Don’t know whether you caught the French news piece a couple of days ago about the young hunting dog that playfully jumped on its owner in a show of affection. A paw caught the trigger of the deer hunter’s, gun, resulting in the loss of a hand.
The victim later blamed himself for not having the trigger safety on, and made it clear that he still loves his dog.
While the consequences were serious, there’s still room for a smile.
Reminded me of Mosaic Covenant Levitical sacrifices that were to be offered for unintentional sins (Leviticus 4:1-4). Moses gives so much attention to thoughtless and accidental wrongs that some have argued that Old Testament Law makes no provision for intentional sins.
While it seems to me that sacrifices are provided for conscious wrongs (Leviticus 6:1-7), the emphasis on unintentional harm is an important idea. It seems to allow for the fact that so many of our wrongs are done even when we think we are doing the right thing.
Eventually, as the Letter to the Hebrews shows, it became clear that the sacrifices of bulls and goats couldn’t atone for any sin (Heb 10:4), intentional or unintentional. They were foreshadowing the sacrifice of the New Covenant– that could do all of this and more (Matt 26:28).
We’re left, I think, with the conclusion that even unintentional sins do harm in God’s universe, and that ultimately the mere sacrifice of animals would have done nothing for our guilt– if they had not been pointing to the One who was waiting for the right moment to show us how much he loves us.
Raises questions in my mind about how many of our sins we commit in ignorance and unbelief; wonder about the ability of our fallen minds to rationalize our lack of love; and eternal gratitude to God for loving us in spite of all of the mindless, foolish, and evil things we do.