Listen Carefully

When Moses told the people the words of the Lord, they mourned greatly; and they rose up early in the morning, and went up into the top of the mountain, saying, "Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised; for we have sinned."

But Moses told them not to transgress the commandment of the Lord by going, for if they did go, they would be smitten before their enemies. He told them that they had turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord would not be with them.

They would not hearken to Moses, but went out; nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord and Moses went not out of the camp. The results were as Moses had told them.

 "Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah." Moses says their enemies chased them as bees do. Then they returned, and wept before the Lord, but he would not hearken to their voice. So they abode in Kadesh many days.

According to the laws, which the Lord gave the people, any one who sinned ignorantly was to bring a sin-offering to the priest. The priest then offered the sin-offering as an atonement, and the sinner was forgiven. But whoever sinned presumptuously, was to be cut off; for by taking such a course he showed that he despised the word of the Lord.

To show what is meant by presumptuous sin, an example is recorded. While the children of Israel were in the-wilderness, a man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day; and when he was brought to Moses and Aaron, they put him in ward, for it was not declared what should be done to him. "And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died."

And the Lord, by Moses, instructed the people to put fringes, and rib-bands of blue, in the borders of their garments, so that when they looked upon them, they might remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them, not following the desires of their own heart, nor the lusts of their own eyes, but keeping themselves holy unto their God.

Then, to further guard them against idolatry, he spake these solemn words: "I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God."

 G. H. BELL.