the day to learn that ignorance is no excuse.
“For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Galatians 6:5 NLT
A child of ours comes home from a neighbor’s house and pulls a toy out of his or her pocket that we are certain is not one of theirs. Upon asking about it, the child admits readily that it is the neighbor’s toy and you point out that it is wrong to take things that don’t belong to us. Since this is the first time something like this has happened, there is no punishment, of course, but we must still make sure that the toy is returned and that our child understands the lesson.
Being unaware of a sin or a crime, or a relatively innocent incident such as the one above, does not relieve the individual of the responsibility for whatever the action was. Once made aware, corrective action must be taken and responsibility for our actions must be met.
God gave Moses instructions for the Israelites that made taking responsibility very clear. He said, “If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, he is guilty.” (Leviticus 4:27 NIV).
There are those who think that this is unfair and believe it is impossible to hold someone accountable when they are unaware, and to a degree this is quite understandable. If someone in a remote corner of the world who has had no exposure to the Word of God, and no opportunity to learn what is right and what is wrong in the eyes of God, it is safe to expect that God will take that into consideration when it is time to judge.
But most people are aware and, once exposed to God’s laws, are accountable. It is our responsibility to pursue the knowledge that God has made available to us once we are aware of its existence. We cannot claim ignorance as an exemption from our responsibility. We cannot claim ignorance as an exemption from our guilt. It is important to understand the Bible contains all of the guidance we need to live lives that are acceptable to God and cancels any claim to ignorance we might wish to make.
The Lord expects each one of His children to do all they can do to live in a manner that meets with His approval, and He knows that we know where to look for the information we require to do just that.
If we do not study God’s word to receive the information we need, we will remain ignorant. But ignorance is no excuse.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson