10-Days-of-Awe-Devotionals

This is the devotional for Day 5 from the Chosen People Ministries (this one is quite convicting)

The Al Chet – 44 mistakes

The Al Chet, a liturgical confession of sins is said ten times in the course of the Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement services. During the afternoon prayers of the day before Yom Kippur; just before sunset on Yom Kippur Eve; twice during each of the following services: the evening service of Yom Kippur eve, the morning service and the afternoon service of Yom Kippur day, and the Musaf service.

Three times in the reciting of the confession we find these words:  For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us.

If you are not familiar with this prayer, it would be helpful for you to read through it.  Perhaps some of what the sages of Israel called upon the Jewish people to repent from will strike a chord in your heart and God will use this to give you an idea of what to confess before Him during this season that will bring about renewal in your heart and soul?

You might try reading through this lengthy prayer with your spouse, a child or good friend.  At the end of the prayer, you might pray and assure one another of God’s forgiveness through the Messiah Jesus.

Read it slowly and with heart!

For the sin which we have committed before You under duress or willingly.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by hard-heartedness.

For the sin which we have committed before You inadvertently.

And for the sin which we have committed before You with an utterance of the lips.

For the sin which we have committed before You with immorality.

And for the sin which we have committed before You openly or secretly.

For the sin which we have committed before You with knowledge and with deceit.

And for the sin which we have committed before You through speech.

For the sin which we have committed before You by deceiving a fellowman.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by improper thoughts.

For the sin which we have committed before You by a gathering of lewdness.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by verbal [insincere] confession.

For the sin which we have committed before You by disrespect for parents and teachers.

And for the sin which we have committed before You intentionally or unintentionally.

For the sin which we have committed before You by using coercion.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by desecrating the Divine Name.

For the sin which we have committed before You by impurity of speech.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by foolish talk.

For the sin which we have committed before You with the evil inclination.

And for the sin which we have committed before You knowingly or unknowingly.

For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by false denial and lying.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a bribe-taking or a bribe-giving hand.

For the sin which we have committed before You by scoffing.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by evil talk  [about another].

For the sin which we have committed before You in business dealings.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by eating and drinking.

For the sin which we have committed before You by [taking or giving] interest and by usury.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a haughty demeanor.

For the sin which we have committed before You by the prattle of our lips.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a glance of the eye.

For the sin which we have committed before You with proud looks.

And for the sin which we have committed before You with impudence.

For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by casting off the yoke [of Heaven].

And for the sin which we have committed before You in passing judgment.

For the sin which we have committed before You by scheming against a fellowman.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a begrudging eye.

For the sin which we have committed before You by frivolity.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by obduracy.

For the sin which we have committed before You by running to do evil.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by tale-bearing.

For the sin which we have committed before You by swearing in vain.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by causeless hatred.

For the sin which we have committed before You by embezzlement.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a confused heart.

For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us.

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering.

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a sin-offering.

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a varying offering [according to one’s means].

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a guilt-offering for a certain or doubtful trespass.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of lashing for rebelliousness.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of forty lashes.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of death by the hand of Heaven.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of excision and childlessness.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of the four forms of capital punishment executed by the Court: stoning, burning, decapitation and strangulation.

For [transgressing] positive and prohibitory commandments, whether [the prohibitions] can be rectified by a specifically prescribed act or not, those of which we are aware and those of which we are not aware; those of which we are aware, we have already declared them before You and confessed them to You, and those of which we are not aware — before You they are revealed and known, as it is stated:

The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we may carry out all the words of this Torah. For You are the Pardoner of Israel and the Forgiver of the tribes of Yeshurun in every generation, and aside from You we have no King who forgives and pardons. (Quoted at the end of the prayer from Deuteronomy 29:29).

Jewish tradition, as you can see from this ancient prayer of confession, effectively helps us to understand how to confess our sins.  Personally, one of the reasons I love the Jewish High Holidays is because it gives me the opportunity to seek spiritual renewal and, as a Messianic Jew, to be reminded each day of the power of the once for all eternal sacrifice of our Messiah Jesus for our sins.

You might further consider the following guidelines to help you during this season of renewal to confess sin, leading to spiritual renewal for believers and perhaps salvation for those who have not yet trusted in the finished work of Yeshua the Messiah at Calvary.

1.  Confession should be personal.

2.  Confession should be as specific as possible.

3.  Confession should be forthright and honest.

4.  Confession should lead to a change of heart and behavior.

5.  Confession, though personal, can also be offered by a group (a congregation, family, etc.) and should lead to forgiveness of one another.

6.  Confession should be based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah who died in our place, so that God would accept us as blameless in Him.

7.  Confession should lead to forgiving oneself.

 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

Scripture Meditation:

The above is a wonderful verse to meditate upon during this season of the year.  It was one of the first verses I learned as a new believer. Memorizing this passage and hiding it in the depth of my soul has helped me immensely during my life as a believer.  It is reminds me that forgiveness is not simply for all I had done before I accepted Yeshua, but His forgiveness extends to every additional sin committed before I pass into His presence.  What a comfort to know that He never ceases to forgive and that this atonement is not for the past alone, but for the present and the future.  I pray the Lord will grant you great encouragement and freedom knowing that the One who died also intercedes for us at all times and that forgiveness for our daily sins is constantly available for the asking.

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