Archive for September 19th, 2011

Leviticus 6

Leviticus 6 continues God’s law around sacrifices.  The chapter begins with the rules between neighbors.  Yes relationships with other people matter.  We don’t live in a vacuum and immune to responsibility for our actions.  Often in our society today, people live that way.  All they care about or pay attention to is themselves.  But God is clear that when we mistreat those in our patch we commit “a breach of faith against the Lord”.  So how does that happen?

Scripture calls it “deceiving his neighbor” here in Leviticus.  It can take a number of forms.  Check out what is called out here:

–      “deposit or security

–      robbery

–      oppressed his neighbor

–      found something lost and lied about it

–      swearing falsely

There are lots of ways we can sin against those in our patch.  Money and stuff are part of it –  we are not to take things that are not ours.  Oppressing and pushing our neighbors down is not acceptable behavior in God’s eyes.  And speaking truth is a requirement – we must not lie or provide false testimony.  God is serious in His ‘do unto others’ golden rule.  Failing to meet these expectations required a guilt offering be made on behalf of the person who failed.

It also meant restitution, which was not simply returning what belonged to your neighbor, but required that you add a fifth more to it.  So making whole plus 20% is what was required.  There is a cost to not obeying the rules beyond just returning what you took.  The thing that jumped off the page at me was this statement though: “on the day he realizes his guilt”.  Making things right was not a whenever you get around to it thing.  God requires us to repent and restore asap.  We don’t really recognize the gravity of sin in God’s eyes.  It is not something we can just deal with when we feel like it.  When we sin, we need to repent and be made right again.

The rest of the chapter involves the rules for how Aaron and the priests were to do the offerings.  God expected them to keep the fires burning.  “The burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and ……fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out”.  It might be easy to think the priests had an easy job.  Stay in the tabernacle and have their food provided – but they had to work hard to fulfill God’s expectations.  There were many rules to follow and expectations to meet as they went about the many different offerings they had to administer.  Today God has changed all this through the blood of Jesus.  He is our priest and our sacrifice.  But the reality is still the same – sin must be atoned for.  When we are wrong – repentance must occur and we must be made right with God through the blood of Christ on the cross.  Do you deal with sin when you realize your guilt?  Or are you just ignoring it and hoping nothing bad happens.  Hope in that is a very bad plan.  God can’t ignore sin.  The only hope is to deal with it by faith in Christ.  Find Him today!

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