The sin of ignorance can get us into a lot of trouble. I've discovered we usually have warning signs we ignore. Hmm, check it out: ignorance and ignore are a bit similar!
I read in Numbers 22:34 about the talking donkey. I've read that before and love the magical possibility that animals actually can talk. Seriously, real talking animals! I wonder if my minis can talk?
Sounds harsh, doesn't it? Why should we be held accountable for something we don't know exists?
Read the whole story in Numbers 22. You'll see the behavior Balaam uses when he ignores the donkey's attempts to protect him. It's interesting that the angel is perfectly visible to the animal. (Now I'm curious if that's normal for all animals, to be able to see the supernatural as we see the mundane.)
But the fact that Balaam ignores something he knows well, his donkey. She doesn't behave this way. He knows it and admits it. Yet he beats her three times to make her do his will. This is unusual or the donkey wouldn't question it as she does. Balaam normally trusts the donkey.
So what is the sin? He knew something was out of the ordinary and still he pushed ahead. He really wasn't ignorant. He was guilty of ignoring the signs.
Now I get it. Now I understand how my willful pushing ahead can be the sin of ignorance. I missed the signs sent to protect me.
Wow, interesting truth. Now I can pray for eyes to see the signs, to see when something normal behaves differently. And I understand why we pray for forgiveness of the unknown sin. Once it's known, we easily slap our foreheads and say, "Duh!". Hindsight.
Has that happened to you?