Linguistics: Missing the Mark

Say that I am throwing an arrow to a target and I miss the target. There is a word in hebrew that describes the action of missing the target. The word is chata’ah. But why is this word so important?

When a father gives advice to his young son, the son listens and takes in the advise. The advice given, it is not to touch the stove while is hot because the finger will get burn. One day, the stove was hot and the son touched the stove with his finger. The son realized the pain but it was too late. The damage was done. Then, in his regret, the son remembered the advice from his father. He realized the mistake he had committed. We say that the son missed the point of the advise. He fail to understand that the advice was given for his benefit. By doing so, he has completely missed the mark. 

When someone is on target, it means that only one truth is possible and anything else is missing the target or faulty path.

The Hebrew word more often translated as “sin” in our English Bibles is the word chata’ah which means “missing tbe mark”, as an archer might miss his target when shooting an arrow. Chata’ah is an error, a mistake, or a case of “missing the target”.

Source: Hebrew 4 Christians

In math, 1 + 1 = 2 and that is the right answer. But if someone says 1 + 1 = 1 then it is said that it is wrong. In other words, the target was missed. Every mistake has a consequence. Sometimes the error could be fatal. God indicates that the consequences of sin (missing His mark) is death.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore when we sin against God, we are missing the point to God’s purpose or design. We are not aligned to His will. Therefore, we are not willing what is in heaven to be on earth.

Matthew 6:9-13

This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

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