2-12-4 Sins of Omission

3. Sins of omission are counted as seriously as sins of commission.

Time and again Biblical history demonstrates that sins of silence and omission are just as fatal as sins of public, physical commission.

- Sarah omitted to say that Abraham was her husband; and was reproved (Gen. 20:16).

- Onan omitted to raise up seed to his brother, and was slain (Gen. 38:10).

- To omit to hate evil is the same as to commit it (Ps. 36:4).

-  Because David omitted to enforce the Law's requirements concerning the transport of the tabernacle, a man died. His commission of good didn't outweigh his omission here (1 Chron. 15:13).

-    The sin of omitting obedience was as bad as committing witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23).

- We have a debt to preach to the world; we are their debtors, and yet this isn't how we often see it (Rom. 1:14). Time and again we commit sins of omission here.

- Samuel would have sinned against Yahweh if he ceased to pray for Israel in their weakness (1 Sam. 12:23). We so easily give up in prayer for the weak.

- Adam's sin of commission (i.e. eating the fruit) may well have been a result of his sins of omitting to go forth out of the centre of the garden and multiply. By one man's inattention (Rom. 5:19 Gk.) sin came into the world. This needs some meditation (see Study 6.10.3).

-  The Lord taught that to wangle one's way out of caring for their parents by delegating it to the synagogue was effectively cursing them, and those guilty must " die the death" (Mk. 7:10,11). To him who knows to do good but does it not, this omission is counted as sin (James 4:17- written in the context of brethren omitting to help each other).

-    Because the priests omitted to care for Israel, they were counted as the wolves- their sin of omission was counted as one of commission (Ez. 34:9,10).

-  Ps. 44:20 balances the sin of omission against the sin of commission: “If we have forgotten the name of our God [omission], or stretched out our hands to a strange god” [commission].

- To not lend to one's poor brother will be counted to us as sin (Dt. 15:9).

- If we omit to 'visit' the fatherless (in the Hebrew sense of coming close to, getting involved with, not just 'popping in to see')- then our religion is defiled and impure (James 1:27).

- " As troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way" (Hos. 6:9) is the basis for the Lord's parable of the injured man on the Jericho road. But He turns it round- He makes a difference between the robbers and the priest. And yet according to this Hosea passage, there is no difference between the robbers and the priest who passes by. Surely the point of the allusion to Hosea 6:9 was that the priest who omitted to help was as bad as the robbers who committed the attack. This is how serious are sins of omission.

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