Before moving on to Numbers Chapter 15, I want to expound a little bit more on the Principle of Vertical Retribution and SALACH (forgiveness that only God can offer).
We have learned that Vertical Retribution is the idea that a punishment due a sinner is pardoned and then transferred over to the next generation.
If a person who committed an offense against ADONAI is sincerely repentant God will offer that person SALACH or a “Divine Pardon“.
However, the important thing to understand is even though the punishment for the sin committed was pardoned or postponed, the GUILT FOR COMMITTING THAT SIN REMAINED PERMANENTLY UNTIL THE DEBT WAS PAID OFF IN FULL.
Now let’s say we come to the next generation who acknowledges and repents of the sins of their forefathers but not wishing to be punished also asks the Lord for SALACH or “divine forgiveness“.
If they are sincere in their repentance, the Lord will also grant them SALACH and then the punishment will again be transferred onto the next generation.
It seems like this could literally go on forever.
Over the centuries, literally thousands of families have continually passed on the punishment due them to the next generation.
The punishment due one family was postponed and carried over to the next generation and if that next generation sincerely repented the punishment was passed not to the next generation and so on and on.
And let me say for the record, I’m not talking about some ancient Hebrew superstition here.
This is a God-ordained and foundational Biblical principle established and woven throughout all the Scriptures and it has everything to do with why we need a savior.
God is NOT a man and He does NOT change.
When punishment is due somebody because they have broken God’s commands, that punishment eventually MUST BE BORE BY SOMEBODY.
See, here’s the thing.
God wasn’t going to allow this pass-the-punishment-onto-the-next-generation process to continue on forever.
Vertical Retribution doesn’t allow justice owed to be perpetually postponed into all eternity where somehow it just disappears.
As Messiah said, “not even one one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled“.
Eventually, it would have to come to a stop.
Can you see how the sacrifice of Yeshua comes into play here?
It was Yeshua who God chose to bear all the retribution that had accumulated over the generations.
Through his suffering on the cross, Yeshua paid for the iniquities of past, present and future generations.
All of the punishment that had been postponed and carried over finally came to a screeching halt. (Dang, I’m starting to sound a bit like a Christian here).
Are you getting this?
This Principle of Divine Retribution demonstrates why we need a savior.
Just because one generation had the divine punishment due them pardoned didn’t mean the punishment was done away with.
All the sins of the previous generations were laid upon Yeshua.
That is how God’s justice was fulfilled, as it had to be.
So yeah, I’m saying Yeshua’s sacrifice forever put a stop to the Principle of Vertical Retribution.
Let’s take a look at a reference to Vertical Retribution in the New Testament.
“As Yeshua passed along,
he saw a man blind from birth.
His talmidim asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned
— this man or his parents —
to cause him to be born blind?”
“His blindness is due neither to his sin
nor to that of his parents;
it happened so that God’s power
might be seen at work in him.
As long as it is day,
we must keep doing the work
of the One who sent me;
the night is coming,
when no one can work.
While I am in the world,
I am the light of the world.”
Notice the reference to the Principle of Vertical Retribution in these verses.
The disciples were asking was this man born blind because of his own sin or the sin of his parents.
This idea of Vertical Retribution was well understood in Yeshua’s day.
Now notice Yeshua’s response.
He says that the man being born blind had nothing to do with his sins or the sins of his parents.
Rather, he was born blind so that the works of God could be displayed through him.
And then, Yeshua healed the blind man.
Here’s what I think is going on and this is just my opinion, so if you don’t agree with me, no problem.
And so it is today.
If the non-believer dies minus seeking SALACH in Yeshua’s name, he will bear his own punishment for his sins which is eternal death.
On the other hand, if a person will repent of his sins and trust in the authority and sacrifice of Yeshua, Yeshua himself will bear the divine punishment or retribution due that person.
So to close, this Principle of Vertical Retribution which we read about here in Numbers establishes the premise and foundation of why we need a savior and paves the way for understanding what Yeshua’s sacrifice was really all about.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN NUMBERS CHAPTER FIFTEEN