While reading Numbers 5, I came across something I found interesting. See the verses:
Numbers 5: 5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Speak to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person realizes his guilt, 7 he shall confess his sin that he has committed.[b] And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong. 8 But if the man has no next of kin to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for wrong shall go to the Lord for the priest, in addition to the ram of atonement with which atonement is made for him.
I was surprised recently during a church Bible study to find that people do not understand the Biblical need to apologize when they have done something wrong, or have hurt someone without meaning to.
But Numbers tells us that the Bible’s instructions on making amends goes deeper than that. Not only must you first apologize to man, but you must also apologize to God.
No, there is no need for sacrifice. Numbers is in OT territory. However, read those verses again. For those of you who “hate to apologize” think of it this way – you don’t have to seek out the family of the injured party.
Someone once said something to me I will never forget: “I never apologize, and I won’t apologize to you!”
Of course it made me angry, but y’all, more than that, it made me sad. The relationships around this person have rippled out into people who think that when they do something wrong, they have no accountability for it. They don’t seem to care how much it hurts others to avoid responsibility and in fact are rather prideful about it. You see, our actions – good or bad – affect everyone around us.
No one likes to apologize, especially if we didn’t do something wrong on purpose or we did something with good intentions that just went wrong. But God instructs us to do it. Why?
Matthew Henry’s Commentary states it like this: “If a man overreach or defraud his brother in any matter, it is to be looked upon as a trespass against the Lord, who is the protector of right, the punisher of wrong, and who strictly charges and commands us to do justly.”
You see, as God’s people, when you commit a sin of wrongdoing against your fellow man, you commit a wrongdoing against God.