The law that was given to the children of Israel by Moses made a clear distinction between sins of “ignorance” (v.24, 27) and sins that were committed “presumptuously” (v.30). Notice that both are still sins. Yet, the sin of ignorance, whether committed by the whole congregation (v.24-26) of by an individual (v.27-29), was easily forgiven after bringing the proper offerings. But the man guilty of presumptuous sin, because “he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken the commandment” (v.31), shall have his soul “cut off from among the people” (v.30).
As if to illustrate the principle, the story is immediately told of finding “a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day” (v.32). Since they did not know what to do with him, Moses asked God directly. The Lord answered, “The man shall surely be put to death” (v.35). Such was the severity of the law! God had clearly told the Israelites not to work on the Sabbath day and this man had directly (presumptuously) disobeyed that command.
Today we live in the age of grace and under the law of love. Yet God hates sin no less today than He did then. And people still act as if they despise the word of the Lord.
Are there any presumptuous sins in your life? Are you willing to look for them? David prayed, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me” (Psalm 19:13).
God may not have you stoned to death, but your presumptuous sins certainly limit the power of God in your life. Just as the Israelites put blue fringes around the borders of their garments (v.38) to remind them of “all the commandments of the LORD” (v.39), so we should remember His commandments to us. Search your heart. What do you find there? Now, take it to the Lord.