for holiness because without it, no one will see God, Hebrews 12:14-17 describes Esau as "unholy." When he impulsively sold his birthright even though he later changed his mind, found no opportunity or place to repent.
Isaiah 5 depicts the consequences of willful sin with verses 18-19 giving a vivid example. The NLT says "What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart! They even mock God and say 'Hurry up and do something! We want to see what you can do.'"
So my inevitable thought is "OH NO! I, too, have willfully gone against what I know God's Word said when I did the exact opposite of what He instructs. Have I committed the sin described as high-handed, willful, intentional and presumptuous?"
Thank You, Lord, for your complete instruction. May Your Word direct my explanation of "high-handed" sin. Please, Holy Spirit, I know my words are not Yours, but please direct my thoughts and words to accomplish Your will.
Reading 2 Samuel 11-12, David willfully sent for Bathsheba and willfully sent the message to Joab dictating her husband, Uriah's, fate. So is this an intentional high-handed sin? 2 Samuel 12 displays God's activity by sending Nathan to confront David concerning his sin and David's response. We are also blessed to have Psalm 32 and 51 to help us understand David's reaction and response. Psalm 32 describes David's physical and emotional state before his confession of sin and after. Psalm 51 contains David's confession and declaration of what God wants from those who rebel against Him.
The LORD is not looking for a sin offering or a burnt offering even though the Law of Moses required them. It is evident from Israel's state described in Isaiah 5 all the sin offerings and burnt offerings had not changed the people's heart. In Psalm 51:16-17, David describes true repentance, what God desires from those who rebel against Him, as a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. It's evident; God did grant David's request for a clean heart and a right spirit. Therefore, we can say all high-handed sin is intentional, but all intentional sin is not high handed.
LORD God, You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but You will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and fourth generation. LORD Jesus, You alone are the reason my iniquity, transgression, and sin, even intentional, is not justly accounted to me. How could I ever be thankful enough? May my life be a pleasing aroma of the sacrifice of a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.