Numbers 5* The unclean to be removed out of the camp, Restitution to bemade for trespasses. (1-10) The trial of jealousy. (11-31)1-10 The camp was to be cleansed. The purity of the church mustbe kept as carefully as the peace and order of it. Everypolluted Israelite must be separated. The wisdom from above isfirst pure, then peaceable. The greater profession of religionany house or family makes, the more they are obliged to put awayiniquity far from them. If a man overreach or defraud hisbrother in any matter, it is a trespass against the Lord, whostrictly charges and commands us to do justly. What is to bedone when a man's awakened conscience charges him with guilt ofthis kind, though done long ago? He must confess his sin,confess it to God, confess it to his neighbour, and take shameto himself; though it go against him to own himself in a lie,yet he must do it. Satisfaction must be made for the offencedone to God, as well as for the loss sustained by the neighbour;restitution in that case is not enough without faith andrepentance. While that which is wrongly gotten is knowinglykept, the guilt remains on the conscience, and is not done awayby sacrifice or offering, prayers or tears; for it is the sameact of sin persisted in. This is the doctrine of right reason,and of the word of God. It detects hypocrites, and directs thetender conscience to proper conduct, which, springing from faithin Christ, will make way for inward peace. 11-31 This law would make the women of Israel watch againstgiving cause for suspicion. On the other hand, it would hinderthe cruel treatment such suspicions might occasion. It wouldalso hinder the guilty from escaping, and the innocent fromcoming under just suspicion. When no proof could be brought, thewife was called on to make this solemn appeal to aheart-searching God. No woman, if she were guilty, could say"Amen" to the adjuration, and drink the water after it, unlessshe disbelieved the truth of God, or defied his justice. Thewater is called the bitter water, because it caused the curse.Thus sin is called an evil and a bitter thing. Let all thatmeddle with forbidden pleasures, know that they will bebitterness in the latter end. From the whole learn, 1. Secretsins are known to God, and sometimes are strangely brought tolight in this life; and that there is a day coming when Godwill, by Christ, judge the secrets of men according to thegospel, #Ro 2:16|. 2 In particular, Whoremongers and adulterersGod will surely judge. Though we have not now the waters ofjealousy, yet we have God's word, which ought to be as great aterror. Sensual lusts will end in bitterness. 3. God willmanifest the innocency of the innocent. The same providence isfor good to some, and for hurt to others. And it will answer thepurposes which God intends.
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