Word Study: Sin “Chata”


Job 1:22: “In all this Job sinned not, nor charge God foolishly.”
Sin: Hebrew – chata:  To  stumble or fall short of the mark
We tend to think that Job did not sin by not blaming God.  Yet, when you look at the syntax in the Hebrew, it is clearly indicating that this sin and  blaming God are speaking of two different things.  He did not sin and he did not blame God
If you check your lexicon for the word sin you will find it is “chata,”  which is rendered as “sin” and  means to miss the mark,  to stumble or fall.   That leaves the question as to what it is that causes you to stumble or fall.  The word itself has many possible combinations.   The word is spelled “Chet, Teth, and Aleph.”   The total numeric value is 18.  This has the same numeric value of “da’ag” which means to be afraid.  The shadow of the “Chet” speaks of incapacitated with fear.  Fear can be the primary cause of stumbling.   However there is something else that will cause you to stumble.  The next letter is “Teth.”   The shadow of the Teth suggest the opposite of Chet and that is  ignoring the dangers and taking on a facile positive thinking attitude, sort of an “Oh, it’s all for the best.”   This too is wrong because you will overlook the dangers or not act to prevent further tragedy.   Yet, there is a third way you can stumble while going through suffering.  This is found in the “Aleph.”   The Aleph’s shadow  warns that suffering can cause you to find no sense in your existence.
We discover that in the midst of suffering Job did not “sin.” He did not “chata.”  In other words he did not become incapacitated with fear, nor did he take on a Pollyannaish Que Sera Sera attitude. He fully understood the serious nature of his situation.  He also did not allow his suffering to drive him to the point of feeling his life was worthless.  In other words when Job did not sin, it meant he did not allow circumstances to cause him to stumble and miss the mark of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:14).
Next time you want to quit or give up on God, think of chata (sin).  The enemy wants to bring circumstances into your life so you will stumble and fall short of the mark God has for you.  The enemy wants you to sin.
Job did not only not sin but he did not blame God.  That is odd as the text clearly tells us God allowed this to happen. What the text says here is that Job did not “foolishly charge God.”  The word “charge” is “nathan” which means to give, or it could mean to speak out loud.   You could say that he did not give God any “lip.”  He didn’t accuse God or shake his fist at Him.
When we consider the fact that this is poetry, we find there is something deeper, much deeper in the word “foolish.”   The word foolish is Hebrew is “tipelah.”   On the surface it means “improper, inappropriate, or foolish.    But this word also has a dual meaning.  The root word could be “tipal” (foolish) or it could be “palal,”  which means to judge.   Job did not give judgment to God.   He did not say to God: “Why did you do this to me?”
Poor God, He gets it in the neck every time.  How many times do we people say: “Why does God allow this to happen?”   I know when you hold yourself out as all powerful and mighty you are going to take some hits.  But surely with God’s record of faithfulness, caring and sacrifice, you could cut Him a little slack when your world collapses.   When you stand in judgment against God for the tragedies that enter your life and you say: “Why did you allow this to happen?”   You are breaking God’s heart like a child blaming his mother for letting him catch the flu.  Such a thing would break a mother’s heart.  Would not such a Pala (judgment) against God break His heart?  Would He not say:  “What? Do you think I don’t have your best interest in mind?  You think I don’t care?  You think I don’t love you?”