One verse stands out in reading chapters four and five of the book of Numbers.  Chapter 5, verses 5 & 6 says, “If any of the people – men or women – betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty.” The thought that struck me was that when we hurt others or wrong others in any way, we are betraying the Lord.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment he quoted from two Old Testament passages. Deuteronomy 6, “Love God…” Leviticus 19, “Love your neighbor.” The Apostle Paul reduced these two commands to one in Galatians 5:14, “The whole law can be summed up in ONE command; love your neighbor as yourself.”

We love other God by loving other people.  1 John 4:20 says “People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen.” We sometimes think that loving others and treating them as we would be treated is a New Testament concept, but I would argue that it’s a theological principle established in the earliest foundations of the Bible. I certainly have betrayed God by doing wrong to others. Haven’t you? I’m so grateful that we can find a fresh start in our lives through our faith in Jesus. In Philemon 1:18 we read Paul’s appeal to Philemon on behalf of his slave Onesimus. Paul says, “If he has wronged you in any way, or if he owes you anything, then put that on my account.” These are the words from Jesus to our father in heaven on our behalf. They are also His words to us on behalf of other believers who have wronged us or owe us something. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”